Planting the Seed of a Growth Mindset

The core of our beliefs rest in two types of mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. In this post I will be putting forth some of my learnings on how to nurture the growth mindset. When I say “growth mindset” I mean the conviction that my passions, skills, talents, can be developed further. There is a desire in me to do so. I wish to work towards becoming better, and most importantly focussing my energies towards learning to achieve that. Overall, this gives me a sense of purpose.

To stay on track, I find exercising my mind constantly to stay focussed is very important. What is it that I want to achieve? And, how will it make me feel when I reach that goal? The second part – the feeling aspect – is a great motivator for me. I would know something about that because it is my sixth year of pursuing my PhD. It has been a hard uphill road. I find that keeping my blinkers on, and looking at the journey I have had till here keeps me going.

So, let’s get started:

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Dream Big and Visualize Everything: What is that you want to achieve? Include everything, and please do not hold yourself back. Whether it is owning your own company, setting up a studio, buying Birkin bags, going on fabulous holidays, writing books, and getting that doctorate. Be abundant with yourself and put everything down. You do not have to worry about how you will do it, is it rational or is it beyond your class level – it does not matter. These are your dreams and the least you can do is give yourself the space to imagine them fully. This is your personal space, no one will humor you, no one will judge you, so go right ahead and build your mood board, and / or list, or picture, or pinterest, envision them completely.

I find myself repeatedly visiting my conjured rooms, and they have grown to bring me great comfort. I have started looking upon them not as aspects of constant unachievable frustrations, but rather things that will happen eventually in my life. Everyday I reinforce that belief. Everyday I take a small step towards them. Even as small as getting out of bed and getting dressed to show up.

What this does for you is that it gives you something concrete to look at – to go forward for; and the power of this is unimaginable. Once you know what you want, have it down for you to see, and know how it will make you feel, it provides you with an energy that is positive and constructive.

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Do Something that Scares You: I am terribly anxious person with a diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder that extends to being Social Anxiety Disorder. I facilitate workshops, mentor learners, and am constantly presenting to large and small groups. It frightens me, but I focus on my need to help people, rather than how my mind is building fences to keep me in. When I falter, I physically as well as mentally shift my focus. Sometimes, it is obvious to people watching, and I am okay with that. I accept: I, too, am learning, like everyone else.

Here is one of the biggest goof-ups that has happened to me; I switched during the session from thinking: “what the hell is going wrong with this Hangout?” to “how can we learn and benefit from this session”. It is one of my most embarrassing, cringe-worthy moments, but it did not prevent me from doing more successful Hangouts with learners.

I feel that most of us have a tendency to opt for safer options, and that is fair enough, we have been built for survival. However, growth happens only outside our comfort zones. I ask myself what is my biggest fear about this, what if they were not going to come true – sometimes, they do come and I am posting the above video to show that it is okay to fail! I respect myself enough to know I tried my best, now I know how to make Hangouts work, and I can conduct them successfully, something I did not know earlier. This benefits my mentoring duties, and I am not letting my fears get the better of me.

Are you afraid of failing or of what people will think if you fail?

Check in with yourself – what motivates you, and what are you placing your focus on!
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No to Negativity: You have to let the haters be! You can not change everybody, and not everybody is going to understand you, and that is okay. I have spent a disproportionate number of hours trying to convince people to see things from my eyes. I do realize, now, that negativity and people who think wrong about you – they have no role to play in your growth. They are not going to help, so just let them slide. They only start impeding your development if you allow them to. Thus, mindfully, remove yourself from people that are energy sappers, who constantly criticize, who bitch about you, troll you, and don’t let you be you.

Remember: what you tolerate, you attract. Saying “no more” is a practice – it does NOT make you a bad or lesser person.

Positive Thought: Everything happens for a reason. It is happening for you, and not to you.

Convince yourself: there is a bigger reason for things to go a particular way.
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Practice Gratitude: Be grateful for things you have. The more your heart holds recognition for the joys you do have, the more you change your attitude to positivity, the more you thrive. Believe that you live an abundant life. This is a powerful thought, if you truly make this switch in your mind, it can make you feel spiritually uplifted. In meditation practice, it generates an aura of plenty that attracts more from the cosmos towards you.

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Don’t Question Your Journey: What you have done so far has got you till this point. When I think of where I came from, what I been through, everyday I celebrate the fact that I am alive, that I took the decisions that I did. I have made some pretty good, sturdy, and reliable choices, and I trust myself to continue to do so. With this I am making myself cognizant of my determination, the resolve I have to reach where I want to go. So, when I look back I do so with immense pride, not with shame and regret, but with triumph and thrill.

Ask yourself:

1. What happens if you don’t do something, and what happens if you do do it?

2. How have you let this situation define you? What does this inform you about your identity?

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I hope this article helps you ignite a growth mindset. I have personally benefited from it, and would love to hear your thoughts on what more can be done.

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