The journey in this article is truly about exploring what it takes to have a growth mindset in life. I’ll be sharing the 6 components that I believe are necessary for having a growth mindset. I’ll also share the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset so that you can have the opportunity to lean into your self-awareness and observe what you notice about yourself and how you show up in the world. This will allow you to choose and be intentional with how you respond in life. It will empower you to take ownership of whether or not you are living and thriving from a growth mindset or holding yourself back with a fixed mindset.
So, what is a growth mindset? And what is the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset?
Having a fixed mindset typically comes from being very limited, rigid, or closed-minded about thoughts, actions, beliefs, desires, and opinions, etc. It’s about remaining comfortable or stuck in one’s ways of being, thinking, and really believing in rational or limited possibility, rather than a limitless possibility. Likely reasons why people may have a fixed mindset is because of fear, experiencing a lack of security in life, or simply because someone is not interested in personal growth or evolving to the next level of their full potential. People with a fixed mindset may not feel like experiencing the discomfort of expansion or pushing beyond their comfort zone.
Growing or experiencing expansion in life sometimes involves a sense or form of ‘pain’ and/or discomfort. I remember the effects of when I was a child waking up to growing pains in my sleep and the awkwardness of going through puberty in my teens. Of course, the effects were on all levels: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. And they always led to expansion, despite the discomfort. This ‘growth’ was necessary and inevitable, as it is a part of being human. Looking back it makes sense. I experienced the inevitable transformation of the phases of life as a human in order to withstand and create my future. Of course in life, there’s also growth and challenges with all areas of life: relationships, finances, health, career, etc.
The growth that we experience in these areas will always prepare us for what is coming next.
Now being an adult, I can see that the willingness to endure discomfort from childhood (in all areas of life) until now and forever forward, not only leads to growth on many levels, it also increased my tolerance for expansion and growth because I have evidence of being resilient through these tough moments in life. Having more experience with growth allows things to be more fluid in the long run; it either gets easier or perhaps we just get stronger.
The beauty of all of this is that at this new level of expansion we begin to shift. We focus our beliefs onto anything is possible. This is a growth mindset – being able to see and believe beyond our comfort zone by trusting ourselves and that our resilience and desire to grow will always overcome the discomfort that comes with expansion in any area of life.
When it comes to growth in life, what I love most is that it’s not the more confident, more experienced, more ‘anything’ version of ourselves that achieves what it is that we want – it’s who we are now that is doing the work to get to where we want to be mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Having grown into our desires and goals is the consequence of what we do now and who we are being now.
With that being said, here are the 6 components that I believe contribute to having a Growth Mindset:
… is essential and the foundation for our mindset. When we are aware of how we think, believe, behave and are present, we are able to make choices and intentionally create rather than operate in the world on auto-pilot or in a way that we think we ‘should’ or ought to be. Self-awareness allows us to come from a place of intention. It’s like turning on the lights and being able to see everything. When we get to see everything, this means we get to see more opportunities. And we have more overflow of what we want. With more comes growth, growth cannot come from lack – it comes from a place of expansion and abundance.
When it comes to personal growth and development, self-awareness truly is part of the foundation of mindset. Being able to observe and disassociate ourselves from our present thoughts and beliefs is truly what gives us access to notice beyond what we currently think is possible in our reality.
… nurtures the soul. Whether that’s self-compassion or compassion for others, compassion is giving, or literally gifting space for things to just be. It is a gift because it allows us the space to process, feel our feelings, speak our minds, and simply be with ourselves and/or others wherever we or they are at. Sometimes as human beings it seems a lot easier to chose to not ‘feel our feelings’. The truth is, if weren’t mean to feel, then why do we have feelings in the first place? We are perfectly designed as human beings. You’re allowed to have feelings, and express them. You’re allowed to give yourself permission to feel upset, to feel frustrated, to feel grief, to feel happy, to feel proud, to feel joy – the list goes on.
