Are you often excited about the new challenges?

Or do you rather feel frustrated from the unknown and give up before even trying out?

Your answer depends on your mindset.

Your mindset is a collection of your thoughts and beliefs that form your emotions, behaviors, actions, and habits.

If you haven’t heard about the two “mindsets” theory, it has been developed 1 by Carol Dweck, Stanford University psychologist. She researched success and failure for years and concluded that how we improve in life and take on new challenges comes from our ways of thinking. She named the two types of mindsets: fixed or growth.

Your type of mindset plays a significant role when we speak about any change.

“Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning”

Carol Dweck

If you’ve had enough of frustration and excuses to shift any of your behaviors, habits, or try new things, read on.

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Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

People with a fixed mindset believe they are either born intelligent or with a talent or not. They’re naturally good at something, or they’re not. They believe their inborn abilities, intelligence, and talent determine their success.

People with a growth mindset believe that talent, intelligence, and abilities come through effort and grow with time. Anyone can be good at anything. Our skills can be developed through commitment, discipline, constancy, and applying the right strategy. Individuals with a growth mindset focus on improving themselves.

What mindset are you currently using in your life?

Carol Dweck offers a self-test in her book, the Mindset – The New Psychology of Success:

  • If you consider your intelligence and talent is static, innate – you have a fixed mindset.
  • If you believe you can always develop yourself, grow your intelligence, challenge your talent – you have a growth mindset.

You can also have a mixed mindset, a combination of fixed and growth, depending on specific areas of your life or in particular situations.

You hold different beliefs about your skills, behavior, and personality. You can believe that your intelligence is fixed, but your character can grow, and the reverse.

 

Benefits of a Growth Mindset

It is written, I can do it

If you have a fixed mindset, you tend to avoid new challenges because you fear failure or being judged. When you try something new you’ve never done before, and any difficulty arises, you rather give up, telling that you are just not talented.

It’s just easier to choose the known path instead of facing the inconvenience. But holding a fixed mindset can lead to being unsatisfied and unhappy in many areas of your life.

A growth mindset is essential when you would like to learn new things, be better in your relationships, change your habits, advance in your career, earn more income, or improve your personality. You believe you can grow, learn new skills, adopt healthier habits, get excited about new challenges through dedication and hard work.

The good news is that you can improve your mindset itself. You can develop a Growth Mindset by changing your expectations.

Your expectations are determined by your beliefs. Your beliefs are thoughts that you are thinking most of the time.

Do you expect to be better in any area of your life?

Then let’s dive into the 9 steps you need to take.

 

The 9 Steps Guide How to Develop a Growth Mindset

A man climbing up on stairs

Step 1: Self-observation

First, acknowledge and observe your attitude and thoughts.

Is there something that is bothering you about your own beliefs and values?

Observe how you react to the daily difficulties. What are your thoughts when it comes to problems? Let’s say you notice you are not satisfied with your own weight or have health issues, but you are lazy to exercise or meditate or can’t control what you eat. You notice you are often being late from your meetings or procrastinating important tasks or housework. You feel frustrated, but until now, you said, this is who you are.

But as soon as you identify the things that hold you back and are aware of your negative traits, bad habits, and you are honest with yourself, you can move on to the next level.

Don’t expect to be pleasant as you start to see your negative thoughts and unwanted behaviors. You can become disappointed and blame yourself for causing this suffering. You realize you are responsible for all and that the key to change is in your hand.

The first step is to recognize if you are not where you want to be in certain areas of your life.

Important Note
People often fall into the trap of self-blame 2, experiencing guilt and anger when they recognize their faults. Even more, they feel they deserve to feel bad, as a self-punishment. In turn, this interpretation breeds resistance to change. And as a cause, they remain in their usual known selves, further blaming themselves.

Be more compassionate with yourself, knowing that when you have developed a bad habit or unwanted behavior that is disturbing you now, at that stage, or at that moment of your life, it was the most appropriate decision.

And NOW is a new moment when you can decide differently again.

 

Step 2: Imagine Your Desired Self

Who do you want to become? Who don’t you want to be anymore?

Do you want to be the person who believes that you can exercise regularly or eat healthily? Do you want to believe you are able to earn more, become more productive, and act on the spot without procrastinating your tasks? Learn a new language or other skill instead of watching Tv?

Well, if you say yes, as the second step, imagine how you would feel if it has already happened. You are that person who does get up every morning to meditate and exercise. You are the person who earns good money, more productive, speaks a new language. Does the housework immediately without hesitation. You are the healthy one who has stopped smoking and eating healthy.

As a second step, you start to imagine who do you want to become.

What is the lifestyle you desire to live?

 

Step 3: Do Your Homework

Learn, dig deep into the topic of change.

What do you know about weight loss? Do you know the science behind stress or quitting smoking? Do you understand the psychology behind procrastination and unproductivity?

If you say yes, then you are very open-minded.

If you say no, learn more about the background of the behavior or belief you desire to change. You want to lose weight, so learn about your body more. Eat healthily, learn about food and nutrition. Want to stop procrastinating, learn more about the reasons and self-development, and so on.

The third step is to understand the science, facts, reasons, psychology behind your bad habits, struggles, values, and the background of the psychology of desired traits.

