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02/25/2012 09:39 AM

How to Change Your Mindset For Growth

Posts: 13126
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How to Change Your Mindset for Growth

By Ali Luke

Pop quiz. Which of these do you agree with?

1.Intelligence is fixed at birth.

2.Some people are creative, others aren't.

3.You can become a world-class expert through enough practice, whatever your starting point.

4.You can change your personality.

If you agreed with the first two statements, you're coming from a fixed mindset. If you agreed with the second two, you've got a growth mindset.

Just knowing that probably isn't very useful. What does it mean for you?

The Fixed Mindset

Having a fixed mindset means that you believe that your personality, skills and traits are pretty much set. They're in your genes. You might think back to the way parents or teachers labeled you as a kid – perhaps “bright” or “lazy” or “clumsy” or “sporty”.

If you're stuck in the fixed mindset, you want to keep proving yourself. “Success” means living up to what you believe yourself to be.

•If you believe you're intelligent, you avoid taking on anything too hard – anything which might make you look stupid.

•If you believe you're creative, you stick with the tried-and-trusted techniques which you already know – you don't want to produce something that doesn't work.

•If you believe you've got great business skills, you avoid taking risks – what if your company failed?

The fixed mindset can hold you back in other ways, too. It can lead you to focus on appearances over reality (so you cover up mistakes, for instance, rather than learning from them). It stops you taking on new challenges – perhaps playing a sport or learning a musical instrument – because you think you don't have the innate talent in those areas.

The Growth Mindset

Having a growth mindset means that you believe your personality, skills and traits can be changed. You believe that experience and practice count for a lot more than your genetics. You might think about all the things you've learned during your life – and all the times you've started off as a total beginner only to become really good at something.

In the growth mindset, you stop worrying so much about failure. “Success” means that you learned something – even if the outcome wasn't perfect.

•You want to become more intelligent, so you take on harder challenges which really stretch you. Sometimes you fail – but you always learn something.

•You want to become more creative, so you try out new mediums and take courses to improve your skills. Maybe you come up with something that doesn't quite work – but you know what to do differently next time.

•You want to be better at business, so you take risks and try something new. Not everything you do succeeds and sometimes you lose a bit of money – but you quickly learn what does and doesn't work.

The growth mindset isn't about positive thinking or kidding yourself. It's a recognition of how the brain really works – how new connections are being made all the time, new pathways forged, new memories stored. It means understanding that people aren't born as great athletes or musicians or business gurus – they become that way through constantly challenging themselves to go a step further.

How Can You Change Your Mindset?

It's pretty obvious that a fixed mindset doesn't serve you too well. It's a hard habit to break, though – I know that I'm still tempted to see intelligence, creativity and even ability to focus as innate traits rather than things we can develop.

It's definitely possible to change your mindset for growth, though. You could:

•Read more about fixed verses growth mindsets, and the structure of the brain. Try Carol S. Dweck's “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” and read the truth about some brain myths (particularly the section about brain damage).

•Spend fifteen minutes writing down a list of things you've learned during your life. You weren't born able to walk, talk, read, ride a bike, do math… And as a teen or adult, you'll have developed lots of complex skills – perhaps playing an instrument or using a particular bit of technology.

•Pick something you think you're bad at, and give it a go. Singing, drawing, writing, whatever it is … look for a beginner's guide or class and work through it. (There's a great example of how drawing can be learned in Hunter Nuttall's post on Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.)

•Look for success stories from people who seem “ordinary” – but who achieved extraordinary things through the effort they put in.

•Stop focusing on what you achieve; praise and reward yourself for effort. Don't shy away from challenges – take a step outside your comfort zone.

•If you accomplish something perfectly, don't get too smug. It was too easy a challenge. Find something harder to try next time!

I'd love to hear your own thoughts on fixed vs growth mindsets – and if you have any stories to share of times when you learned a great deal through putting in time and effort, let us know in the comments! growth/


02/28/2012 04:11 AM
Posts: 13126
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How Having a Positive Attitude Helps You Overcome Life's Challenges~My Odyssey

Have a Positive Outlook on Life.

Let's focus on how a positive mind-set can help individuals overcome life's challenges. There are just some people in the world who can not look past all the negative clouds in their mind. If you can not get past the negative and start looking at the positive than you will never be able to achieve your goals.

A positive mind-set can help you as a individual grow and develop skills and techniques to work towards your goals. Let's face it. You have goals right? Do you see yourself accomplishing things and having happiness and energy. Let's push past the excuses. Let's focus on putting your life out there and risking it for success.

First things first the key to having a positive outlook on life is that you have to have a healthy self-esteem and self-confidence.The self-esteem is the part of your self-concept that evaluates self-worth. Your self-concept is relatively stable set perceptions you hold on yourself. Many people have low self-esteem issues due to many reasons. Some people compare themselves to the rest of the world. Some people let the people they surround themselves with influence their abilities to change. Reflected appraisal is a mirroring of the judgements of those around him or her. When you receive support and encouragement from significant people than that is when you start to appreciate yourself.

Life Lesson: you are a individual and have your own special purpose. You control who is in your life and who is not. It is time to take charge of your life and get rid of those who are bad influences or are negative around you. You are better off in the end and more likely to succeed if you surround yourself with supportive people.

Time to work on that self-esteem of yours.

