Written by: Virin Gomber, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Mindset can determine the difference between success and failure whether it relates to your career, business, health, or even your relationships.
Carol S. Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, discovered the power of a growth mindset after decades of research. In her book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’, she discusses the differences between a fixed and growth mindset, demonstrating how we think about our talents and abilities, influences our success in almost every aspect of life. Studies show that harnessing the power of a growth mindset can be critical for entrepreneurial success.
What’s a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is a pattern of living in which you believe you can further develop your talents, intelligence, and abilities. People with a growth mindset look for new ways to learn and improve their existing skills. People who have a growth mindset welcome challenges, overcome obstacles, learn from criticism, and find inspiration in the success of others.
Failure does not demotivate people with this kind of mindset. Furthermore, even when things go wrong, they do not see themselves as failing. Instead, they regard themselves as students.
Fixed versus Growth Mindset
A fixed mindset holds that our intelligence, character, and creative ability are all fixed. Simply put, it implies that you must accept whatever happens in life as it is without trying to change things. Believing that your abilities are fixed creates a desire to prove yourself over and over. A fixed mindset can result in professional and personal stagnation.
On the other hand, a growth mindset is based on the idea that you can cultivate your essential qualities through your efforts. It is normal to believe that everyone can change and grow due to experience and practice. Failure is viewed as a springboard to success in a growth mindset.
The power of a Growth Mindset
Adopting a growth mindset is necessary and very essential in your life if you want to keep growing and succeeding. People with a growth mindset understand that knowledge and intelligence can be acquired and developed.
With a growth mindset, you are concerned with improving yourself rather than worrying about your intelligence. You tend to strive to learn more and become more intelligent. A ‘growth mindset’ thrives on challenge and views failure as an opportunity to stretch our existing abilities rather than as evidence of incompetence.
According to NCBI research, the growth mindset intervention communicates a memorable metaphor that the brain is like a muscle that grows stronger and smarter when it undergoes rigorous learning experiences. People who have a growth mindset can realize or maximize their full potential. They learn from their mistakes, are open to criticism, and face challenges head-on, whereas people with fixed mindsets try to avoid criticism or keep making the same mistakes without learning from them.
If you find yourself saying things like "I'm a procrastinator," "I'm unathletic," or "I'm not smart enough to...", you may be suffering from a fixed mindset condition. A fixed mindset causes you to avoid situations in which you will struggle or feel like a failure.
Developing a Growth Mindset
Our own set of powerful beliefs forms our mindset. A growth mindset believes views can be altered when they no longer help us achieve our objectives. Here are four ways to gain control of your mental attitude and cultivate a growth mindset:
1. Accept failure
Developing a growth mindset entails viewing failure as a positive rather than a negative experience. Everyone encounters setbacks. The key is to learn from each setback and make better decisions. Extraordinarily successful people typically fail their way to success.
Even Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a news co-anchor at a Baltimore TV station before launching a successful daytime talk show. A producer allegedly told her that she was "unfit for television news". "I had no idea this was going to be the greatest growing period of my adult life," Oprah later admitted.
2. Seek out challenges
Challenges are opportunities that propel you forward and help you grow. "Hardships frequently prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny," writes C.S. Lewis.
Never underestimate the power of overcoming obstacles. Do you feel too much at ease in your current space of work? That could mean it's time to look for new challenges. After all, magic happens when you are not in your comfort zone.
3. Push yourself to the limit
Another way to cultivate a growth mindset is to exceed your expectations. In one intriguing study, participants were asked to cycle as fast as they could for 4,000 meters. Participants were later given the exact instructions, but this time they could race against an avatar of their previous ride.
They didn't realize that the avatar was moving faster than they were. As a result, participants rode alongside their avatars and travelled significantly further than the first time. When you push yourself, you can even outperform yourself.
4. Value feedback
People who want to advance personally and professionally seek and value feedback. It is because people who are growth-oriented wish to improve and challenge themselves. They are not afraid to be judged or criticized. When you understand that you are responsible for your development, you will be able to ask for and learn from feedback.
How Meditation Helps Develop A Growth Mindset
Meditation can help you develop the capacity for transformational change. There are no boundaries to our mind's expansiveness during meditation practice. We can access our inner wisdom more easily when we stop the repetitive day-to-day chatter for a few moments.
In an experiment from The Journal of Psychosocial Research, the results show that there was a significant increase in the self-concept, self-esteem and growth mindset of college students that were put under a conscious process of mindfulness meditation. This experiment was used to show the effect of mindfulness on the growth mindset of college students.
Most successful people frequently begin their meditation practice by focusing on the breath. Remember that we are connected to all life through our breath and air.
Concentrate on your inhale and exhale. Can you notice the pathway of the inhale and exhale? When does one breath come to an end and another begin? Can you feel the difference between each breath?
When we meditate mindfully, we let the mind go where it wants and observe with full attention and without judgment. We may notice that our conscious day-to-day mind frequently limits our opportunities. Growth takes place in the spaces between those thoughts.
Expansion occurs during the pause between inhale and exhale. Meditation allows our minds to wander away from the thought loops that our conscious minds create. With longer pauses in between, the thoughts become more dispersed. That is where the development takes place.
Small steps for huge growth
Self-awareness is essential to creating a growth mindset. You must be aware of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You must keep that connection awareness in your mind throughout the day; it will help you naturally take actions that grow your professional success, boost your business, build your community, help others, and sustain your environment.
As you regularly practice meditation to develop a growth mindset, your small inspired actions stemming from it will begin to gain momentum, and more people (whether or not they meditate) will respond favourably to them.
Growth usually occurs through small incremental changes rather than large ones. So, consistency in your meditation practice is important if you’re serious about acquiring a growth mindset. You can choose to spend 10 minutes a day in meditation to listen to your inner wisdom, and you can help to make a difference with your empowered mindset.
Disclaimer: The suggestions in this article do not reflect any particular diagnosis or course of treatment. They are meant as a tool to provide you new perspectives. If you have any further concerns about your current well-being, you may contact your GP or a medical specialist.
Virin Gomber, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Virin Gomber is a leading Mindfulness Success Coach, Speaker, and Author.
Following a successful corporate career that left him with stress and burnout, he learned, created, and mastered highly effective Mindfulness strategies to boost his balance and personal performance. Since then, he has integrated Quantum Physics, Neuroscience, and Positive Psychology principles to craft a unique blend for his Mindfulness success system.
Dedicated to helping people become top achievers, the core of his work is with entrepreneurs, CEOs, professionals, and driven individuals to support them to achieve peak performance, balance and happiness.
He offers more than a decade of Success Coaching, corporate training, and 25+ years of Mindfulness experience.
Virin has co-authored an Amazon bestseller, “The Missing Piece in Self Love,” appeared on TV shows, and contributed to numerous global online magazines.
His ‘WHY’: To empower people to create accomplished personal skills to achieve next-level success and happiness.