What is a growth mindset? In cognitive behavior therapy and other related disciplines, the term growth mindset is defined as an approach to therapy that involves taking a look at one’s inner thoughts and beliefs in terms of their consequences on behavior and attitude. A growth mindset is often considered to be a positive approach to therapy because it helps to build a patient’s strength of character through exploration of their personal beliefs and their personal power. This enables the individual to learn new ways of looking at the world and new behaviors for dealing with life’s challenges.
A person with a growth mindset believes that intelligence is available to all and is not just the product of a hard work ethic or natural born ability. This belief is based on the belief that intelligence can be developed through conscious effort, that intelligence can be measured and that intelligence does not come from being “one of the smartest people in a crowd.” Instead, this belief is related to the work of psychology and cognitive behavioral therapists who believe that we can change the way we think, feel and act if we are willing to change our beliefs, behaviors and habits. The beauty of this belief is that with just a bit of effort, an individual can apply these new beliefs and behaviors to their lives and see dramatic results.
When an individual possesses a growth-mindset, they become aware that every problem has a solution. They no longer worry that they will face challenges that cannot be overcome. Instead, they recognize that with effort, time, dedication and desire, any challenge can be overcome. They no longer fear facing new challenges, but instead embrace them and use them as stepping stones to greater success. With a growth mindset, problems seem less daunting because they are seen as opportunities to learn. In this case, problems seem like they never have to be overcome again.
Imagine for a moment, how your life would be different if you adopted a growth mindset, that is, if you were able to see everything as a learning opportunity. If you had parents that told you to set your own goals and ignore setbacks, you might feel like your goals were unreachable. You would also feel like it was impossible to move forward because there were so many roadblocks standing in your way.
A growth mindset would enable you to look at setbacks the same way you would look at talents. This way, you could see them as something to work with, rather than something to avoid. If you possess a fixed mindset, you tend to think that all your talents are fixed, regardless of what those talents may be. Even if those talents do not meet your financial goals at this time, you might feel that they will in the future. With a growth mindset, however, you realize that you can adapt even when your talents are not financially successful.
You see, growth mindset involves an ideology that sees all your fixed traits as a pathway to reaching your goals, whether those goals are monetary or spiritual in nature. Your journey is not one that is linear. Rather, your journey is a little more like a spiral. As your fixed traits, such as intelligence, are developed and honed, they form a path along which you travel, but you are not bound to follow this path.
In fact, your growth mindset believes that nothing is set in stone. Everything is a process, and you have the power to choose which path you want to travel. You do not have to let setbacks stop you. Instead, you can use them to sharpen your skills and eventually achieve your financial or spiritual goals. Because you are no longer stuck in a fixed mindset when it comes to your goals, you can try harder and do even more in less time, and you will succeed.
While having a growth mindset means accepting whatever limitations you may encounter, it also means being adaptive. If something does go wrong, you learn new ways to approach problems and overcome obstacles. Instead of letting setbacks make you quit, you learn how to bounce back faster and more effectively. This kind of mindset also means being willing to take some losses in order to gain valuable lessons. Whether you are handling setbacks effectively or letting them stop you from achieving your goals, you will grow.