I distinctly remember the first time that the concept of “growth mindset” solidified in my mind – it was over the course of watching “The Last Dance“, a Netflix documentary about the basketball legend, Michael Jordan, and his unwavering quest for success throughout his basketball career and especially during his time with the Chicago Bulls.
No one’s success comes in isolation – obviously, a lot of team effort contributed to Michael Jordan’s success, but if you’ve watched the documentary or followed his life, you’d realize that there was something unique to MJ that took him from being a great player to a legendary one. And no, it wasn’t his skills or technical prowess, but rather his mindset and his attitude.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
It was around that time that a friend of mine gifted me Carol Dweck’s seminal book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success“. Putting it in context, I was able to see that what truly set Michael Jordan apart was his growth mindset.
Lest this become a post dedicated to Michael Jordan and his brilliance, let’s delve a little deeper into this growth mindset thing, shall we?
What is “Growth Mindset”?
In her book, Carol Dweck writes “… my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”
So, what exactly is a growth mindset? It’s the belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. This mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a springboard for growth.
“This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. 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.”
On the flip side, a fixed mindset assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way.
The way I think about it – having a growth mindset is not just about positive self-talk or being an endless fountain of positive outlook, but rather, it’s about reshaping the way you view challenges, setbacks, and even success. It encourages a more optimistic outlook and positive beliefs. At the very core, it changes how you view life and how you go about living.
Is Having a Fixed Mindset a Bad Thing?
Having a fixed mindset, where abilities are seen as static, isn’t inherently ‘bad’ but it does come with certain limitations that can impact personal growth and learning.
It often leads to avoiding challenges and viewing failure as a negative reflection of one’s abilities, which can hinder personal growth and learning. Those with a fixed mindset might also struggle with resilience and motivation when facing obstacles, as they often focus more on proving themselves than on improving.
However, it’s important to understand that having a fixed mindset in certain areas doesn’t make someone bad or incapable of success. For example, a person with a ‘fixed mindset’ is more likely to seek opportunities that are more aligned to what they believe to be their strengths. It does not make their success any lesser, just different.
And in case you find yourself feeling stuck or caught up in a wave of negative thinking about your own abilities, the good news is that you can change and rewire your mindset. In your journey of personal growth, you can learn the tools to develop a more growth-oriented mindset over time. The right mindset will simply make doing life, with all its ups and downs, a much more enjoyable journey.
How Do Affirmations Help with Growth Mindset?
It’s easy to be skeptical about affirmations. Can repeating a phrase truly impact your mindset and behavior? It sounds almost too simple, doesn’t it? But here’s the fascinating thing: repeating positive statements or affirmations can be incredibly powerful in nurturing a growth mindset. Let’s dive into how this works.
- Brain Rewiring: Our brains are constantly shaping and reshaping themselves – a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. Constant repetition of affirmations forms new neural pathways, gradually shifting your default thinking towards growth and positivity.
- Countering Negative Self-Talk: Everyone battles with internal critics. Affirmations act as a counterbalance, challenging and diminishing the impact of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs about your capabilities.
- Building Resilience: “Growth mindset” oriented affirmations reinforce the idea that challenges are not roadblocks, but avenues for development. This perspective builds resilience, enabling you to navigate setbacks more effectively.
- Keeping Goals in Sight: Affirmations can help keep your goals and aspirations at the forefront of your mind. By reinforcing your commitment to growth and learning, you can maintain a steady focus on the steps needed to achieve your goals.
- Building Confidence: Regular affirmations boost self-confidence and your sense of self-worth by reinforcing a belief in your abilities. This self-assuredness is crucial in tackling new challenges, developing new skills, and seizing opportunities for growth.
In essence, affirmations are more than just feel-good phrases. Incorporating affirmations into your daily routine isn’t just about positive thinking; it’s about setting the stage for a mindset that embraces growth, learning, and resilience. It’s a small habit that can lead to big changes in how you perceive yourself and the world around you.
More Posts on Affirmations:
111 Examples of Growth Mindset Affirmations
If you’re looking to build a collection of your personal growth mindset affirmations, here are 111 examples to start you off on that path. Feel free to pick the ones that speak to you the most!
- I am capable of learning and growing.
- I embrace new experiences as a chance to evolve.
- Each setback teaches me something new.
- I am resilient, strong, and brave.
- My effort and attitude determine my abilities.
- I am open to new ways of thinking.
- I learn from my mistakes.
- I am inspired by new beginnings.
- I am constantly moving in the right direction.
- I am worthy of success.
- I am capable of doing hard things.
- I take inspiration from the success of others.
- Every day, I am becoming a better version of myself.
- I am a work in progress, and that’s okay.
- I am patient with myself and trust in my journey.
- I celebrate my growth and learning.
- I choose to approach challenges with positivity.
- I am persistent and don’t give up easily.
- I am always evolving and improving.
- My potential is limitless.
- I believe in my ability to overcome challenges.
- I grow stronger with each challenge I face.
- I am dedicated to pursuing my goals.
- I learn from criticism and use it to improve.
- I find creative solutions to my challenges.
- My hard work will pay off.
- I have the power to change my story.
- I am not afraid of making mistakes; they help me learn.
- I have the courage to try new things.
- I embrace change as a pathway to growth.
- My journey is unique and valuable.
- I am confident in my ability to solve problems.
- I will find a way or make one.
- Every day brings new opportunities to grow.