Self-esteem works two ways. The positive cycle and the negative cycle. The positive cycle equals high self-esteem and you have positive thoughts such as "I can do this." Or "I did a wonderful job today." Having a positive self-esteem gives you desirable behavior. The negative cycle means low self-esteem and you catch yourself thinking " I can't do this" or "Great, I failed again".

Remember to have a positive self-esteem you need to find out who you are. So Who Are You? Before reading on, why not do a self exploration exercise. Make a list of 10-20 words or phrases the most important features of who you are. Need some ideas? Describe Your social roles: student, mom, dad, daughter, son, employee, and so on and on. Describe your intellectual characteristics: smart, curious or inquisitive. Some people can refer to their self in moods such as optimistic, energetic, critical or adventurous. You can get creative because it is your list. You might see yourself in terms of beliefs: Christian, Pagan, vegetarian, liberal or conservative. Finally, focus on your skills, talents and interest: swimmer, artist, reader, or environmentalist. After all this, reflect over your list. This list will give you some sense of who you are and why your special. I find this a good exercise to build self-esteem. Because to have a healthy have to know Who You Are.

Sometimes people have a hard time building self-esteem because they have had a rough past. Some people have had to deal poor reinforcement from family or friends. Such as those who were picked on in school or parents belittled them. To some degree, we as individuals are in control of who we choose to for comparison. I know it isn't good to always compare yourself. But let's face it we humans always seem to compare and thrive by others. But you should learn to use comparison in a positive form.

However for those with rough past. There comes a point in life where you have to grow closure and move on. Today is a new day to start a new life. There are some things that are life experiences and are meant for you to learn from and move on. There are also things you could not have changed no matter what. Forgive or let go.

You also have to accept that the way you view yourself may be at odds with the way everyone else views you. Your mother-in-law may think your to quiet or that you would be the perfect person to be a secretary. When the truth is your a over-talker or you don't want to be a secretary because you want to be a doctor. Distorted feedback also can lead to a low self-esteem. You just need to keep a hold of that list and remember who you are. Keep motivated and work hard to work forward.

A healthy self-concept is flexible. People change. You will change over time. From moment to moment we are not the same. You could wake up and be so happy! Then after lunch feel grumpy. One day you will be interested in one topic and the next suddenly loose interest. As you change, your self-concept will need to change to remain realistic. Your self-concept should reflect who you are over time.

Down to the point: To change your self-concept you need to set realistic expectations for yourself.

Not everyone handles every situation perfectly. We are just human. Expecting yourself to reach a unrealistic goal is setting yourself up for a doom. Therefore you need to judge yourself in terms of your own personal growth. You also need to have a realistic perception of yourself.

One source of low self-esteem is because of inaccurate self-perception. Sometimes people are just to harsh on their selves. Cut yourself a break OK? Everyone makes mistakes and they learn from them. Time to pick up and grow.

Imagine yourself as a newly planted seed. It takes time, energy and work to blossom. However you NEED to have the will and motivation to change. You must be willing to do the necessary work to change your life. Whether that means cleaning up your messes you've made and moving on as a better person. Or growing as a individual on the road to self discovery.

Maybe you want to get rid of those bad people in your life or maybe just become a better parent or wife or husband. No matter what your goal is. You have to be able to do what it takes to change.

you will need to have the skill to change. Trying to change is nice but not enough. First you need to seek advice, from books and counselors. Read about what you want in life. Read about how to change and blossom into the person you want to be. Books and counselors will guide you down the path you need to be on. Secondly, observe people who you admire and learn from them. There are so many life models around us that will teach us. You can learn to do something if you just take the time to study it.

Things to think about in life: My career ambitions, feelings about your appearance, my options for mutual friends, my academic life, my family, my background, my culture, my problems, my relationships, my friendships, and your feelings.

You need to think about what you want in life and what you need to do to accomplish what you want. A good exercise for people who want to explore their options is to sit down and write down what your want in life. Make a realistic list. You can do anything you set your heart too.

Having a positive outlook:

Positive mind-sets help you as a individual grow. You will gain new skills and learn from your growing process. A positive mind-set will teach you to control your emotions and keep you focused on your path. You will learn to approve of yourself and begin to see the happiness of life. Easier said then done yes. But if you are motivated then take the first step. Everything takes baby steps. When you start changing, and growing in a proactive light is when you life will start to transform, your health will build and you will renew your passions. How nice would it be for you to start living again? To start breathing the fresh air and wake up in the mornings with some purpose. Do not waste your life away when opportunities are knocking at your door.

Positive mind-sets can gice you the power to turn your failures and your challenges in life into success. You push that success to a whole new level and accomplish things you have never dreamed of. Those people with the positive attitudes can look at their obstacles and can see through them with their faith and start working towards accomplishing their goals.

Your body and mind are interconnected and your emotions play a huge role in your growth. Therefore in your path of growth you will need to focus on getting your health in shape.

A healthy body means taking care of yourself, maintaining your weight, and exercising daily. Those who keep in shape feel much better about them selves. Which will start a spark in your self-esteem.

A unhealthy body means you do not care enough about yourself to take care of yourself. You smoke or drink, you eat junk food, you do not exercise and your waistline expands. Poor health leads to a poor attitude.

Take control of your life now. When your mind and body are in syncronicity with one another then you will start gaining a positive outlook on life. Which will give you exactly what you need to start working to achieve those goals.

You have to visualize what you want in life and work for it. Humans are visual creatures. We need to be motivated and see what is ahead for us. So do some research and visualize your path.


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