Have you ever heard this saying?
Leaders are made, not born.
I’ve always found this quote comforting—it shows that not all of our gifts are assigned at birth. Our talents can be developed and shaped through practice and passion.
However, I know some may disagree and believe that we are simply born with certain talents. Those who follow this belief likely follow a fixed mindset. That means that if you are a bad public speaker or a mediocre pianist, no amount of nurturance or development will help you.
The opposite of a fixed mindset is a growth mindset. People with this mentality believe in personal development through concentrated efforts to grow and learn. Although you might not be the greatest starting out, you still have the ability to improve.
I strongly advocate for a growth mindset because it encourages us to take responsibility for our lives because we know that we can control what we do with our lives.
Here are three benefits that show why a growth mindset helps you to build the life that you want.
A growth mindset encourages learning.
The growth mindset and fixed mindset were popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck in her article “Brainology.”
In this article, she conducted an experiment among two groups of children. The first group was praised for their efforts and openness to challenges while the other group was praised solely or their intelligence.
Next, they were offered to solve a set of either challenging problems or easy problems.
The data shows that the group praised for their efforts were more willing and even excited to tackle the challenging problems. In contrast, the group praised for their intelligence opted for the easier set of problems.
Why is this?
Well, it is believed that the intelligence group wanted to uphold the “appearance” of intelligence. Because they were acknowledged for a specific trait, they wanted to uphold these expectations. Rather than learning and growing for failure, this group opted for an easy victory.
However, to grow is to sometimes experience discomfort. That discomfort can come in the form of struggling a material or it can even appear in the form of total failure.
A growth mindset values these hardships because each failure becomes an opportunity to learn. Rather than quitting after a few setbacks, a person with a growth mindset might ponder the situation to see what they could improve on and then try again next time.
A growth mindset promotes resiliency.
The ability to try again and again after repeated failures requires incredible resiliency. Part of having a growth mindset is embracing the process despite inevitable struggles.
Because let’s face it.
Life is difficult and riddled with challenges that constantly test our courage, patience, and resilience. And the tough part is that we don’t always win every challenge life throws at us.
This reality becomes a humbling experience because you’re forced to reckon with your weaknesses. However, this does not mean that you are defeated by your weaknesses.
Rather, a growth a mindset helps you remember that even in failure you will encounter many more opportunities to try again until you finally achieve your well-deserved victory.
It reminds you that you always have two choices during adversity: to get up and try again or to stay down.
A growth mindset allows you to hold the reins.
A growth mindset means that you control your life.
This means that you make the decisions, but it also means that you assume the responsibility of shaping your future.
And this responsibility can be terrifying!
Sometimes, it’s so easy to get swept up in your personal hardships and allow that to justify giving up. Blame it on your childhood, a toxic relationship, or just the unfairness of life. Or if you have a fixed mindset, maybe you might think to yourself that you just didn’t have it in you to begin with.
This sounds way easier than taking responsibility for your life.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it positions us as victims of our circumstances.
But this doesn’t have to be true for you. You can make a change.
“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions” ~Stephen R. Covey
I agree with Stephen Covey when he said this because he’s right: so much of our attitude towards life depends much on how we react to our circumstances.
People with a fixed mindset might automatically resign themselves to their circumstances. They are comfortable with the complacency and ease of traveling through life in the passenger seat.
However, those with a growth mindset take life by the reins and travel in the direction of their dreams.
And guess what?
To make the deliberate decision to work towards your amazing goals demands a growth mindset. Because these types of goals place you outside your comfort zone and it’s out here where you are learning and growing as an individual.
So, dare to strive and even dare to fail because you know that it’s all part of the process that shapes you into the amazing person you are today.
Dan Recio loves sharing actionable tips on achieving your goals at Motivationalist so that you can build the life you want. Set yourself up for a productive week with his free guide: 7 Sunday Habits to Conquer the Week.