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Challenge Day 2: Fixed or Growth Mindset?

Editor’s note: This is part of  30-day challenge series written by Hanane Anouna.   You can follow along and read the full series here.

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“Much of what you think of as your personality actually grows out of this ‘mindset.’ Much of what may be preventing you from fulfilling your potential grows out of it.” – Carol S. Dweck

Have you ever wondered why some people feel stressed, frustrated and even depressed when faced with big challenges like this pandemic and why others manage to see the positive side of it and move on? Why some people are very happy with what they have and why others are hunted with grief and grudge even when they have everything? Why some people are accumulating stories of success and why others are attracting continuous failures? Is it a coincidence? Is it due to our educational system? 

This is what Dr. Carol Dweck, one of the leading researchers about motivation and a psychologist at Stanford University, tried to answer in her book, “the Mindset” which explains the differences between the two mindsets: the growth and the fixed mindset, equating those who succeed or those who don’t.

One major idea about her book is that success in different areas of our lives is impacted by the way we perceive ourselves. One simple belief can either motivate us or hinder us from evolving. If you believe that you cannot succeed, that you don’t have the qualifications and the abilities, how can you take initiatives and change? the opposite is true.   

People with growth mindset are always willing to work harder and improve their skills.

  • They consider challenges as opportunities and failures as new ways of doing things.
  • They know how to remain focused and persistent as they are always ready to reset and start again when necessary.
  • They value efforts as they are convinced that it is the path to mastery.
  • They are comfortable with getting feedbacks and criticism from others as they believe that they can be useful as there is always something to learn from them.

The Benefits of Developing a Growth Mindset:

  • It will allow you to embrace challenges; failure can be a painful experience, but it doesn’t define you, it’s a problem to be faced, dealt with and learned from.
  • It will enable you to be more receptive to constructive feedback as this is the only way you can learn from your past failures and mistakes.
  • You will never fear great talents as you will be able to develop the confidence you need to improve whatever hinders you from progressing.
  • You will learn to persist despite the obstacles.

How Can You Change and Switch to a Growth Mindset?

According to Carol Dweck, there are 5 simple steps to change:

  1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.” Consciousness is key at this level. Try to observe yourself, your thoughts, your words, and your reactions to the challenges we are all going through, and write them down. Being surrounded by people with fixed mindset can drag you down and inhibit your grow. Be conscious of the people around you.
  2. Recognize that you have a choice. You will always have a choice either to spend your whole day on social media, on toxic content, useless discussions or on learning new skills or enjoying and supporting your family. You will have the choice to focus on problems or on solutions.
  3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice. This implies changing your words; instead of saving “I cannot do this”, replace it by “I need some feedback and help from others.” Instead of “I am not good at this”, change it by “I am not good at this YET, but I will learn”.

 In order to change your words, you need to change the perception about yourself, and start feeding your brain with positive things, healthy food, and challenges that will make you thrive.

  1. Take the growth mindset action. A lot of people are taking actions but in the wrong direction because they believe that they are not worth, they are not capable of succeeding, they are unlucky, or simply they cannot make it. Their actions will follow exactly these beliefs.

Remember, you will always have a choice.

  1. Change your vision about failure. Failure enabled me to reset everything from the beginning, learn new skills, and go for what I thrive for. This is what I learned from my  past failures:

Failure is just another way to do things differently. It can redirect you to the right path. 

Failure is a chance to make a revamp of the self to recheck your priorities and aspirations.

Failure is tough, challenging to the self, but at the end, you win as you discover your real you.

The more you fail, the more you learn, and the more you evolve. Fail big, but keep an eye on the key learnings as this is all what life is about.

“You cannot create a new life, new emotions if you don’t change the pattern of your thoughts and nurture them differently. You will have to make sure that your thoughts today are driving you to the right direction. If you are dreaming big, wish for a wonderful life, a successful professional journey, you may need to give up on mediocrity. You will have to embrace new thoughts, develop new skills, and go for new experiences. If you would like to be more positive, you will have to turn off all drama channels and filter whatever you see, watch and listen to. That’s why, you may not be able to control your external circumstances, but you can control your reactions.” – Hanane Anoua

About Hanane Anoua

Based in Morocco, Hanane Anoua is a certified life and executive coach, mentor, entrepreneur, and passionate writer with more than 13 years of professional experience. You can connect with Hanane on LinkedIn here.

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