Growth Mindset Work Style: The 5, Seven and Nine-Pin Pinhead Investigations.
Whether you’re a busy CEO or an employee earning 50K a year, growth mindsets take your brain and propel it on an entirely new path. The advantages of these types of perspectives are numerous.
Growth mindset (also called adaptability) requires continuous self-knowledge of your own strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of which perspectives and skills are important. One in two Americans lack an adaptability mindset. Defined as the personal sense of spirit and purpose that keeps them “moving ahead, looking for ways to improve themselves and their situation, feeling confident about their position and focused on their long-term goals,” according to the Council for Economic Education, changing your mindset will be a fundamental step toward becoming a more self-actualized, and productive, version of yourself.
In other words, being in the flow of the journey and not in the destination leaves a person feeling trapped or unhappy. You’re thinking at the level of problems, not answers, which reduces anxiety. You don’t get lost in the complexity of the topic (studies have shown that people often lose interest in topics they didn’t care about in the first place).
By accepting aspects of our individual differences and cultivating an appetite for learning and new experiences, the process of growth becomes the mindset we experience. “When you shift your mind from thinking about yourself to thinking about the world and what it means, from thinking about your situation to thinking about a person or organization, you start to change the behavior around you,” says Mary Callahan Erdman, Ph.D., executive coach, mindfulness leader and author of The 12 Biggest Paradoxes of Life.
Here are seven simple ways to make a change to your mind-set and boost your self-efficacy:
• “Start with something simple,” Erdman suggests. Go to your favorite store and decide to try everything on sale, a new combination of beauty products or beer. “Just make it a doable goal, and then see how you can do it without putting yourself into a mindset of fear and doubt,” she says. “If you focus on the experience, without thinking about anything else, you will experience it with a mental clarity.”
• Treat your decisions as the decisions of a trustworthy decision maker. That means that when you make changes in your lifestyle, place of work or experiences, you should be thinking of yourself as the “decider,” not the “expert,” Erdman says. “Trust yourself, and realize that you might not know 100 percent what you’re doing. So just make a decision, do it, and move on.”
• Pretend you’re in a movie. “Change the scene” in your mind, whether you’re sitting at your desk, at home, or on vacation, and see yourself as you’d appear to the casual observer. “You’re no longer stuck with this specific situation,” Erdman says. “You’re going on a new journey, changing the scenario so it’s very clear where you are.”
• Start with a problem. Erdman says it’s possible to create doubt or self-doubt about something you’re planning to do — even if you’re sure about it. Before you start, simply pick a challenge that you think could benefit you and focus on why that’s a good idea. “Start the positive thinking, and then stick with it,” she advises.
• Transition from thinking you must make something work to “assuming I’ll make something work,” says Francesca Malagon, Ph.D., a childhood, childhood development and family studies professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “We can assume a confident mind and a plan,” she says. “Everything becomes easier.”
• Embrace uncertainty. Having a genuine question is more indicative of a proactive mind than a timid one, Malagon says. “You’re afraid of something. You’re testing yourself. You’re asking about what to expect,” she says. “If you can make doubt become an answer, you’re in more control of what’s going on.”