As a leader in a small business, it is so important to use the people and resources you have to get to where you want to be. It can be exhausting to try to go it alone. You can get caught up in your thoughts about whether you have what it takes or that you must know everything.
That’s all part of your mindset, and when you know what kind of mindset you have, it is easier to release the pressure from yourself and seek out help.
This article will help you discover what type of mindset you are currently using and how to develop a growth mindset that will help you and your business.
What Does Mindset Mean?
Before we dive into growth vs. fixed mindset, let’s start with defining what mindset means.
The dictionary definition is “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” And what I have discovered is that our attitudes are formed by what we believe to be true.
As a baby, we are born, and all we know is what we experience. In most cases, loving parents who help and comfort us when we need them. My grandson spent time in the NICU because he was born 12 weeks early. For the first 3 months of his life, he was loved, held, watched over, and kept safe. He didn’t know anything different. That is what his little mind is telling him is normal. It won’t be until he sees and experiences what other people do that he will believe other things are normal.
Most, if not all, of our beliefs, have been taught to us. Our beliefs influence how we think, feel and behave in any given situation—your mindset. Once you are aware of that, you can change the beliefs that no longer serve you.
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
In preparation for writing this article, I read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. She studied what differentiated people who succeed from those who fail. And you guessed it; the answer was their mindset.
Take a look at these two images. Can you see the difference in what someone with each mindset believes?
Can you see where you might fall? With a fixed mindset, you believe you have to rely on your genetics. “I have it, or I don’t.” With a growth mindset, you believe that you can learn how to do it.
Here are a few examples of a fixed mindset:
- You quit when something gets too difficult.
- You want others to validate you when you do things. Like praise your work or thank you for something.
- Fear of criticism keeps you from being seen.
- You keep seeking out more knowledge and perfection before you launch something new.
- You might stick to what you know and avoid trying new things.
Does any of that resonate with you?
How does that look with a growth mindset?
- If I really want something, there are many ways to learn it. Keep trying.
- My success reflects how I am feeling fulfilled, happy, and doing the best I can. Others’ approval is not needed.
- Everyone teaches differently, and everyone learns differently. My method may be just what someone else is looking for.
- Criticism is a learning opportunity. Is anything they said true? If so, see what you can change to make it better. If not, they must be having a bad day.
- Life is an adventure. Trying new things is part of the fun. You never know what you might try that gives you the greatest joy.
The other difference between a fixed and a growth mindset is how they feel. Can you feel heaviness and defeat with a fixed mindset? On the other hand, a growth mindset feels exciting and full of possibilities. If you know the Law of Attraction, which feeling will bring you more success? I hope you said Growth Mindset. The thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that you focus on attract more of that to you.
So, here are some tips on how to develop a growth mindset in business.
How to Develop a Growth Mindset in Business
“This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments, everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” Carol Dweck
- Stop being a perfectionist. Allow yourself some grace to make mistakes and learn from them. Everyone makes mistakes!
- Embrace challenges. Let the obstacles that get in your way be tools for learning. Do you need to take another path, or is there something you can do differently?
- Pay attention to your negative thoughts. What are you telling yourself that isn’t true or doesn’t have to be true?
- Be accountable for your actions. Do not let others take the blame. Reflect on what went wrong and do better.
- Try different learning tactics. If you don’t understand something by reading it, try listening to it or watching a video.
- Give yourself the time to learn. Patience is key.
- Use the word “yet”. Carol Dweck says she has started using the words “not yet”. You haven’t mastered your skills yet, or you haven’t reached your goals yet. There is more time or more learning needed.
- Be vulnerable. Show others that it is OK to make mistakes and model the behavior of a growth mindset.
- Reward yourself when you do accomplish a goal or achieve a milestone.
- Know your core values and make decisions based on them.
Which one are you?
Take some time to think about your answers to these questions, and then pay attention to how you react when challenges, feedback, failures, or hard tasks come up. Check how you want to respond and then change it if you need to.
Awareness is the first step!
- How do I react to criticism?
- What change am I resisting?
- Do I use challenges to grow, or do I give up?
- What beliefs have I learned that is no longer true?
- What are my core values, and am I living them?
- How much time do I spend on personal growth?
- Do other people’s opinions and standards determine my actions?
- How much effort do I put into reaching my goals?
Developing a growth mindset doesn’t have to be difficult. It will take some practice once you know what needs to change, but it can transform your life and your business!
Lean into the possibilities that come from learning instead of quitting, of accepting instead of feeling defeated, or of loving yourself and making your life an adventure.
“Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.” – Carol S. Dweck
I did a webinar on this topic last year that includes ways to incorporate a growth mindset into your business. Find it in our Learning Library!
Stay in Touch
Sign up for our weekly emails and stay informed of new courses and resources. Plus get tips and ideas on how to feel confident in running your business.