Anyone can change a fixed mindset. It’s not easy, but with hard work and strategic changes, you can develop a growth mindset to lead you toward your goals. Here are five steps to take:
It’s all right to admit when you’re not great at something. It’s not all right to assume that a given weakness or failing is permanent. Instead, pinpoint the skills or attitudes that need improvement, and explore ways to remediate them.
One of the scarier parts of developing a growth mindset is beginning to take risks. By definition, risk-taking is intimidating, but it’s especially so if you have a fixed mindset and believe that skills and talents are limited. With that outlook, the potential reward is diminished by the potential cost of the risk.
In that case, start small. Try learning a new skill at which you have yet to excel. By taking a class or even earning a degree, you can develop skills — even those you have struggled with previously — while changing your internal dialogue to one of practice and opportunity (e.g., “I need to improve my finance skills, and I can do that by studying in this class,” rather than, “I can’t do finance and won’t even try to learn more about it.”).
If you have a fixed mindset, there’s a higher chance you have avoided taking certain actions because of past mistakes and failures. However, a growth mindset leads to different responses after a failure. Instead of letting failure stop you or hold you back, you will be more inclined to learn from your mistakes.
For example, if you received a bad review for a specific project in the past, you may have avoided similar projects ever since. As you develop your growth mindset, you should return to those projects, apply what you learned from your mistakes and build your skills to help you reach your goals instead of remaining stuck where you are.
If you have been living with a fixed mindset, then your view of what’s possible for your future might be limited. One way to know if you’re beginning to develop a growth mindset is to start envisioning a more creative and long-term outlook for your life.
This can mean expanding your horizons and education by earning a degree, starting your own business or setting your sights on higher-level, leadership-based roles within your current company. If your fixed mindset has been limiting your opportunities, now is the time to start imagining what could be possible if you allowed yourself to grow and change over time.