- At its core, a growth mindset sees opportunities instead of obstacles. Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, many individuals believe their intelligence, talents, and skills do not advance once they reach adulthood.
- An eagerness to learn is something every person with a growth mindset possesses. The same can also be said of someone who is at least relatively comfortable with failure. Jack Ma, for example, endured numerous failures before finding success with Alibaba.
- A growth mindset is also associated with a consistent ability to adapt to external forces. What’s more, individuals with this mindset are not afraid to learn from mentors or try new things.
At its core, a growth mindset sees opportunities instead of obstacles. It is also a mindset that views failure as a chance to improve and not as a reason to hide from the world.
Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, many individuals believe their intelligence, talents, and skills do not advance once they reach adulthood. This is known as a fixed mindset. However, psychologists believe that we transition through several stages of development over our lives, with each stage defined by a challenge that must be overcome before reaching the next.
Below we have listed some of the most important examples of how a growth mindset can be embodied in practice.
Be a lifelong learner
An eagerness to learn is something every person with a growth mindset possesses.
Many believe they are incapable of learning something new, with this belief particularly prevalent among older individuals. But the individual with a growth mindset never classifies themselves as too old to learn something new. One example is John Basinger, who at the age of 67 memorized the 60,000-word poem Paradise Lost.
Neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to external stimuli, is one of the key counterarguments for those who believe their talents and skills do not advance beyond adulthood.
Become more comfortable with failure
Growth and failure go hand in hand. Why? Because to grow, one needs to make mistakes to differentiate between what works and what doesn’t.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma is a classic example of failure as a driver of success. He failed his college entrance exams three times and was rejected by Harvard University a further ten times. It also took him about 25 years to get his company off the ground.
Those with a growth mindset see failure as a sign that they are taking action toward their goals. They are resilient individuals who understand that never failing means never trying.
Companies that embody a growth mindset can also adapt to the times. Nike, for example, is not selling the same style of shoe it did when it first started over half a century ago. Nor is it necessarily using the same materials, processes, or management styles.
Adaption requires consistency, which could also be considered an example of a growth mindset. One company that adapted but lacked consistency was Nokia. The Finnish multinational’s cell phones were adaptive for a time. Some would even say revolutionary. But with a stubbornness to then adapt to the emergence of smartphones, the company lacked the consistency to grow.
Draw inspiration from others
Those with a fixed mindset view the success of someone else as a threat. They compare their talents or abilities to an imagined benchmark, which is usually someone they believe is superior to them in some shape or form.
Growth mindset individuals are not intimidated by the success of others and do not let their egos stand in the way of improvement. In fact, the most successful people in any field or industry were once amateurs who likely received coaching or mentorship from a role model.
Trying new things
A growth mindset is associated with experimentation and trying new things. This can be a difficult growth mindset example to embody since many of us are reluctant to upset the status quo – particularly if we are good at what we do. Other reasons for not venturing outside our comfort zones are related to some of the topics we’ve already discussed, such as fear of failure or a perceived inability to adapt.
Trying new things is ultimately about attitude. An employee, for example, can adopt an attitude of openness to new experiences when upskilling or moving into an industry they’ve always been passionate about. They can also choose to accept adaptability (and indeed failure) as integral parts of growth.
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