Growth mindset: The secret of successful professionals


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Growth mindset: The secret of successful professionals

Having a growth mindset means embracing challenges and believing that skills and abilities can be developed, leading to continuous learning, and improvement, key to success.
  • LA Desk

03 May

No matter what field you are in, having a growth mindset is essential to your success. | Representational image | Picture by Fauxels

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford University professor Carol Dweck explains how a “growth mindset” — the belief that intelligence and ability can be developed — is the key to success in any field. While it may seem insignificant, having a growth mindset makes all the difference in how we successfully deal with our work, our relationships, and our lives. People who have a growth mindset are more likely to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

There are many examples of people who followed a growth mindset to great advantage. In our time we can recall MS Dhoni’s rise from a humble railway ticket collector to the captain who won for India all 3 cricket world championships, Jack Ma’s transformation from an English teacher to the founder of Alibaba while overcoming many failures, and being ever inspired by the amazing story of Dr Abdul Kalam.

What is a growth mindset?

Growth mindset is the belief that your intelligence and abilities can be developed through hard work, dedication, and practice. This mindset contrasts with a fixed mindset, which believes that these qualities are predetermined and cannot be changed.

Research has shown that people with a growth mindset are more likely to take risks, persevere in the face of setbacks, and continue learning throughout their lives. These qualities are essential for success in any field, from academics to athletics to business.

If you want to achieve success in any area of your life, adopting a growth mindset is a good place to start. Here are some tips for cultivating a growth mindset:

  • Set realistic goals and strive to improve little by little each day
  • Welcome feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow
  • Believe in yourself and your ability to improve with hard work
  • Be open to trying new things and learning from mistakes

How can growth mindset help you in your career?

When you have a growth mindset, you view your abilities and intelligence as things that can be developed. This means that you are always looking for ways to improve yourself and your skill set. You are always striving to reach the next level. As mentioned earlier, MS Dhoni is the perfect example of a growth mindset. He not only changed sports (moving from football goalkeeping to wicketkeeping), he converted every modest opportunity and built his skills as he went along. He also gamely accepted the challenge of working as a railway ticket checker. Who can forget the transformation from the long hair and shy demeanour to the calm, steely-eyed world beating super leader, with an awe-inspiring vocabulary and presence? Along the way, he also transformed the way India played cricket and won.

This attitude is essential for success in any field. When you have a growth mindset, you are always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow. You are not afraid of challenges, because you know they will only make you stronger. You're constantly pushing yourself to be better, and as a result, you achieve more than those with a fixed mindset. A growth mindset opens doors to possibilities and opportunities while a fixed mindset stops you from exploring future readiness prospects.

What are the benefits of having a growth mindset?

Jack Ma failed so many times that it is a surprise he even succeeded. He failed his college entrance exams twice and was rejected for 31 jobs including the famous story of 24 people applying to KFC all except him being accepted. But he used each failure as a stepping stone to learn and grow. He used these setbacks to create his own venture, Alibaba, and take his life into his own hands.

People with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, instead of treating it as a setback or personal shortcoming. Research has shown that having a growth mindset is associated with greater resilience in the face of setbacks, greater enjoyment of challenges, and superior levels of motivation. People with a growth mindset are also more likely to take on new opportunities and persist in the face of adversity.

This contrasts with a fixed mindset, which holds that your talents and abilities are set in stone and cannot be changed.

So, if you want to be successful in your career, developing a growth mindset is a good place to start.

How can you develop a growth mindset?

The superstar Rajinikanth began his career very modestly, as a bus conductor in Bengaluru. After attending film school, his initial forays into acting were as antagonists. What made it more challenging was that he was a Marathi from Bengaluru, acting in Tamil and Telugu films. Instead of being limited by his constraints and resigned to a stereotype, Rajini experimented aggressively and eventually found success, taking a decade to reach superstardom. His entire life is a case study for the ideal growth mindset.

A growth mindset can be nurtured through many positive habits and behaviours. Combining hard work, good strategies, and continual learning these practices can help everyone achieve the highest results.
Here are some key elements of building a growth mindset:

  1. Overcome setbacks and manage stress proactively: Starting with the fact that no setback is the end, you need to build a temperament of resilience and deal with the stress of negative situations. Here are a few tips to build resilience and manage your stress -
    a) Work out a strategy - It is easy to get confused during a challenging period in uncertain conditions. Quickly assess the situation and plan strategies to resolve the issue. Planning will immediately give you a sense of purpose and the stress from loss of control will be overcome
    b) Practise positivity - If you have a generally positive outlook, you will get the confidence to overcome a tough situation.
  2. Building support networks: Having people around you is the best medicine to fight adversity. Actively cultivate a network of friends and support resources. Share your thoughts and feelings with trusted people who can help you reduce the load on your mind. Try and get some experienced mentors, coaches, and consultants to help. Remember to pay attention to your family. Keep in touch with family and ensure that everyone is emotionally stable. Often family problems affect business and vice versa. Be careful to stay insulated from external emotional issues.
  3. Focus on your wellness: The benefits of having a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically, are incalculable when dealing with difficult conditions and changing environments
  4. Always be in learning mode: Another way to develop a growth mindset is to seek out opportunities to learn and grow. Take on new challenges, even if you are not sure you can succeed. Be open to feedback and use it to improve your performance. Finally, don't be afraid to fail; instead, view it as a chance to learn and grow. This was the hallmark of Dr Abdul Kalam, who took on every great challenge in the aerospace field and led India to commanding heights of achievement in space and missile technology.

No matter what field you are in, having a growth mindset is essential to your success. With a growth mindset, you will understand that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication, and persistence. You do not give up when things get tough — instead, you see challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow. If you want to be successful in your career, start by adopting a growth mindset today. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, a growth mindset is the continuous remaking of a better you- “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world….. as in being able to remake ourselves”.

Also read: What is a future-ready career?

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