What is a growth mindset and how can it help you?

We have all worked with someone who wasn’t pleased when others succeeded.

Or someone who argued with the feedback they were given, blamed others or tried to justify their actions.

Or someone who said the dreaded words ‘but I’ve always done it that way’.

Or someone who was closed to new challenges or opportunities to learn.

People with a ‘growth mindset’* are the opposite:

  • They believe that they can work to improve their abilities, intelligence and skills.
  • They are open to feedback and even seek it out as a gift to help them get better.
  • They choose their attitude.

Even the most positive of us have periods when we find it harder to move things forward. We all have weaknesses. We also have parts of our role that drain us. It is important to understand the difference between acknowledging our weaknesses and letting them become a barrier that stops us moving forwards.

If you are feeling ‘stuck’ and are reflecting on what is important to you in your future career, adopting a growth mindset can be extremely helpful. Here are some ways:

  • Remember that your attitude and effort determine everything – and it is in your power every day to choose your attitude and how much effort you put in.
  • Seek out feedback and act on it – ask some people you trust, whose views you care about, for feedback. What do you do well? What could you change for your benefit?
  • Surround yourself with people who inspire you – people whose success will keep you working towards your goals (and who will be pleased for you when you succeed).
  • Persist when you are faced with challenges – see them as an opportunity to grow. Don’t give up.
  • Be honest with yourself – what really matters most to you now and for the future? Are the goals you are working towards still the right ones?
  • Listen to your language – talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you care about.

If you would like to learn more about owning your own story, choosing your attitude and having a growth mindset, consider investing in my Career Reassess, Refocus & Readiness programme.

*Read more in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (2006)

Photo by Alison Emerick

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