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Are you someone who's always looking for ways to improve your life? Or do you think you've “arrived?” If you persistently seek to do bigger, better, or greater things, that's considered having a growth mindset.
The growth mentality is applicable to various aspects of life… from academics, career, and financial wealth to health, relationships, and self-improvement. Incidentally, these are areas we commonly set goals for. We have a better chance of accomplishing those goals with a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset.
The idea of developing a progressive mentality should be taken seriously since it has positive, far-reaching effects on your life. Business and psychology experts refer to the positive outcomes as the benefits of growth mindset.
Today, I’ll reveal 11 of those benefits and why wanting more versus “settling” enables you to live your best life! I've also included quick tips for shifting to a forward-thinking mentality.
What Is the Growth Mindset?
Psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University is believed to be the first to describe the growth mindset in her insightful book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Dr. Dweck wanted to know why some people succeed and others fail.
Based on her work, the growth mindset is believing that you can cultivate and improve your basic qualities. The psychologist contends that how we view our talents and abilities influences success in almost every area of life.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
Growth-mindset personalities believe they can develop and improve those traits over time. It's an indication of being flexible, which helps you adapt to changes necessary for achieving goals. Additionally, believing growth takes time leads to viewing mistakes as a part of learning and setbacks as opportunities for improvement.
According to Harvard Business Review, progressive thinkers are aware skills development requires hard work, good strategies, and input from others. These individuals are resilient, have a positive outlook, take risks, and welcome criticism intended to help them improve.
In contrast, a fixed or stagnant mindset is theexact opposite of a progressive mentality. Those deemed as being “fixed” in their thinking are people who believe their intelligence and talents cannot change or evolve.
Individuals with a fixed mindset are close-minded, self-limiting, and essentially okay with just having the basics. There's really no desire to set goals for a better job, home, partner, or living standards. They tend to accept challenges as they come and let things “play out.” Not only that, they are usually averse to change, sensitive to constructive criticism, and fear failure.
11 Benefits of Growth Mindset
If you identify with the fixed mindset, there's one crucial thing you should know. People with a stagnant mentality tend to plateau early in life and achieve less than they’re truly capable of.
I understand that changing your thinking and behavior to achieve more is a major undertaking. However, having a burning desire to progress in all areas of life, regardless of challenges, and being open to trying different approaches can benefit you in the following ways.
1. Treat challenges as opportunities for growth
Avoiding challenges is one of the characteristics of individuals who believe their qualities or status in life are set in stone. For instance, you're okay remaining in the same job position. A new role at work means fresh challenges, so you're not up to the task.
An innate fear of failure also explains why you prefer to stay in your comfort zone. As you begin to adopt a progress disposition, you'll start seeing how challenges teach you new things and reveal areas that need improving.
By accepting new opportunities at work, you'll likely learn and earn more. That provides a chance for you to boost your lifestyle, whether it's buying a bigger home or investing surplus income.
2. No longer limit your talents and abilities
The old you believed you were already where you should be in life. That attitude prevented you from setting and achieving new goals. The new you is someone who's poised to enjoy all the benefits of growth mindset.
Your current can-do attitude supports your fresh views about yourself—that you can be a better person, grow smarter, and increase your skillset. Your dialogue changes from “I desire to look smart” to “I desire to learn new things.”
Whereas you gave up easily in the past out of fear of failure, you're now willing to give it a try. In fact, failure is no longer seen as the limit of your abilities but as an opportunity to grow.
3. Experience greater career success
You will need to be adaptable, willing to learn new skills, and ready to tackle any challenge for career growth.
According to a 2017 report by McKinsey Global Institute, “Seventy-five million to 375 million [employees] may need to switch occupational categories and learn new skills.” They'll need to do so in order to remain relevant in the workforce. Therefore, you cannot afford to go into the workforce with a static frame of mind. Employers have a tendency to shortlist prospective employees who have an eagerness to learn and the willingness to be trained in new roles.
4. Receptive to feedback
Progressing in almost all facets of life requires us to be open to self-improvement. Receiving feedback from others, such as new ideas and fresh perspectives, helps us to grow personally and professionally.
You'll find you more openly accept suggestions and advice once you transition to a progressive state of mind. This is a stark contrast to the limited mentality that caused you to think people were criticizing you. Now you realize they were trying to help you.
