Through her research, Carol Dweck has discovered many ways to help anyone change their mindset. Here are a number of research-proven ways to help you unlock the power and potential of a growth mindset.
Learn about How the Brain Grows
It may seem too simple, but Dweck’s research shows that simply becoming aware that growth is possible in any area helps people shift to a growth mindset.
Great books that can teach more in this area include Dweck’s own book mentioned above (Mindset, The New Psychology of Success) as well as Grit, The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth, which examines how passion and perseverance can help people achieve their dreams. There are also many books, magazines and blogs that discuss the latest findings in neuroscience and how to apply them to your own life. The more you learn about your own brain, the more you can achieve with it.
Plan for Growth
A specific plan of action will help you achieve your dreams. For anything you wish to achieve, Dweck advises that you ask yourself, “When, where, and how will I embark on my plan?” The more specific your answer is, the more likely you are to follow through with it.
For example, instead of thinking, “I’ll start eating better tomorrow”, think: “I’ll add a piece of fruit to my breakfast, and have a plain black coffee instead of a mocha latte during my coffee break.”
Instead of thinking, “I’ll start asking for help in class,” think: “The teacher always asks if we have questions at the start of class. Tomorrow, I’m going to put up my hand and ask about that problem I’m stuck on.”
Open Yourself Up to Feedback
When in the grips of a fixed mindset, people tend to close themselves off to feedback. After all, if you can’t change, what’s the point of listening to criticism? However, feedback is an incredibly useful tool for helping identify where and how to improve yourself. Ask for constructive feedback from your teacher, boss or mentor, and spend some time thinking about a concrete plan for improving your work.
Reflect on Your Growth
Take a few moments each day to reflect on puzzles you’ve solved and challenges you’ve met. How did you solve them? What strategies did you use? At the same time, think about the mistakes you’ve made. What did you learn? How will you do things differently?
Regularly reminding yourself that you can learn and grow from challenging situations helps reinforce a growth mindset. If you have kids, this is a great conversation to have around the dinner table, to model a growth mindset and help your children learn that trying, failing, learning, and trying again is the key to achievement.