Why a Growth Mindset is Essential Throughout Life

growth mindset

Life is a gift that should be treasured always, it is something to respect and cherish. Some things in life are essential while some things are not. Understanding the difference can enrich one’s experience as a living being. 

That said, having a growth mindset is incredibly important in life. Here’s why. 

What is a Growth Mindset?

Let’s begin by illustrating how to define ‘growth mindset’. The simplest way to do this is to say that it is the exact opposite of a fixed mindset. That is to say that someone with a growth mindset believes in their potential to improve, learn more, and expand the breadth of their own intelligence. 

The definition of a growth mindset is the belief in one’s own ability to become more intelligent and overcome obstacles. 

By contrast, someone with a fixed mindset believes that the level of intelligence they currently possess is the end of the line. In other words, they believe that it is impossible to develop intelligence continuously. 

When someone has a growth mindset, they don’t just believe that it is possible to become progressively more intelligent. They have the drive, which means they are willing to work for it. 

Make no mistake, having a growth mindset is not the same as having the sensation of blind optimism. People that have a proper growth mindset recognize that to be more intelligent, they will need to make an effort and sustain the frustrations of trial and error.  

Exploring the Pitfalls of a Fixed Mindset

So, what is the downfall of a fixed mindset? For one thing, people with a fixed mindset tend to stagnate and stay in the same place throughout life. That’s not to say that they don’t move around or try living in different areas. It means that they typically fail to advance to more significant positions in life or relationships. 

A fixed mindset is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy in which someone never improves their circumstances because they have decided that they don’t think it is possible to do so. Individuals with a fixed mindset don’t benefit from education, as much as someone with a growth mindset would because they don’t believe in education. They don’t believe in education because they don’t think that they can get any wiser. 

Sometimes a fixed mindset is a result of constantly being told that you will never be any good. Other times, people have a fixed mindset simply because they don’t want to learn or try to do better. 

Why is it Important to Have a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is an asset that will help make life progressively more enjoyable and worthwhile. To define a growth mindset is to express one’s belief that one can gradually become better at almost anything and overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. 

One can easily see why having a growth mindset would be essential in life, especially when it comes to one’s work. Someone with a growth mindset is infinitely more valuable than someone working in the same team with a fixed mindset. 

That’s because when presented with a complex problem to overcome, someone with a fixed mindset will give up much more easily than someone with a growth mindset. 

This doesn’t mean that someone with a growth mindset will know how to solve the problem immediately and magically spring into action. It means that the team member with a growth mindset will work to find a solution and won’t stop until they do. 

Having a growth mindset is essential in life because it means you will have more options, and more doors will be open to you. Think of it this way; companies aren’t interested in hiring people that tell them that something cannot be done. They want to hire people that say it can be done and then show them how to do it. 

Here again, you can see the difference between having blind optimism and having a growth mindset. It’s not about believing that anything is possible. It’s about believing that anything is possible and making it happen by putting in the effort. 

Maintaining a Growth Mindset Throughout Life

While a growth mindset can be cultivated, maintaining it requires a great deal of effort and dedication. Once someone has successfully developed a growth mindset, they need to keep working to maintain it and ensure that they don’t revert to a fixed mindset again. 

So how does one maintain a growth mindset throughout the entire duration of their life? Motivation. While some people can maintain a growth mindset without motivation, it is incredibly rare. 

There has to be something to keep one motivated to keep putting in the work to maintain a growth mindset. Constantly learning new things and solving complex problems take a lot of energy. Most people will not expend that much effort without a good reason. 

The source of motivation can be anything and often depends on one’s values. For example, one can be motivated by a genuine thirst for knowledge, inherent competitiveness, or the desire to prove oneself to a loved one. 

Keep in mind, the last motivator is one of the least sustainable. When someone maintains a growth mindset just to prove something to someone else, all of that energy and commitment will evaporate after their point has been proven. 

The best strategy is to be motivated by the thought of having a growth mindset for yourself. One can go far in life with a growth mindset. 

Turning Knowledge into Action

Defining a growth mindset is one thing. To act upon it and put it to use is another. The best way to start cultivating a growth mindset is to view every challenge as an opportunity and embrace imperfection. Every imperfection can be improved, and every challenge is a chance to hone one’s skills and do better – life is as good as your mindset. Take this knowledge and run with it. Start small and keep building knowledge until the advantages of having a growth mindset become clear.

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⚠️ Liza is in training with WMHA and may not always provide the most accurate information.