The Growth Mindset: Why Greatness Is A Habit, Not The End Goal

Written by Chris DuBois

What happened the last time you didn’t reach a goal?

Did you blame yourself for failing to execute? Maybe you decided you just weren’t cut out for it.

This is what happens with most people. They mean well and start on the right path to reaching their goals, and then for one reason or another, they break the chain. It comes in the form of a donut for breakfast instead of eggs or sleeping instead of going for a run. We often notice it and swear it won’t happen again, only to find ourselves a week later, making the same mistake.

But, what if I told you a simple change in your mindset could take common slips and put you on a quicker path to success? Well, once you see how shifting the paradigm to one that builds habits increases your chance of success, you’ll have the same opportunity.

Developing The Growth Mindset And Achieving Greatness

The term ‘growth mindset’ has become a household phrase. It’s one that connotes greatness and high achievement. Yet, for some reason, it’s not common among the mainstream. So many professionals have adopted this mentality and seen the results, but people act as though it was luck or an act of some higher power.

Well, I’m happy to be the one to break it to you, but all the growth mindset requires is some discipline and a hunger to improve yourself.

Fixed Mindset Vs. Growth Mindset

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. 

―William Jennings Bryan

The opposite of the growth mindset is a fixed one. With this way of thinking, you believe that everything you have and are can’t change. People with this mindset think they’re born with innate traits that express themselves as you age. They think there’s nothing you can do to learn things you’re naturally incapable of.

Because this mindset refuses to believe you can grow, additional effort is viewed as a negative. It’s like the student who says they’re better at English and that math is hard. Therefore, it’s pointless to try getting better at the latter since it’ll always be difficult.

Similarly, talent is viewed as finite. If someone is athletic, it’s not because of the years of practice and hard work. It’s because they were born with the right genes.

Now, a Growth Mindset is the complete opposite. Thinking in this manner opens you up to improvements because you realize nothing is finite. You believe you’re born with certain tendencies, but that just gives you a foundation to build on. It’s the student who’s bad at math but finds a way to make it more digestible so they can understand it easier. It’s the person who’s bad at sports but practices the basic skills until it becomes second nature and they make the team.

The growth mindset is one that gives you permission to explore new methods for Reaching Your Goals. Compared to the fixed mindset, where people think some goals aren’t meant to be achieved, a growth-minded person is on the path to reaching beyond their goals.

How To Adopt A Growth Mindset

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”

―Steve Maraboli

So, if Achieving Everything You Thought Possible is appealing, you’re probably wondering how to adopt the growth mindset for yourself.

First, you need to be able to stay optimistic. Everything in life hinges on your outlook, and if you have a pessimistic view on everything, you’ll be too focused on your demise to be able to improve. Optimistic people are ready for the future, no matter what it holds, because they’re going to make the most of what they get. They’re also more apt to gain followers because optimism, while just as contagious as pessimism, is much more enjoyable to experience.

As you start looking at the challenges you face, consider that a growth-minded person views them as opportunities. Every challenge is a way to learn something new and develop your abilities. Since you’re optimistic, you’ll look forward to each of these challenges and constantly seek larges ones to build yourself faster.

A fixed mindset will cause you to focus on a single way of doing things. This makes it impossible to think outside the box and come up with new and better solutions. A growth mindset means you’re willing to try new things because it’s how you learn.

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