Friday, July 10, 2020

How To Cultivate A Growth Mindset



July brings active, expansive energy. Expansion is the act or process of increasing capacity, the ability to stretch, or to unfold. It’s the time of year to reach out and make a move towards what you want.

How can you take advantage of this active energy to increase your capacity?

Allow yourself to grow.

Cultivating a growth mindset lets you expand and grow. Challenge yourself to engage in this active, summer energy to expand in the direction you want to go.

Here's how I am expanding...

Learn How to Cultivate a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset means to turn mistakes into learning opportunities so I can continuously grow.

I spent most of my life held captive by society’s expectation. This created a limited (or fixed) mindset. I would not trust my own opinions, instead, I felt the need to always be validated by others.

I had a horrible inner monologue that was always putting myself down. I knew I couldn’t do something, so I didn’t try. I’m not sure if this fueled my anxiety or my anxiety fueled it, but it was a cocktail of nervous energy that never got me anywhere. Once I began to understand what was happening and that I could do something about it, I wanted to learn everything I could.

The answer revealed a growth mindset. The ability to learn and change shifted my entire perspective. I didn’t convert overnight. Sometimes I still have to walk myself through meditations reminding myself of my power - the ability to choose and change.

I always chastised myself for making mistakes. “I’m so stupid, I should have known better.” “I’m never going to get it, why even try?” I told myself these things for years limiting my options and making myself miserable.

Once I allowed, even encouraged, myself to make mistakes, my entire world changed.

Instead of viewing mistakes as the proof you aren’t good enough, consider what you can learn and how you can grow.

Learning How to Process Change

Processing change means to act, assess, and adjust so I can learn to grow and expand my confidence.

Humans are great at adaptation. That is how we got to the top of the food chain and built our complex society. However, the society I grew up in made me fear change. Maybe it was my own body that rejected the idea of the unknown manifesting in anxiety.

The only constant is change. This is an old quote, but true. You change as a person over and over again. You like different things now than you did a year, three years, or five years ago.

With a limited mindset, these changes felt unsure and confusing. I spent a lot of time full of fearful energy.

Change can be scary, but staying the same in an unhappy state is even scarier.

Learning about a growth mindset has changed my perspective to one of curiosity and exploration. I have gained experience that shapes my views and my attitude.

I am no longer as fearful of the unknown. This is largely because I learned how to process change. It became manageable. Once I understood it, I could shift my perspective to accept it or make a different choice.

I process change by always looking forward. I meditate on what is going well and what needs to improve. If a method doesn’t work, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean I did something wrong or that it wasn’t worth trying.

Ask questions and seek answers with curiosity. Since we are always changing, anything that doesn’t work can evolve into the next iteration of something that does.

Change doesn’t have to be fearful, it can be liberating and inspiring when you understand how to process it.

Learn How to Act Mindfully
Acting mindfully means to overcome the fear of making a mistake by considering outcomes so I can move forward with a decision.

A limited mindset caused me to freeze. I couldn’t decide what action was best, so I would do nothing at all. This meant many decisions were made for me, without my input.

It took me a long time to stop pleasing others at my own expense. I feared hurting someone’s feelings or causing a conflict. I avoided all conflict at great cost, often to myself.

A growth mindset offers the ability to make my own choice. Acting mindfully means I look at the available information and make the best choice. I am not rash, but I also take the initiative to move forward in the direction I choose.

The fear of making a wrong choice is lessened because we are always changing. I can make a different decision at any time.

Learn How to Trust Myself

Trusting myself means to believe in my ability as I transform so I can tap into my highest potential.

Fear held me back from making a choice because I didn’t want to make a bad one. I wouldn’t do anything without knowing 100% that it was okay. This meant I didn’t do much of anything for a long time. I feared I would get myself into a situation I wouldn’t be able to handle or that I would upset someone.

As I learned about a growth mindset, I realized the crux was that I didn’t trust myself. I relied on everyone else to have a better idea, a better opinion, and a better way. I never believed my decisions were worthy of being acknowledged, even by myself.

It took daily mantra readings to convince myself I am strong. I am capable. I am worthy. I am enough.

As I make choices and keep moving forward, I learned to trust myself. This has cultivated my confidence. I believe I can make a good choice and handle what comes next. It is like a muscle that improves with use. The more I trust myself and put myself out there, the more capable I feel.

Learn How to Ground into Routine

Ground into routine means to repeat one daily action to find comfort in the uncomfortable as I constantly change.

I have a journal I write in every morning. I write down whatever is on my mind, dreams if I have them, and at least three things I am thankful for.

Since I do this daily, it is a routine that I can depend on. I can be uncomfortable on that page and release it from my psyche. I can find comfort by defining my emotions and concerns. This process allows me to understand my thoughts more clearly and possibly find a new perspective.

This routine doesn’t have to be journaling, that is simply what works for me. We are all different, embrace that! Find what works for you. It can be a workout routine, meditation, a meal, a self-care ritual, or whatever offers you peace and perspective.

What routine can you ground into to find perspective and comfort during the uncomfortable?

Learn How to Have Fun

“Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.” I heard this quote in college and it really stuck with me. I tend to get anxious and that makes me really serious. I fear every choice I make, convinced it will be a bad one.

Once I began learning how to have a growth mindset, I was able to see that stiffness as part of the problem. I would take something personally that was not intended that way at all. I lost a part of myself to constant doubt. I never believed I was good enough.

Smiling and having fun releases dopamine into your body that allow you to relax. This allows you to actively expel negative energy. The more you do this, the happier you feel.

Growth mindset shifts your perspective. It’s about enjoying what you are doing because you aren’t afraid anymore. All of the things I am learning about how to change and grow end with the goal to have fun.


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Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

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