A Growth Mindset
By Tanaka Adeyemo, 4 min read
“You’re a mother, a wife, you work full time and you started a business… Where on earth do you get the time and how are you not stressed?”
I get it, I really do. When you read all of that, you immediately know it all requires a lot from a person for it all to work. This is the situation that a lot of people today are in and I believe it’s important to share some of the things we all do to help ourselves be better. I am still in the process of trying to figure out what the right balance is for my family and I, but what has helped me manage is understanding who I am right now and working on my mindset.
Taking the time to learn about myself has revealed some not so great truths that I was too afraid to confront in the past, and some amazing truths about my abilities too. I made the conscious decision to focus on the harder stuff and I can honestly say that has helped me a great deal all round: mindset being the biggest area.
A Growth Mindset and why it’s important…
A growth mindset, simply put, is the belief that you can develop and improve your basic abilities through hard work, discipline, and dedication. Without it you do not put in the work you need to in order to progress and you remain stuck. Having a growth mindset means you are more likely to take risks and you welcome challenges as they are an opportunity to learn and develop. As a result, you are always trying new things, building new skills and experiencing a lot more due to not having that ‘fear of making mistakes’ that occurs when you have a fixed mindset.
I have not always had a growth mindset, although it always ‘called out to me’ so to speak. Getting to where I am today in relation to my mindset has required (and still does require) me putting in a lot of work to change my thinking and be more ‘can do’ rather than ‘it’s not possible’. I used to be the one who would find every excuse not to do something all because of fear and it stopped me from going for the things I wanted. I decided to spend time developing myself because I wanted more.
A few ways to help with developing a growth mindset:
1. Acknowledge and embrace imperfection in self and others.
We all have flaws and I am yet to meet someone who has none what-so-ever. It’s important to understand that you (and others around you) are not perfect. Learn to embrace your imperfections. Once you do, you can move past that fear of things not being perfect and being judged because of it. Also, understand your “perfect” may be someone else’s “imperfect”, so just get started with that idea you’ve had and work on it along the way.
2. Face your challenges boldly.
When faced with challenges there can be a fight or flight response. My response used to be to flee. Flee far, far away and don’t turn back to see what’s happening. I used to hate dealing with difficult situations because “me, I don’t like stress” or “it’s too hard”. That also meant I never really grew much as a person. When faced with a challenge, stop and analyse the situation in your mind. Consider the challenge as an opportunity as this will shift your perspective to make it easier to tackle. Look at the positive things you will gain if you manage to get to the other side and see what you could learn. Take that and run with it! You will discover abilities about yourself you didn’t even know you had.
Fear is a normal human emotion and is a survival mechanism. You will always feel some level of fear when faced with something that is difficult, new and uncomfortable. The trick is to “feel the fear and do it anyway” (a book by Susan Jeffers, I highly recommend it, the audible is good as well).
3. Pay attention to your words and thoughts.
"Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life." - Tony Robbins
Start to pay more attention to your thoughts and the words that you consistently speak. You must replace negative thoughts with positive ones to help build a growth mindset. I would even go a step further and analyse the conversations you have with your people. If all that occurs is negative conversations, then maybe it is also time to find positive minded people to surround yourself with. It’s easier to train yourself to be more positive if you are surrounded by people who are positive.
4. Stop seeking approval from others.
Easier said than done for some, but necessary. Self-acceptance and self-approval are one of the best ways to move past fear of judgement. If you can pat yourself on the back and praise yourself when you are doing a good job, then you will never need others to do it for you. While it’s nice to hear it from others, it wouldn’t be a ‘need’. Learn to trust yourself, believe in yourself and show love to yourself.
5. Take risks in the company of others.
You will make mistakes and you won’t always know what needs to be done. It’s okay! Become comfortable with taking risks, making mistakes and learning in front of others, because if you are growing this is bound to happen. Just as a baby falls in front of people when they are learning to walk and they get up again, so will you!
6. Be realistic.
Rome was not built in the day as they say. Changing how you have been for years is also not something that can be done in a day. It takes time to learn a new thing and to become a better version of you, so be kind to yourself. If you are consistent and realistic with yourself, you will get to where you want to be!
In conclusion, understand that your mindset is the difference between success and failure in anything. If you want to do better, then you must be better and it all starts with your mind.
Find out more about the author of this blog post Tanaka, who is also a H&H Member below: