Improve the quality of your life with a growth mindset

Mindset can affect the way that we think about everything. It takes hard work to cultivate a growth mindset. Did you know it IS possible to re-wire our brains to think this way? During the Holidays, along with the joy and love we feel around us, there can be triggers which may have a negative impact on our mindset. It’s a good time to remind ourselves about the benefits of mindset work into the new year.

Re-wire Your Brain to a Growth Mindset

I read an interesting article within the website, Skills You Need which discusses how neuroscience shows that our brains continue to develop and change even as adults. With work, the brain can be reshaped over time, forming new neural pathways.

The things that we do or say more often become hard-wired into our brains as habits. These form defined ‘routes’ in our brain, which become easier to use. Knowing that a growth mindset is supported by science makes me even more eager to improve in this area!

Fixed or Growth Mindset?

Which do you have? I used to think more from a fixed mindset – in other words, we are born with a certain level of ability, and that’s the way it was. My fixed mindset voice still comes out frequently, but thank goodness now, my growth mindset voice is just as strong. I have to admit, though, sometimes one voice can be more powerful than the other.

For instance, in business, I have a solid growth mindset. I have no hesitation in jumping into new challenges, and I’m not afraid to fail. I believe I need to be failing to some degree in order to learn. My kids watch me failing all the time in regards to my business! I love that they do. Because they also see me continue to work hard and eventually persevere, regardless of my setbacks. It took me a year of writing on my blog to get my first brand-sponsored post. And two years before being recognized on sites like the Today Parents Community and the Today Show. And the launch of my jewelry shop is a true passion project that’s teaching me new skills each day.

In social situations, (and perhaps it’s because I was bullied frequently by girls during my younger teen years), my fixed mindset voice tends to rule the day. A negative comment or judgment toward me on a personal level has the power to paralyze me until I have the strength to snap out of it and see the ridiculousness of the situation. And to get me in a room full of women I don’t know? I get serious social anxiety.

Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your ability, and can learn and improve) is the key to success. For us as individuals, professionals, and parents, for our marriage, for our children, everyone! It is worth our time and commitment to training our minds to think more from this point of view.

Fixed Mindset

  • People with a fixed mindset are discouraged by setbacks because a setback dents their belief in their ability. They tend to become uninterested and give up.
  • Fixed mindset people tend to worry more about how they are perceived than people with growth mindsets.

Growth Mindset

  • The brain is most active when they are being told what they could do to improve.
  • People with a growth mindset view a setback as an opportunity to learn. They tend to try harder to overcome the problem.

These two different beliefs lead to different behavior, and also to different results.

Steps to Strengthen Our Growth Mindset

I love the steps listed on to help us strengthen our growth mindset.

Step1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

Listen out for your fixed mindset voice. When you hear that little critical voice in your head, telling you that you can’t do something, reply with a growth mindset approach and tell it that you can learn.

Step 2. Recognize that you have a choice.

How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. It’s up to you. Talk back to your fixed mindset with a growth mindset voice!

Other Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset

Helpful tips from the website

  • Start the day with a positive affirmation.
  • Focus on the good things, however small.
  • Find humor in bad situations.
  • Turn failures into lessons.
  • Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.
  • Focus on the present.
  • Find positive friends, mentors, and co-workers.

We have all read this information before, but it’s helpful to revisit and remind ourselves of its importance. Do you practice these tips? I’ve been trying my best to, and I’ll be using these tools over the Holidays into the new year.

For more information about mindset, visit my post – 7 sure ways to master a growth mindset!

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.