To measure growth in business, progress is typically evaluated against a series of key performance indicators.
Personal growth, on the other hand, is less contingent upon facts and figures. Regardless of where our progress stands, personal growth is largely rooted in our mindset.
By developing a growth mindset, we can begin treating every challenge or failure as an opportunity to keep learning and improving.
“A growth mindset is about forming capabilities over time,” says James Arthur Ray, leadership and performance advisor and best-selling author of Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want. “The person with a growth mindset sees everything as input for further development, advancement, and growth.”
Ready to give your mentality a makeover? Here are 4 ways to develop and maintain a growth mindset:
1. Understand that stress isn’t going anywhere.
Daily stressors might be difficult, but they can’t be ditched for good. You can agonize over your late nights at work all you want, but it won’t help alleviate any pressure.
“Afterhours work is here to stay,” says Ray. “It’s up to you to update your perception of such tasks and turn them into an opportunity for personal growth.”
So instead of perceiving your heavy workload as a challenge you need to overcome, focus on the skills and knowledge you’ll gain from tackling it.
Whether you conquered your tasks flawlessly or made a few mistakes, a growth mindset is about believing in your ability to constantly improve through perseverance.
2. Take a minute to be mindful.
By shifting your focus toward the overarching outcome, the pressure becomes less about discomfort and more about purpose.
Our brains are consistently crammed with new material, and that buildup can turn to burnout fast.
On those particularly hectic days, a little mindfulness can be just the quick reset you need – without digging into your valuable time.
While mindfulness is often linked to relaxation, the practice can also boost your focus when you need it most.
Ray recommends looking at a watch for one minute and fixating your focus there, bringing your mind back each time it begins to wander. Once you master one minute, try bumping it up to two or three minutes.
“The practice requires a tremendous amount of focused willpower,” says Ray. “This translates to more productivity in the workplace.”
So when you begin to feel that brain fog coming on, take a minute for some much-needed mindfulness.
You’ll return to your tasks feeling refueled and motivated, rather than uncomfortable and overwhelmed.
3. Think feedback, not failure.
While many of us are conditioned to being penalized or reprimanded for failing, a growth mindset is all about embracing these mistakes.
Rather than deciding that you simply lack the talent, start viewing weaknesses as opportunities to better yourself.
“By adopting a growth mindset, you’ll realize that your natural talents are merely a starting point,” says Ray. “You can then begin to view the future as a place for movement and improvement.”
So instead of consciously avoiding tasks that you know you struggle with, give yourself permission to make mistakes.
Remind yourself that your intelligence can grow with time – but only after that first step outside of your comfort zone.
4. Find your unique genius.
Without genuine passion in our work, it’s challenging to muster up the enthusiasm to give our whole-hearted effort.
Sometimes, a little self-awareness can help you determine where you’ll truly thrive.
“Go back to your earliest memories, and think about what you were naturally attracted to when you were young,” says Ray. “That’s your unique genius.”
Whether it’s the desire to create art or a passion for helping others, tap into your unique genius and commit to it.
Ultimately, a growth mindset is all about the effect of effort on success – so wouldn’t it be easier to work toward something you love?
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