We all know successful people. That one sentence likely brought someone to mind, whether you’re picturing Richard Branson or your next-door neighbor who just really seems to have his life together.
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of successful people, and we’ve noticed that they all have some things in common that contribute to their success. And we’re feeling nice, so we’re going to divulge these secrets to you.
Firstly, what is a growth mindset?
Today, the concept of a growth mindset is taught at schools, implemented in workplaces and is about as trendy as mindful yoga practice. But, we’ll admit, the fuss is there for a reason. The term was first coined by Carol Dweck, Ph.D., who stated that people when faced with challenges, have one of two types of mindset: growth or fixed.
Those with a growth mindset understand that their intelligence and talent are able to be improved. There are not ‘smart people’ or ‘talented people’ there are just those who have reached a level of ability, and those who have not, yet.
Alternatively, those with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence and talent are set in stone. When faced with a problem, those with a fixed mindset will decide they either can or cannot do it, prior to trying.
So, how do you begin to change your mindset?
When things plateau, complacency is never far behind. A steady, safe path feels comfortable, but nobody’s ever attributed their success to taking the safe route. Besides, it’s boring.
To achieve a growth mindset, Carol Dweck promotes the power of yet. In one of her TED talks, Dweck uses the example of a school, who gave their students passing grades, or ‘not yet’ grades for exams.
“If you get the grade ‘not yet’ you understand that you’re on a learning curve. It gives you a path into the future.” – Carol Dweck.
Challenges are opportunities to practice your skills. If it goes well, pat yourself on the back and take the confidence boost. If it doesn’t, you’ll learn something. Don’t stress. Embracing a growth mindset requires you to first embrace the concept that your ability isn’t limited, it just isn’t where you want it to be, yet.
Play with your surroundings
As we’ve said, complacency restricts your growth. Ready for the overused quote?
“You’re the average of the five people closest to you” – Jim Rohn
Before you roll your eyes, remember that there’s a reason it overused. It’s true. It’s also true for your environment, your habits, your actions. Simply put, you are what you dedicate your time and energy to.
Say, for example, that when you get home later, you have half an hour spare. How do you spend it? A good way to decide is to remain aware of what you truly need. Without that thought process, you’re liable to tip off balance and spend more time than necessary relaxing or work yourself into the ground. Work-life balance is extremely important.
If you need the relaxation, crash in front of the TV, or head out for a walk. For those of you horrified by the idea of ‘wasting time’, remember that relaxing is productive. You need breaks. They’ll save you from burning out, which will benefit you long-term.
If you haven’t had a heavy day, read some articles on upping your productivity or on one of your client’s industries. Or take up a new hobby or project outside of work. You needn’t be pushing yourself 24/7, but adding a few of these moments into your day gives you more opportunities to improve your ability.
Stop finding excuses
As we’ve said, having a fixed mindset makes us believe that our talent and intellect are fixed values. So to adopt a growth mindset, you’ll need to let go of the excuses that limit your ability.
Cheesy quote number two,
“If it’s important you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Ryan Blair.
Be aware of when you make excuses and how much real your excuses are. When you look at your friend who manages to get up at 6am to go to the gym before work, you may wonder how they do it, day after day. Simple. They don’t make excuses. They prepare themselves by going to bed early, and they refuse to tell themselves that getting up at that time is difficult. If you convince yourself something is difficult, it will be.
It may seem like a real stretch to meet your clients once a month. But, lots of firms manage. Maybe you need to automate some of your services to reach a point where you have enough time. Maybe once a month really is too much, but every three months is possible. Do what you can do, but never limit yourself with empty excuses.
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