You may know of Sisyphus, a figure from Greek mythology who was punished for being deceitful. His punishment was to roll a giant rock up a hill. But, whenever he neared the top, the rock came tumbling back down.
Sisyphus continued to push the rock uphill because he had a growth mindset. Similarly, we too can develop a growth mindset with time and effort. Read on to understand the meaning of growth mindset and how it’s instrumental to personal growth.
What is Growth Mindset?
In 2006, Carol Dweck, an American Psychologist, popularized the concept of ‘mindset’ in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success. She studied student’s attitudes about failure and proposed that people have underlying beliefs about learning and intelligence because of their mindset. Dweck went on to bifurcate it into what we today know as ‘growth mindset’ and ‘fixed mindset’.
The definition of growth mindset is much simpler than it sounds. In a nutshell, it is the belief that skills and intelligence can be improved with effort and persistence. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, stay resilient in the face of difficulties, learn from constructive criticism and seek out inspiration in others’ success.
Why The Growth Mindset Matters
People with a growth mindset are determined to learn irrespective of failures or successes. More often than not successful people continue on their self-improvement journeys even after they ‘make it’ in life. Let’s look at these two examples of growth mindset to understand how people continue to learn despite opportunities and/or challenges.
Growth Despite Success:
Rajiv Bhatia, better known as Akshay Kumar is dubbed as a ‘megastar’ of Bollywood. He has had one of the most successful careers in the Indian film industry. Despite several achievements, Akshay continues to lead a highly disciplined life. He follows a strict schedule and continues to take on challenging roles for his professional growth.
Growth Despite Failure:
Tina Jatin Khanna, better known as Twinkle Khanna was born in a house of two superstars. She’s acted in several films but did not succeed as expected. However, it hasn’t stopped her from taking on other avenues for growth and success—a life outside Bollywood. She pursued interior designing and has authored several books. She persevered because of a growth mindset.
Ways To Develop The Growth Mindset
Adopting a growth mindset isn’t an easy task. You need to step outside your comfort zone to accommodate changes. Here are a few ways to develop a growth mindset:
Acknowledge & Embrace Imperfection
A growth mindset makes you comfortable with this fact: it’s impossible to know everything. We all have our flaws and imperfections but that shouldn’t stop us from pursuing anything.
Stop Seeking Others’ Approval
We often obsess over what everyone thinks of us. Seeking others’ approval can prevent us from improving ourselves. For example, you’ll present business ideas that are risk-averse because you don’t want to upset your manager. You’ll be afraid to think outside the box.
Develop A Sense Of Purpose
Take a moment to ask yourself, “is my life purpose-driven?”. If yes, define what your purpose is and how you want to achieve it. It’ll help you identify the skills and knowledge you need to fulfill your end-goals.
Speed Isn’t Important
Good things always take time. Learning a new skill is like learning to play a new instrument. You continue to practice it to maximize the impact of your training. A growth mindset teaches you that speed isn’t important as long as you put in the effort and work towards success.
Turn Criticism Into Lessons
There will be times when you make mistakes or don’t perform well. People will give you feedback and tell you how to do better. Don’t look at feedback as a criticism of your abilities. Be open to suggestions and strive to do better.
The concept of growth mindset by Carol Dweck is a revolutionary one. You get to define what success means to you and you understand why ‘practice makes perfect’. Harappa Education’s Interpreting Self course will show you how to understand yourself, by identifying your strengths as you discover your best possible self. The Johari Window will help you pinpoint blind spots that prevent you from improving. The River Of Life framework will help you reflect on life-shaping experiences. Remember, it’s not always about the destination but the journey you choose to make!
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