Updated: May 6, 2021
Adopting a growth mindset for personal success and achievement.
The way you perceive yourself and the beliefs you have about your abilities play a key role in determining the likelihood of you achieving your goals. Maintaining a particular mindset can influence how you approach goals, handle setbacks, and most importantly how successful you will be at developing helpful behavioural habits. So, what do I mean by 'a particular mindset’?
A particular mindset
Everyone holds their own beliefs about who they are as a person, the type of personality they possess, and how they typically behave. One of the most fundamental beliefs people have is about whether their characteristics, intelligence, and abilities can be remoulded, developed, and improved, to help them be successful in life. According to Carol Dweck, one of the world-leading psychologists on the personality trait of mindset, people tend to view their intelligence and abilities with one of the following two outlooks: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
What is a fixed mindset?
Someone with a fixed mindset strongly believes their intelligence, abilities, and characteristics are static, permanent, and they have an ingrained pursuit of proving to themselves and other people they are naturally smart and successful. Individuals who fall under the bracket of a ‘fixed mindset’ will not value effort. After all, they deem it useless because they believe they already have the intelligence and abilities to succeed. They will tend to avoid any challenging situations due to the fear of failing and looking stupid. Any obstacles or hurdles faced during a goal pursuit will often end up in the individual giving up easily and sadly. Any feedback provided to them about learning, development, and changes will be ignored because of the idea - you cannot change something that is set in stone.
What is a growth mindset?
An individual with a growth-mindset believes their character, intelligence, and abilities can be moulded, tweaked, and developed to give them strong foundations of thriving and excelling in any situation or challenge they face. Their attitudes include having a passion for development, the desire to work hard, the determination to smash through any challenge, and the aspiration to soak up any knowledge, feedback, and information that will help expand their abilities.
Adopting a growth mindset for success
The key question is: ‘When forming new habits, why should you be aware of fixed and growth mindsets’? The answer is a growth mindset is connected to the psychology of success and fostering a growth mindset will lead to the successful execution and maintenance of your desired behavioural habits.
Integrating the growth mindset philosophy into your habits
In an ideal world, we would all want to be in a position where we already have the knowledge and ability to make a habit stick and become automatic. However, 9 times out of 10 that is not the case. So, remember, it is important you tell yourself that you will only develop good habits if you are open to the idea of getting feedback from someone else. Furthermore, seeking guidance does not mean you are a failure, or lack intelligence, it just means you need to accumulate some helpful information in a context/situation you are not familiar with.
A strategy to get started
Pretend you are building a house out of your habits. A mindset always starts with the core foundations of basic knowledge and abilities. Each success, failure, and learning experience adds a ‘growth brick’ to these core foundations. Every ‘growth brick’ that is added to your mindset foundations, helps develop and grow your mindset, which subsequently increases the chances of success and more importantly, developing helpful habits. This building metaphor is the same with habits. The starting point is the basic habit of fostering a mindset to grow. You then add the habit of regularly seeking the ‘how to’ information, followed by the habit of embracing and savouring the euphoric feeling of successfully executing each habit and finishing off with the habit of using success to drive you forward onto developing further habits. In other words, stack a new habit onto an already developed habit and keep building your habit and growth mindset house.