When you give yourself and/or others compassion, it allows for growth because there is space to move through, process, and let go of what no longer serves us. As we are constantly evolving into the best version of ourselves and pushing the limits of our comfort zone, it’s not always easy. So here we are experiencing difficulties in life, making it harder on ourselves by lacking compassion for these aspects or moments of life that are challenging – when in reality, we could just give ourselves permission to have compassion (for ourselves and others). It really does get to be that simple. I promise you, compassion only makes life easier.
… is the avenue that taps into inspiration and creativity. When we are inspired by being curious – anything becomes possible. It’s magical. It’s exciting. You get to be playful – what is it that you want to create? Who do you want to be? Curiosity is an access point to growth. You cannot be closed-minded or have a fixed mindset and be curious, because being curious is about being open-minded. When we are curious, it pulls us into the direction of opportunity – when the opportunity is present, then growth is available. Curiosity is fuel for having and sustaining a growth mindset.
… ironically, is highly under-appreciated and underestimated. Gratitude is the highest vibration of energy to be in. It acknowledges all that is and therefore comes from a place of abundance. A deep sense of gratitude is harmonious, peaceful, and wholesome.
When we are on the journey of expanding our own growth mindset and we are able to have gratitude for the lessons we have learned along the way. We become expansive. It seals the deal of everything we are experiencing in order to move forward and grow. It brings a sense completeness and acknowledgment of the experiences we are having. Such as when someone gives you something and you say thank you, you are completing that experience – that give and take is solidified. Being grateful is coming from a place of love and abundance, which is also nurturing and fuel growth. Gratitude and appreciation for the things that we lose and gain in life are what will help us continue down the path towards what we want. As we acknowledge the gifts the lessons and/or experiences have brought us, we get to complete those chapters and move onto the next.
… is an attribute to those who refuse to give up, therefore, will always be the ones to get what they want. What comes to my mind when I imagine ‘willingness’ and experience this attribute within me, is grit. Having grit and being resilient can only come from a consistent willingness to really just go for whatever it is we want full force, no matter what. The willingness to do what it takes to get what we want or be who we want to be and/or achieve what it is we wish to achieve truly brings together all the components of having a growth mindset. It is the glue that holds everything together – this is what creates us to be a force to be reckoned with.
The willingness to do or be your best takes it all: awareness, curiosity, gratitude, etc.. You cannot do/be/have anything without the willingness to do so or be so. Action leads to results, being leads to our essence. Willingness is the access point to the creation. It’s the glue that holds together all the components of creating, sustaining, and expanding a growth mindset.
Give up knowing it all
… because you can’t learn what you already think you know. Thinking we know it all, whether this is consciously or unconsciously, is a sneaky self-sabotaging tactic because essentially it paints the picture that ‘since we know what it is we need to know’, we can stay in our comfort zone. Questioning oneself, ‘do I think I know it all?’, is a great point of reflection to discover whether or not we are being open-minded or closed-minded. If we know it all, how can we be curious? How can we be willing to learn more? Where is the opportunity to be grateful for the overflow of abundance of knowledge?
When we give up thinking we know it all and when we give up what no longer serves us and let go of resistance, it creates the space for receiving more – better yet, receiving what it is that we want. We need space to create. Therefore when we give up and/or surrender to thinking that we know it all, it opens us up to learn more. When we get to learn more, have more, be more – we grow. And when we grow and expand we get to give back more to others by showing them how to do the same.
The embodiment of a Growth Mindset
Six years ago when I first dove into personal development, I naturally embodied these six components unconsciously. Now that my self-awareness has grown through having a growth mindset, I’ve been able to look back and connect the dots on how my behaviour and actions shaped who I am today. This is what has given me access to share this knowledge and awareness with you now.
Being passionate about having a growth mindset, understanding how the mind works, and being open-minded has truly opened doors for me in my life that never could have even presented themselves had I had a fixed mindset. The opportunity to have a growth mindset is accessible to anyone and everyone. At the end of the day, the only thing we truly have control over is how we perceive the world and how we show up. When we take the time to reflect inward, question our beliefs, our thoughts, our ways of being, we begin to discover the choices we have and the choices we get to make. This is how we get to design our unique paths in life. This is how we continue to nurture having a growth mindset.