So it's all very well to talk about the importance of having a growth mindset and staring down your fixed thinking demons, but how do you actually do that?
Don't worry, we've got you! Here are our five top tips for opening yourself up to the power of growth!
Stop telling yourself what you can and can't 'do'
Thinking that your ability to do something is a fixed point is an affirmative, self-limiting behaviour. If you believe it to be true, it will be. Cogito ergo sum. And it’s better not to try to do something you’re ‘bad’ at, than to look stupid failing, right? Wrong! It’s much better to think that you can get better at doing pretty much anything through effort and practice. You don't need to be world class, but you can improve for sure. And by seeing that you can make progress if you try, the fear of failure will start to recede.
Takeout: Remember you can get better at anything if you just practice. And failing often ends up in learning how to do something better.
Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks
You are never, repeat never, too old to learn something new or to change your approach to something. By thinking that you can’t learn new ways of doing things - or that you already know everything worth knowing - you back yourself into a corner which at best might make you hard to work with, and at worst, might make you irrelevant in a fast-changing world. Myriad opportunities exist to increase learning and understanding of pretty much everything - there’s a whole internet out there remember? And it’s fine to learn things just in time. That’s a thing these days!
Takeout: you can learn wherever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. Fact.
Don’t take feedback personally… even when it is personal
OK, so while we can choose how we see ourselves, we can’t control what other people think about us or the feedback they give us. Some people just give mean, personal feedback - but that’s their issue not yours. And you might interpret perfectly constructive feedback in a negative way because you don’t want to hear what someone’s saying. Either way, it’s important to remember that while any feedback is just someone else’s opinion and is not specifically about you - it will still hold value if you’re open to looking for it. So try and separate the words someone uses from the purpose of what they were trying to say, and just take away the stuff that’s meaningful to you.
Takeout: There’s value in every bit of feedback, you just have to look for it.
Do covet thy neighbour’s success
There’s a reason envy is a deadly sin, but it might not be what you think. Feeling put out, or intimidated, by someone else’s achievements only reinforces your self-limiting beliefs that you’re not good enough. Rather than malevolently coveting the abilities and prosperity of others and secretly hoping for their downfall, you should be inspired by their successes. Because if someone else can do something amazing then, chances are, so can you. The reality of the world is that if you know what you want and you’re willing to keep going til you get it, then success is available to pretty much anyone, not just a chosen few.
Takeout: Take inspiration from someone else’s success and think about what you can learn from them
Remember opinions are not facts...
Many of us struggle to overcome beliefs and opinions about ourselves that were imprinted on us when we were young. If you’re consistently told - especially as a kid - that you’re not very good at something, then you’ll come to recognise that opinion as fact. But it’s not fact, it’s just someone else’s view, and they’re not the boss of you. It doesn’t matter what someone has said about you before, your reality is defined by the choices you make about yourself - and you have the power to change those ’facts’ into actual realities that can help you make progress.
Takeout: only you can define your true potential; don’t let other people's opinions influence how you see yourself and what you can achieve