Show notes from Growth Philosophy Podcast EP007 – What is Growth Mindset
Today, I want to talk about a question that comes up quite often about growth mindset – this is the question I am talking about: what is a growth mindset.
Before I talk about what growth mindset means, I want to clarify what mindset is. Because that is the start – you can’t really understand the growth mindset without having clarity on what mindset actually is.
So, what exactly is mindset?
To put it simply, our mindset is the way we think.
It is our operating system.
Someone’s mindset basically determines how that person thinks. And the way we think determines our actions, it does a lot more in fact, as it determines everything we do and even how we feel. This makes our mindset an extremely important matter, as it affects every part of our lives. The difference in mindset, ultimately, is why two people facing the exact same situation will often come out with very different results, one better than the other.
Mindset is what is talked about when you hear people mention the whole glass half full or empty thing.
When Henry Ford said “Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right – he was talking about our mindset. Those with a good mindset believe they can, whereas those with a bad mindset believe they can’t.
Having the right mindset is the difference between having a great life despite challenges, and having a shitty life because of those challenges.
The right mindset is what sets apart those who do well in life, and those who don’t.
Positivity and negativity are all part of our mindset. Those with the right mindset are positive and act more positively as a result of having a positive mindset.
In contrast, those with a poor mindset will be more negative and act negatively.
Having the right mindset helps people overcome setbacks and obstacles, and make lemonade when life gives them lemons. But a lack of it, on the other hand, keeps people stuck.
I hope that clarified what mindset is. But to reiterate, our mindset is our operating system and determines the way we think.
So now you know what mindset is, let’s explore the main point of today’s talk – what growth mindset means.
Mindset, as you know by now, is basically the way you think.
A growth mindset then is a type of mindset – it’s a mindset that is focused on growing, and improving, as a person.
Remember earlier when I talked about the right and the wrong mindset? Well, a growth mindset is the former. This is what is essentially being referred to when you hear talk about the right mindset or a good mindset or a positive mindset. They are all basically the same thing – a way of thinking that helps you move forward.
So if I had to define growth mindset, here is how I would define it:
Growth mindset is a belief system, a way of thinking that helps you move forward, and make good decisions. It is about adopting a way of thinking that enables you to deal with challenges and setbacks and move forward no matter how big the obstacle might be, rather than being stuck because of those challenges and obstacles.
Having a growth mindset means you can think and act better. It makes you more positive. It enables you to move forward and achieve the things you want to achieve.
It is growth mindset that differentiates people who do well in life, and those who are perpetually stuck. Unfortunately, too many people fall in the latter category, too many people are stuck, which is why living with regrets is such a common thing. It is really disappointing but thankfully does not have to be the norm.
So here is the good news – the way we think is not set in stone. Think of our mindset like a software. You might have a buggy software, but it can be improved by installing a new update. Thanks to the way our brain works and neuroplasticity, we are capable of changing our programming, which is to say we can change the way we think. So if someone has a negative mindset, it does not have to be the case that they have to live with it for the rest of their life – they can change it.
Someone with a negative mindset CAN upgrade their mindset to install a better mindset – a positive, growth mindset.
How we think is crucial for our success and happiness, because that defines how we feel about anything and everything. It also determines how we act (or react).
So it is absolutely essential to adopt a growth mindset. Without having a growth mindset, it will be a massive struggle (if not impossible) to move forward in life. Let’s face it, if someone falls apart every time there is a setback or obstacle, how can they ever move forward?
Life is not a bed of roses. I wish it were, I wish it was simple and the road was smooth, but that’s just wishful thinking. There will be ups and downs, and everyone will experience challenges – it doesn’t matter who you are or what stage of life you are in, you will experience them.
But that’s not a bad thing, as the struggles help us to get better and stronger and grow as a person. In the meantime, having a growth mindset enables us to deal with those challenges when they come.
So work on improving your mindset, for that is possibly the single most important thing you can do to completely change the course of your life.
Think about it like this – when you are going on a long road trip, there will be speed bumps and obstacles. It’s inevitable and unavoidable. Now, if you stop and give up at the first obstacle, you will never reach your destination. That’s unfortunately what happens when you have the wrong mindset. In contrast, having a growth mindset will help you to keep going, that is what will help you overcome those obstacles, and is ultimately what will help reach your goals, and have the life you want, not to mention make your mark and do all the amazing things you want to and are destined to do.
So examine your mindset. Where does it need work?
Now, if you want to learn more about how you can improve your mindset, check out my other podcast episodes (and blog posts), they can help. At the very least, they will get you started, and we will continue this journey over the course of future episodes.
As for now, that’s it for today. If you have any questions, reach out to me at my blog, leave me a comment – that really is the best way to contact me.
Before I end, I just want to say that it is always a privilege to have you here. So, thank you for your time. And I really hope that you found this useful.
Don’t forget to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any upcoming podcast episodes.
I’ll be back next week with another episode. Until then, have a great week.
Listen to the full podcast episode here.
You can find (and listen to) all the Growth Philosophy podcast episodes so far here.