Have you ever questioned what makes extremely successful people different from everyone else? And as a parent, I find that over the years, watching my children grow and encounter various scenarios in life, it is something both my wife and I strongly instill into our children. It really boils down to one thing.
The key is in how these people think.
Our perspective, or how we see and understand the world, has a massive impact on how successful we are as individuals. In this blog post, I want to explore the value of developing a growth mindset and see how it stacks up against other mindsets. Additionally, we’ll also discuss strategies for instilling this empowering mindset in both adults and children, offering real-life examples and practical guidance along the way.
The Power of Growth Mindset
In the most simplest form of explanation, a growth mindset is the conviction that, with effort, commitment, and dedication, our skills and intelligence can be improved. A growth mentality acknowledges that we may build and enhance our skills through time, in contrast to a fixed mindset, which presumes that our qualities and talents are fixed traits. This core conviction lays the groundwork for achieving extraordinary personal and professional growth.
So why, in contrast to other mindsets, is the growth mindset important? The answer lies in its transformative nature. People who have a growth mentality are more likely to accept difficulties, keep going after obstacles, and see failure as a stepping stone to success. They understand that their potential is not predetermined, but rather, it can be continuously expanded through learning, practice, and resilience. Imagine harnessing the power of this. In all scenarios and all of life’s situations?
By cultivating a growth mindset, we tap into our true potential. With this attitude, we no longer dread making errors or taking chances; rather, we see these things as chances for personal development. This is something I have carried with me for a long time. I am hard headed and fall into this mindset very often. While I appreciate good advice and discussions, taking those experiences, chewing through them and potentially applying them to my life, I remain steadfast in not caring what others think or say. I don’t mind failing. I don’t mind setbacks. I take those moments and push forward with my newly gained knowledge and experience. You see, with a growth mindset, we are more motivated to establish challenging objectives, passionately pursue them, and accept the work and lessons we will learn along the way. That is what sets people with this mindset apart. It gives us the motivation to go above and beyond our comfort zones and accomplish things we previously believed were impossible. I ran my first marathon in my early teen years – and finished. In other words, no matter what I believe the outcome may be, I tend to look at life with the attitude that (as odd as it sounds), that if “it doesn’t kill me, then it’ll only make me stronger” (Nietzsche – argue the quote any way you want).
Instilling Growth Mindset in Adults
In today’s ever-on world, where our minds are fed an incredible amount of junk, and our filtering systems are overloaded, I find that many adults, even those who believe they have a growth mindset, really don’t. We need to start at the foundations. Adults must first understand and avoid the pitfalls of a fixed mindset in order to adopt this growth mindset. Avoiding obstacles, avoiding work, feeling threatened by others’ achievement, and becoming disheartened by failure are all examples of fixed mentality traps – so much of what we see today, a society based on feelings. However, we can create the conditions for a more empowering mentality by intentionally recognizing and rephrasing these limiting ideas – things society is driving upon us without us even noticing.
Hence, it is essential to establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity, ongoing improvement, and resilience in order to inculcate a growth mindset in all individuals (adults and children). I’m curious by nature when it comes to things that affect my environment or community. I don’t mean being nosy into others affairs. There is a nuance here. However that is the base for me wanting to look at things from multiple perspectives before blindly following what others say and do. And I believe that organizations (schools and companies) can support this culture by enabling opportunities for skill development, providing helpful criticism, and emphasizing efforts and advancement rather than just results. Life is not about feelings, per se. It’s about hard facts. Things have become twisted, but a healthy mind will see through this.
And as adults, instilling a growth mindset, is largely the responsibility of you. You may not recognize that you need it, however, being true to yourself in hardship and understanding how you react is what will set you apart. Most western leaders, in my opinion, have taken the wrong turn somewhere. Debate and various points of view are no longer encourage or dismissed as extreme one way or that way mentality. However, real leadership is encouraging the adoption of a growth mindset. Whether in society (politicians) or leaders in their teams. Sharing individual experiences of success and failures, fostering creative thinking, and emphasizing the value of a growth-oriented attitude are all things to help foster a positive environment where people feel empowered to take calculated chances and continue to improve their skills – without being reprimanded or scolded.
Fostering Children’s Growth Mindset
To instill a growth mindset in children, it is essential to foster a love for learning from an early age. This is the basis of what we teach our children when it comes to adopting this type of mindset. I find that today, adults are instilling our “junk” into children, directing and telling them that “this or that” is all that is true, rather than laying the foundation to spurs their curiosity to find out for themselves. We as adults have an obligation to encourage them to learn about their hobbies, pose questions, and look for information – not direct them to how we want them to be. We must give them a wide range of engaging educational opportunities that test their knowledge and encourage a growth mindset. Fostering a love of learning creates the foundation for a growth-oriented mindset, whether it is through interesting reading material, interactive educational games, or practical exercises. We do the same for our children, in an age appropriate manner.
Praising Effort and Persistence
Instead of praising children merely for their natural talent or intelligence, it’s crucial to emphasize their effort and perseverance while dealing with them. This teaches children that their effort and commitment are appreciated more than quick results. This is the problem of society today. We have been conditioned incorrectly over the last decades. However, children gain resilience and the conviction that they can get better with practice and persistence when the importance of the learning process is emphasized.I see this in my boys everyday. The value of effort is always reinforced, and a growth mentality is thereby instilled. We do this by encouraging remarks like “I appreciate your effort” or “You worked hard to solve that problem.”
One of our kids would say “I can’t do this”. And as parents we saw that naturally, in other words, genetics was simply inscribed into him and his attitude. So, rather then making remarks on things we simply taught him to change up his linguistics. While I don’t like the sentence personally, every time he would say “I can’t do this”, my wife or I would add “yet” to it. We would say “You can’t do it, yet, right?” You see, this simple change, causes children to reframe their thinking in terms of potential improvement and future growth. We wanted him to recognize this. This straightforward linguistic modification teaches kids to see challenges as temporary hurdles that can be surmounted with patience and effort. Compared to two years ago, man, what a change in attitude.
A growth mindset is more important than ever in a world that is always changing and posing new difficulties. We have access to a universe of limitless opportunities by grasping the importance of a growth mindset and how it differs from other mindsets. We cultivate environments that promote both personal and professional growth by fostering a learning culture, identifying fixed mindset traps, and setting an example for others. I want the best for you. I want the best for our communities. If we can instill this mindset into us adults, and also in children to help them succeed and be happy for the rest of their lives, then through encouraging that love of learning, recognizing their hard work and perseverance, and teaching them the values of “not giving up,” we lay the foundation for a strong generation.
And again this is just the tip of the iceberg on the topic. I’m actually writing a book/eBook on the topic for parents, which will hopefully be available soon. That being said, unlock your boundless potential by adopting a growth mentality, and motivate those around you to do the same. Always keep in mind that with a growth attitude, the opportunities are actually limitless.