By being more receptive, you can clearly see skills that can be developed and behaviors that need changing.
5. No longer threatened by change
Having a mentality that is open to growth makes you more willing to embrace change. Your past rigid way of seeing your talents and abilities prevented you from agreeing to even positive change. In fact, the idea of something new or different was frightening. Not anymore.
Positive change is a part of development, and you'll begin to open-mindedly accept it as such. According to Entrepreneur.com, you'll process change as necessary for achieving your goals in an ever-evolving world.
6. Inspired by the success of others
Learning to draw inspiration from others' success is another of the benefits of growth mindset. Initially, you might have seen your peers as competition and did your best to outdo them. Whatever they did, you believed you can do better.
Your desire to be perfect went into overdrive because you had a point to prove. You've also seen other people's accomplishments as a threat to your position in the workplace or in relationships.
Now that you've developed this new way of thinking, you realize their progress is evidence that you, too, can maximize performance. You can also confidently celebrate your peers and not feel any less talented when they move up in life.
7. Experience less stress
Fixed mindsets tend to experience unnecessary stress from striving for perfection. The need to be perfect in everything they do is rooted in fear of failure, disapproval, and criticism. That's according to the Forbes article, The Power of Mindset in Overcoming Perfectionism.
Perfectionism is exhausting, increases task avoidance, and reduces productivity.
With a growth mind frame, you're more likely to remain calm and focus on the process rather than performance and outcomes. Taking this approach prevents obsessive scrutinizing, harsh self-criticism, and rumination over what you could've done better.
8. Improved romantic relationships
Relationships evolve and change just like people do. Some behaviors and habits that were once admired or accepted may start becoming sources of conflict. Sometimes, the issue relates to needing more money to deal with the increasing cost of living. In fact, financial problems are a leading cause of breakups and divorce.
You or your partner may need to get a better-paying job. Deciding to explore higher-paying jobs is a sign of wanting to do better for the sake of your relationship. Conflicts surrounding money will resolve, thereby reducing stress and tension between you too. Relief from financial problems gives you and your partner more time to focus on strengthening your relationship.
9. Better health
Stress from fears, perfectionism, and a lower standard of living from dwelling in stagnation may weaken physical and mental health. Prolonged activation of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, depression, and other health problems.
Seeing the world through the lens of growth tends to put your mind at ease. Instead of stressing over problems, you'll look for solutions. You understand that challenges are an integral part of life and it is your responsibility to change whatever threatens your well-being.
10. Greater desire to set SMART goals
A better career, healthier relationships, and increasing your standard of living start with setting goals to manifest these highly desirable things. But not just goals, SMART goals, along with a vision board to visualize your success.
Goals that are SMART are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. According to Oregon State University, smart goals are effective because they are designed to be realistic and easier to follow through on.
11. Chance to live the life you dreamed of
Having a growth mindset is key to building the life you want. Sitting in your comfort zone, passing up on opportunities, and running from challenges are success blockers. Possessing that hunger for greater and a go-getter attitude are the traits that will align you with success.
It doesn't necessarily have to be financial abundance. The true definition of success is personal. For you, living the life you dream of could be using your talents to work from home and simultaneously raise your children.
Tips for Developing a Growth Mindset
Based on the principles of neuroplasticity, it is possible to retrain your brain to develop a growth mindset. The shift is similar to developing a new habit and will take at least 30 days. Below are 10 tips to help you transform your thinking:
- Set SMART personal and professional goals
- View challenges as opportunities
- Acknowledge and embrace imperfections
- Try learning new things
- Use different strategies to problem solve
- Be willing to take calculated risks
- Replace “I'm failing” with “I'm learning
- Value the process over the end result
- Be consistent and flexible
- Believe in your ability to get better with time
Final Thoughts on Benefits of Growth Mindset
Developing a growth mindset is essentially cultivating a new habit, and won't happen overnight. Time and consistent effort are required to rewire your brain and construct new thinking pathways. Psychologists refer to this broadly as subconscious reprogramming.
Keep in mind that growth can be as simple as improving one area of your life that's a source of dissatisfaction or negativity. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing, complete 180. Start your transition today with 27 Habits to Develop the Growth Mindset in Your Life.