April 5, 2023

7 Strategies for Developing a Growth Mindset

Imagine you’ve been chosen to be a contestant on the Amazing Race, a gameshow that sees teams of competitors

7 Strategies for Developing a Growth Mindset

Imagine you’ve been chosen to be a contestant on the Amazing Race, a gameshow that sees teams of competitors take on challenges, search for clues, and travel the world to win pretty kick-ass prizes. You’re given your choice of one of two potential teammates:

Teammate A avoids challenges, where Teammate B embraces them. Teammate A gives up easily when presented with an obstacle, while Teammate B is inspired to work harder to overcome it. Teammate A hates criticism, and when faced with it chooses to ignore it or deflect blame to someone or something else, Teammate B on the other hand has figured out that there are truths that can be learned from criticism, and so they make a point to listen to it.

So who would you want on your team? Pretty easy right? It’s Teammate B, because you know you can count on them to do their best when things get tough, and you know they’ll be willing to listen, even when some people wouldn’t. Teammate A is a great example of someone possessing a fixed (or scarcity) mindset, someone who focuses on limitations, competition, and the belief that there is never enough. Teammate B is a great example of someone with a growth mindset, whose thinking revolves around the belief that intelligence, abilities, and talents can be developed through consistency, inspired effort, and effective learning strategies. Developing a growth mindset can do wonders for helping to overcome challenges, adapt to change, and continuously improve through life, leading to more success, happiness, and fulfillment (which are all great things).

So what can we do to develop a growth mindset?

1. Embrace the Power of "Yet"

The only way you’re never going to have a setback is when you’re not trying, or you’re not trying anything new. When faced with setbacks, remind yourself that you haven't mastered a skill "yet." The "yet" part encourages you to view challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement, rather than failure. Speaking of failure.…

2. Embrace Failure

Instead of fearing failure, embrace it as a natural and essential part of the growth process. Recognize that failure provides valuable insight and the best learning opportunities; allowing you to gather new information, refine your approach, build resilience, and ultimately, achieve greater success.

3. Cultivate Curiosity

Asking questions and seeking new information is a cornerstone of developing a growth mindset. Explore new subjects, attending community, school, and/or work events, read different books, try a new podcast, strike up a conversation with someone you’ve never taken the time to speak to before. Be curious about the people in your life; friends, family, mentors, peers, teachers, coworkers. Ask someone you admire might what they might do in your situation, then, embrace constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow, rather than as a personal attack. If you’re talking with friends, ask them about something they’re looking forward to, and simply imagine how you would feel in that person’s shoes as they share new information with you.

4. Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Enhance your critical thinking abilities by questioning the validity of information, seeking diverse perspectives, and evaluating evidence before drawing conclusions. Critical thinking promotes well-rounded decision-making and fosters a growth mindset. The best way to test a belief you might hold is to seek out an opposing viewpoint, and in that way you will be given the chance to learn how other people think and feel, and, you might even change your mind, learn something new, or both.

5. Practice Gratitude

Regularly express gratitude for your own progress, accomplishments, relationships, and experiences. This can be a simple practice but it will do a great deal to boost happiness, improve self-esteem, and encourage a growth mindset by shifting focus from setbacks and the things that go wrong to progress and the things you’ve done right.

6. Surround Yourself with Growth-Minded Individuals

This is a sneaky one, but no less important. Surround yourself with people who inspire, challenge, and support your growth. Spending time around successful, positive, and growth-minded people will give you a front row seat to how others face similar challenges. You’ll also be surrounding yourself with great sounding boards when you invariably have questions (remember what we talked about with cultivating curiosity above).

7. Reflect and Reassess

This is where we take time to smell the roses (but also weed the garden). It’s a great idea to get into the practice of reviewing your day, your week (your month and even your year), a reflection process gives you a chance to identify areas for improvement, celebrate achievements, and adjust your strategies for continuous growth in areas you might be struggling. It’s no different than keeping track of a workout, checking out your video game score, or asking a coach how you did in a game. What can be measured can be improved, and just as importantly, will give you the chance to see how far you’ve come from where you started.

Scott Grates

Entrepreneur, Writer and Speaker

Scott Grates is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant and, most importantly, a husband and father of three.

About Scott

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