This month we are continuing to build on preparation, by diving deeper into the benefits of a positive growth mindset. Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. Individuals who believe their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from other have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset, those who believe their talents are innate gifts. This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.
Changing a mindset can be challenging, because your mindset impacts every aspect of your life. Remember that a change in mindset is gradual, and we must honor the process. Here are a few ways that you can cultivate a mindset for growth and success.
Studies show that a regular practice of gratitude can have greater positive effects on your health and well being. Energy flows where attention goes, and our mood is often determined by what we honor and think about in our life. Our mindset has significant implications on our performance and ultimate effectiveness each day and throughout our lives. Find 5-10 minutes each day to be mindful and practice gratitude. Notice the things that are going right and learn from the things that might go wrong. Lastly, understand that practicing gratitude is much more than simply saying thank you; it is about truly feeling grateful for what you have. When you do say thanks, you become present and connected with the positive energy of gratitude inside of you.
No matter your situation in life, when you are helping others, you feel a surge of positive emotions from the understanding that you have real value, and that you can positively impact the lives of others. Serving others is truly the gift that gives twice–first, through the service provided to the person in need, and secondly, through the empowering and validating emotions that are given back to the giver.
Almost all of the negative emotion in our lives is created through regret of past actions or anxiety about the future. Understand that all of the power you have is in the present moment, so we must choose wisely with what to do with it. Practice just being present. Meditation and prayer are great tools to help you develop these skills. Quiet time, music, reading, sports, or art may be ways to help you be fully in the present moment. Find something you can do daily that gets you in the zone.
Dream Big, but Plan Small
Success is not usually an overnight thing, it is a series of a thousand tiny actions and accomplishments that produce a successful result. Too often people set big goals, but ultimately come up short from being overwhelmed by the challenge. Dream big, then create a road map to that dream by setting smaller goals that PUSH you closer to success. Find ways to measure and recognize the little accomplishments, that when added up, lead to extraordinary achievements.
The people that you surround yourself with matter! When you surround yourself with positive people, their positive outlooks, positive stories and positive affirmations will eventually rub off on you. Their positive words will sink in and affect your own line of thinking, providing you with new ideas and perspectives. Finding positive people to fill up your life can be difficult, but eliminated the negativity in your life is vital. When your team is winning, you win! Do what you can to improve the positivity of others, and let their positivity affect you the same way.
There are few things as powerful to a positive state of mind than the process of simply taking action. Dreaming and planning are, apart of what we like to call the Pre-PUSH, activities that prepare you for the the journey to achievement. Action eliminates doubt and puts us in control of our path, rather than being the victim of circumstance. When you start feeling financial pressure, create a budget and develop a new revenue generation strategy. When you are feeling unhealthy, create a fitness plan and begin working out and making better food choices immediately. The key is to counter your discomfort with a plan and action. Remember, small steps lead to big results. By doing this, you will attack your fear head-on, and empower yourself with a boost of positive energy.
In addition to taking action, we must practice the craft or task that we wish to master. Confidence is the result of not just doing something well, but knowing you do something well. When you practice often, you get good. When you get good, you feel confident about your abilities. When you feel confident about your abilities, you take more risks, practice even more, and ultimately become a master of your craft.
Make sure you are doing all the little things that will help support where it is you want to go and what it is you want to do, is essential to cultivating a positive mindset. No amount of positive thinking can replace good habits or daily practice. So put them in place as daily essentials, so you can then focus your efforts elsewhere. If you can count on yourself to have the right habits in place, you will free yourself to focus and work on more ethereal concepts--such as positive thinking and risk taking.