Do you ever think about the way you think? Now this might just be a me thing, but I think about how I think all the time. I was told by an ex once that I am “always on.” That is was literally exhausting to be around me because of how much I thought and talked about thinking. I would be lying if I didn’t say that comment hurt. For a while, I even wanted to change that part of myself. But then I realized what was happening and why I was making him so uncomfortable. I have a growth mindset, and at the time, he had a fixed mindset.
Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset
Both growth and fixed mindsets have to do with one’s belief in regard to their talents, traits, and intelligence.
Someone with a fixed mindset believes that they are born with everything they’ll ever have. The things they are good at, or excel in, are all they will ever be good at. Their natural intelligence is the height of their learning abilities. They can only ever be a certain level of kind, or smart, or good at sports. They do not believe that they can change these things about themselves. Rather that they must learn to work within the confines of these abilities.
Someone with a growth mindset, on the other hand, does not believe in these glass ceilings. Even though they may not be as good at something as someone else they believe that they can learn. Whether that be learning a new language, to be better at violin, or how to be kinder to others, it can all be achieved. People with a growth mindset believe that with enough effort and time they can become better versions of themselves. This mindset can shatter through any ceiling that one has on top of them.
How to Move Towards a Growth Mindset
The benefits of having a growth mindset might be obvious, but it takes a complete change in understanding. We have to be willing to move from what we know to knowing that we do not know it all. To be graceful in times that we are not the smartest ones in the room. It can be uncomfortable to grow and to be in a place of constant learning. As we get there, as we move towards growing our abelites in every way, the world opens up to us.
So how do we move towards a growth mindset? Here is a short list of things you can start right now.
- Stop being the smartest one in the room. Surround yourself with people who know more than you. Then just shut up and listen to them. Take it all in. Soak in their words and decipher for yourself what you feel is true.
- Ask questions – even when it is uncomfortable. Sometimes it can be easier to pretend that we know what someone is talking about. It feels better that way, to not look stupid. But no one learns from pretending to know things, only asking for more information.
- Set goals and stop at nothing to achieve them. If you want to be more attentive, make contact and listen when people are talking to you. Want to learn more about a subject, go buy a book and read it daily. Always thought about painting? Go buy a canvas and some paint and get better.
- Understand that your brain changes and it takes time. Wanting something is the first step. After that is the tedious part of doing it. Keep working at it, bit by bit, and eventually you’ll get better at it. Just like with everything, consistency is key.