The surprising power of Growth Mindset

Sure, you have big goals, phenomenal dreams and amazing drive. Yes, you seek satisfaction in bettering yourself and others around you for the greater good. All these aspirations that you have within yourself are undoubtedly great, but…. consistently executing and materializing those goals to keep moving you closer to realising your dreams into reality is a whole different story.

“The only difference between your dreams and your reality is action.”

OK, let’s take a closer look at the “action” part. Once you start taking the actions that will turn those dreams into reality, you will certainly face roadblocks and challenges. Like you, I have faced countless challenges in my life as an entrepreneur, business coach, parent and all the other hats that I wear every day. The roadblocks, challenges, issues, obstacles, whatever you want to call them are usually not the “real problem”. The “real problem” is often the voice of self-judgement that pops up in your head when you are not able to solve the problem. The process usually looks like this:

You face a problem > You try to solve it > You fail > You start negatively criticizing your skills at problem solving > You put in less effort > You give up easily > You start to avoid future problems…… And the loop continues.

This behaviour pattern tends to increase the gap between your dreams and your reality and a point may come where you have knocked yourself down so far that you stop daring to have big dreams and aspirations.

One of the reasons for self criticism comes from the interesting belief that intelligence is static and cannot be improved from its current state.  Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, coined this as “fixed mindset”. She writes in her book Mindset –  “For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value…Believing that your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.”

Now let’s look at the flip side of “fixed mindset”. Dr Dweck coined that term as “growth mindset”. Essentially, this is the theory  that intelligence can be developed through hard work, good strategies and well thought out input from others. It is not as straightforward as saying that we all have either “fixed” or “growth” mindsets, there’s a bit more to it than that. In essence, we may have a more dominant tendency of either a “fixed” or “growth” mindset. With a little self-awareness and self-inquiry you can discover where you stand.

The journey of facing a problem and overcoming it with a dominant “growth mindset” tends to be like:

You face a problem > You try to solve it > You fail > You objectively analyze your failure and learn from it > You try again and put in more effort > You see the effort as a path to success > You embrace future challenges…..and the loop continues.

This set of behaviour will reduce the gap between your dreams and your reality as you progress through more achievements, learning new skills and increasing your self-confidence for tackling problems.

Regardless of the “growth and fixed mindset” terms, we are all familiar with the idea that having a positive attitude and persisting in times of failure leads to great success in the long term. This process of growth is accelerated when you are surrounded by people of similar growth mindsets that help support you and can share strategies of overcoming obstacles. I have grown hugely both as a person and as an entrepreneur by attending private retreats and masterminds where I have learnt from other inspirational entrepreneurs.

Although my path has been far from easy,  and I have faced many challenges on my journey, I have continued to successfully grow my own coaching business. Crucially, I have persisted, learned from my mistakes and gained tremendous insights from many other successful entrepreneurs. It gives me great delight to say that now I am that stage where I host my own private mastermind retreats!

I would love to share the experience and knowledge I have gained during my journey to help you grow and succeed.

After reading this article – how you would answer this simple question below? Reflect on the answer. I believe, we all have wisdom in us and sometimes asking the right questions can help us shift perspectives and formulate the right strategies and mindsets that will bring us closer to making our dreams a reality.

If you could project yourself 10 years ahead – what would your current self need to hear from your future self?