It's no secret that we need to believe in ourselves to achieve success. But what if we don't feel like we have the confidence to do that? What if our inner critic always tells us we're not good enough? This is where the importance of developing a growth mindset comes in.
A growth mindset is all about believing in yourself and your ability to grow and improve. It's about seeing setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth and having an abundance mentality instead of a scarcity mentality.
Looking back, I believe I developed a growth mindset early in life. I was lucky to be born with high self-confidence and a competitive spirit. I wanted to be good at whatever I did and enjoyed winning. I've also always been a natural high achiever - even in the most insignificant things I attempted. I didn't know the psychology behind this attitude, but it served me well.
Now, as I look back, I realize I had a growth mindset, allowing me to challenge myself and achieve more. I understand that not everyone is born with this ability, but that doesn't mean you can't train yourself to think this way. You may struggle to view the world through a lens of abundance, but you absolutely can still learn how to develop this powerful trait.
With that said, today, I want to talk about what a growth mindset is and how it's essential for success in both business and life. I'll also share tips on developing a growth mindset and how it all begins with a perspective of abundance.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A person with a growth mindset believes you can develop your abilities and talents through dedication and hard work. They see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. And they believe their abilities are not set in stone but can be developed over time.
People with a growth mindset see everything as possible if they put their minds to it. (I know I feel this way.) Of course, certain factors are beyond our control, like our innate natural abilities (such as running speed and jumping height). But I firmly believe we can improve in areas under our direct control if we really want to.
In contrast, people with a "fixed mindset" believe their competencies are unchangeable. They think they can either do something or cannot. Because they believe their talents are set in stone, any failure reflects their lack of ability rather than their effort. As a result, they tend to give up easily when times get tough and make excuses for why they can’t achieve what they want in life.
The Importance of Having a Growth Mindset
Having a growth mindset is essential for success in any area of life. Why? Because when you have a fixed mindset, you're always trying to prove yourself. You're always trying to show that you're smart or talented enough. This can lead to self-doubt and anxiety because you're constantly worried about making mistakes or failing.
On the other hand, when you have a growth mindset, you're not as focused on proving yourself. You're more focused on learning and growing. This allows you to take risks and makes it easier to deal with failures because you know that they're just part of the learning process. You’re not afraid to come up short when trying something new, and it doesn’t hurt your ego.
For instance, I’m very competitive, especially in sports. However, I also like competing against opponents who are more talented than I am. That's because I quickly get bored playing against opponents I can easily defeat. Yes, I like to win, but I enjoy the challenge of attempting to go to a higher level against a skilled opponent because the success will feel like more of an accomplishment.
One of my sons has a fixed mindset, and as a result, he gives up quickly when things don't go his way. He would rather quit than take a chance and fail. He thinks if you can't do something perfectly, then there's no point in trying. But with a growth mindset, you know that mistakes and failures are just part of the learning process. So, you're more likely to stick with it even when things get tough.
The Importance of Starting from A Place of Abundance Vs. Scarcity
Two other terms related to this topic are abundance and scarcity. When it comes to having a growth mindset, it all starts with your perspective. Are you coming from a place of abundance or scarcity?
A lot of people come from a place of scarcity. They think there's only so much success to go around and that if someone else succeeds, they must fail. You hear this attitude all the time when it comes to economics. Many believe the rich got rich because they took from the poor. They think there’s a fixed amount of money in the world, and if one person has too much, they must have taken it from others. This is a scarcity point of view.
For example, I’ve encountered sales reps who thought they weren’t selling because one of the other reps always got all the good leads. They blamed their lack of success on the "system" instead of looking at themselves and identifying how they could improve. This kind of thinking creates endless competition and envy. It also leads to a fear of taking risks because you don't want to end up being the one who fails. It rarely leads to success.
On the other hand, when you come from a place of abundance, you realize there's enough success to go around. You know that someone else's success doesn't hold you back from succeeding either.
Surrounding yourself with successful people makes you better. This kind of thinking creates cooperation and collaboration. It also leads to more confidence and a willingness to take risks because you know that even if you fail, you'll learn from your mistakes and be better off for it in the end.
Tips For Having a Growth Mindset That's Focused on Abundance
If you want to have a growth mindset that's focused on abundance, here are a few tips to get you started:
Realize that there's enough success to go around. There's no need to compete with others. Instead, focus on your journey and what you want to achieve.
Don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who are better and more skilled than you. You can learn from them and grow as a result.
Focus on learning and growing. See failures as opportunities to learn and improve.
Be resilient. Don't give up easily. Stick with it even when things get tough.
Believe in yourself. Have confidence in your ability to achieve your goals.
Take risks. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone because that’s where all the great things happen.
If you want to succeed in any area of life, working on having a growth mindset is essential. Focusing on learning and growing, being resilient, and believing in yourself is a great place to start. Positive self-talk and hard work could go a long way in helping you achieve your goals and grow as a person.