Written by the Own Your Destiny Team
Do you believe your talent and intelligence are fixed, or that your abilities are something you can change? People who see themselves as a work in progress are more likely to accept and utilize feedback, learn from others’ successes and take risks that lead to personal and professional growth. In difficult financial circumstances, they might hire a money coach or seek debt counseling to turn things around. Those who see their abilities as something they can’t change have a greater fear of failure and respond more negatively to criticism. Instead of trying to change, they give up. Learn how to develop a mindset that allows you to reach your highest potential.
Analyze Current Thought Processes
When people operate from a fixed mindset, they believe their intelligence and talents are already set. They feel if they make mistakes, it is because something in them is flawed or lacking, so they tend to expend a lot of energy trying to avoid failure.
For example, think about the last time you had a bad day. Perhaps you got to work late, forgot an important deadline, snapped at those close to you and blew your diet. Someone with a fixed mindset might criticize themselves for being disorganized, not good at their job, a poor friend and bad at self-control.
Someone with a growth mindset, though, would see each setback as an opportunity for growth. They might analyze their morning routine, set a reminder for their next deadline and seek out ways to better manage pressure.
Most people have more than one mindset. For situations in which you default to a fixed mindset, search for triggers rather than being hard on yourself. Take note of the specific language fixed-mindset thoughts use and start scripting alternative growth-mindset responses.
Value the Journey
Start to view challenges as opportunities for growth by realizing your personal development is a process open to continual change. Instead of being bound by and stuck with your flaws, you have an ability to shape yourself into someone more successful and capable by doing the following:
- Set specific short-term goals. Many people want to be more successful, attractive or financially healthy, but they just have a cloudy picture in their mind of what that looks like. Instead of focusing on the end result, set clear goals that move you in the desired direction one step at a time. You might identify one professional skill you would like to improve and take a course that helps you achieve your goal. Instead of the huge, vague goal of spending less, commit to taking your lunch that day instead of eating out.
- Schedule time for reflection. Invest in yourself by setting aside regular time for journaling, meditation or gratitude exercises. Spend that time reviewing the experiences of the past few days and examining mistakes without judgement. Identify what you did right and what you might do differently in the future.
- Talk back to yourself. When you hear fixed mindset messages, tell yourself you are continually becoming stronger and more talented, and that mistakes are opportunities for growth.
- Learn continually. Students who do more than just the minimum make better grades, have more scholarship opportunities and often find better employment after graduation. Employees who continually add to their skill set offer more value to their employers, which often translates into a better position and more income. Take courses in financial literacy to improve your money management or sign up for an online study to develop better relationship skills.
Make the decision to develop a growth mindset today for a brighter tomorrow. Even setbacks can become part of what makes you stronger as you transform into the best possible version of yourself.