But notice that no one knowledge, or discovery, or book will do the work alone.

 

Step 4: Commitment

You are the key.

Recognize that you are the one who needs to get the job done and make an effort to changes.

Commitment is a decision that you dedicate time and energy to achieve your desired self. By planning your steps and tasks and you are consistently following the path.

As a fourth step, promise for yourself that you make it through and keep your focus on your main goals.

 

Step 5: View Difficulties as Challenges

Are you committed?

Along the way, you will face obstacles. Your old mindset, the fixed way of thinking, wants to come back. It was all right until now; why do you want to break this comfort? Why do you want to cause this pain to yourself, working and learning hard for career advancement, waking up in the morning to work out? Your inner voice asks, why don’t you stop at the fast-food restaurant instead of eating all the healthy bullshit you just stuffed your fridge when you’ve decided the change?

Or you will face important decisions such as accepting a new position, applying for a new course, enrolling in the gym, handling your relationships.

When you face difficulties, you may find it daunting and frustrating at first due to the pain and risk of failure. It seems hard to solve as it goes beyond self-image, leading to missed opportunities and excuses and a continuation of the already known path.

But the cravings, the pain, the feeling of the unknown, the frustration will pass. Give time to yourself, and resist the temptation to return.

Change your view to consider difficulties as challenges and as opportunities to grow.

 

Step 6: Set Up Your Environment for Success

What do you see around you?

What is in your fridge when you open it? What do you browse on your mobile?

Imagine that you commit to eating healthy so you can lose weight. But when you open the cupboard or fridge, you see only junk food. When it comes to cravings, do you really believe that you can resist all of that?

How you set up your environment hugely helps you in achieving your goals. The cravings will come anyway. Make it easier for yourself. For example, prepare your training clothes the night before, place only healthy snacks in your fridge and cupboard, instead of junk food. With time, you will adapt to the change and becomes the default.

Support from others may be essential. Allow yourself to use external motivation when relapse occurs.

Ask your friends and family to help you in your habit change journey. Let them know that you quit smoking, drinking junk food, and you start to be healthier. When those around you understand that you want to change for a better self, they will support and encourage you.

Put your environment on your service.

 

Step 7: Constructive Criticism

Ask your close friends and family members to help you from the outside by pointing your mistakes and weaknesses out that you don’t realize or don’t want to admit.

Think of constructive criticism as a way to learn.

It is essential to don’t take it personally. It’s sincere support from close people trying to assist you rather than trying to offend you.

Another way is to listen to your inner critical voice and reply with constructive and supportive thoughts. Instead of saying that you cannot do it, tell yourself that you can do it. You believe in yourself! You can learn, change, and grow! Use positive affirmations to support yourself.

Criticism makes you aware of which areas could be improved in your life.

 

Step 8: One Step At A Time

Be patient with yourself.

Do one step at a time. Don’t try to fix every thought, belief, bad habit, unwanted behavior, a negative attitude at the same time. It may lead to failure and disappointment.

Every small change requires your focus, knowledge, commitment, effort, and willpower. To break a negative thought,  bad habit and develop a positive new one, you can easily get tired and exhausted because you expect too much from your body and mind in a short amount of time.

If you desire to be fit and healthy because you are not satisfied with your appearance, but you lived unhealthy and lazy till now, don’t try to change overnight. Start with a minor alteration, start to do long walks first, then exercise 3 times 30 minutes work out per week, and so on.

If you’ve decided to make reading a daily habit, as it helps you to grow, start with just 10 minutes of reading per day next to your morning coffee or in bed at night. When it becomes natural, you can raise the reading time to 20, then 30 minutes a day.

Radical and sudden change will not bring the desired result.

Write a mindset change journal.

Write a list of all the thoughts, habits, feelings, beliefs, positive behavior you want to adopt, prioritize them, and go ahead one by one, step by step towards them.

 

Step 9: Make it a Habit

The repetition will help you adopt the desired trait into your life.

Suppose you do something once will not become natural.

Do it regularly to become part of your daily and weekly life, so your new habits and routines can form.

The only way is to change your fixed mindset to a growth mindset by replacing the old thoughts with new wanted thoughts and beliefs, doing it regularly, and doing it daily till it becomes the default.

Would you like to know more about the importance of mindset? Read more here.       

 

Final Thoughts on Developing a Growth Mindset in 9 Steps

Well done, you’ve made it this far!

Just to wrap things up, here are the 9 steps again:

Step 1: Self-observation
Step 2: Imagine your desired self
Step 3: Educate yourself
Step 4: Commitment
Step 5: View difficulties as challenges
Step 6: Set up your environment for success
Step 7: Constructive criticizm
Step 8: One step at a time
Step 9: Make it a habit

Invest time to understand what mindset you are using currently in your life.

Developing a growth mindset is achievable for anyone. It requires commitment and going beyond your comfort zone to change your beliefs.

 

Sources

(1) Carol Dweck at Stanford University
(2) Self-Blame in Psychology Today
Carol Dweck – Mindset – The New Psychology of Success
Carol Dweck – Mindset – Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential

 

In which areas of your life would you be better to adopt a growth mindset? Let us know in the comments below.