- I am focused on progress, not perfection.
- I am worthy of achieving my dreams.
- I believe in my talents and skills.
- I turn challenges into opportunities.
- I am constantly exploring new ways to improve.
- I choose to see setbacks as temporary.
- I am a lifelong learner.
- I am motivated by my own goals.
- I am growing to my full potential.
- I trust in my ability to adapt and grow.
- I am committed to my personal development.
- I find joy in overcoming obstacles.
- I am not defined by my past failures.
- I am in control of my growth.
- I am motivated by challenges.
- I am capable of achieving great things.
- I learn from everyone and everything around me.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to grow.
- I am in awe of my own potential.
- A bad day does not mean a bad life. I can start over tomorrow.
- My efforts lead to success.
- I am always moving forward.
- I find strength in adversity.
- I embrace the unknown as an opportunity to learn.
- I am proud of how far I have come.
- I choose to grow every day.
- I am building a positive future for myself.
- I am not limited by past mistakes.
- My mindset is my greatest asset.
- I have the power to change my life.
- I am proactive in my growth.
- I am capable of exceeding my own expectations.
- My growth is a continuous journey.
- I am strong enough to face my challenges.
- I am a problem solver.
- I embrace life’s challenges with a calm mind.
- I trust my journey to lead me to success.
- I am creating the life I desire through my actions.
- My potential to succeed is infinite.
- I am the architect of my fate.
- I choose to be happy and successful.
- I am empowered by my experiences.
- I am learning to trust the process.
- My journey is filled with lessons and victories.
- I am in charge of how I respond to challenges.
- I am transforming obstacles into stepping stones.
- I am constantly improving with practice and time.
- I am deserving of a fulfilling life.
- Every new day is a new opportunity to create the best version of my life.
- I am the driver of change in my life.
- I am evolving into a stronger, wiser person.
- I am dedicated to personal excellence.
- I welcome growth and development.
- I am an active participant in my own life.
- I am excited about creating an abundant life.
- I believe in my journey, even when it’s tough.
- I am capable of writing my own success story.
- I am a magnet for positive change.
- I am confident in my journey towards greatness.
- I embrace each day as a new learning opportunity.
- I am always growing and transforming.
- I have the strength to face any challenge.
- I am continuously discovering new strengths.
- I am a positive force in my own life.
- I am committed to my goals and dreams.
- I am in a constant state of self-improvement.
- I am an unstoppable force of growth.
- I am shaping a future of success and happiness.
- I believe in my endless potential.
- I am capable of taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.
- I am ready to seize new opportunities for growth.
- I am fearless in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire.
- I am making progress every single day.
- I am paving my way to personal fulfillment.
- I am committed to evolving with grace and strength.
- I am building a legacy of positivity, abundance, and growth.
- I am embracing every step of my growth journey.
Crafting Your Growth Mindset Statements
Creating your growth mindset statement is about forging a mental tool that propels you toward personal improvement and developing greater resilience. Here’s how to craft a statement that doesn’t just sound good, but actively drives change:
- Zero in on Growth Targets: In what areas of your life do you want to drive growth? Career? Relationships? Get super clear about your objectives. Specificity is key to creating a statement that hits home.
- Positive, Forward-Looking Language: Frame your statement with optimism and potential. Focus on what’s possible and not on what’s lacking. Instead of saying “I’m not afraid of failing”, reframe it to “I thrive on every opportunity to learn.”
- Make it Personal and Use Present Tense: The statement should feel like it’s about you and happening now. Use “I am” or “I can” to make it immediate and personal. “I am evolving with each challenge” is more immediate than “I will learn.”
- Clarity is King: Complexity doesn’t equal effectiveness. A concise, clear affirmation is easier to remember and repeat. They’re your mental rallying cry, not a verbose manifesto.
- Genuine Belief: If it feels fake, it won’t stick. Align your statement with your core values and realistic goals.
- Embed it in Your Daily Life: Repeat your growth mindset statements – during your morning routines, coffee breaks, commute, and before bed – till a positive growth mindset becomes second nature to you. Consistent repetition embeds these beliefs in your mindset.
- Adapt as You Grow: Your affirmation(s) should evolve as you do. Regularly tweak it to fit your changing goals and new understandings.
A well-crafted growth mindset statement is more than words that you repeat on a regular basis – it’s a dynamic, personal manifesto for continuous learning, positive mindset, and resilient living.
Beyond Daily Affirmations – Living the Growth Mindset Life
It shouldn’t need to be said, but let’s be crystal clear about one thing – if you’re only reciting mantras or affirmations every morning and every night but not taking a single aligned action to bring your vision/dreams to life, you should not go about expecting any major changes.
Affirmations are not some magic pills to a better life, but simply one of the tools that you use to raise your energy and shift your mindset, which in turn can help you take more aligned action!
Living a growth mindset extends far beyond repeating positive phrases and affirmations. It’s about embedding this mindset into your core belief system, to create the very best version of your life. Let’s explore how you can truly embody a growth mindset:
1| Embrace Continuous Learning
Living a growth mindset means becoming a lifelong learner. This isn’t confined to formal education; it’s about being curious, keeping an open mind, and being inclined to learn. In fact, I personally feel that I am learning even more now than what I did during all my years of formal education.
2| Seek New Experiences
Actively seek out new experiences to avoid getting stuck in a rut and to constantly challenge yourself. New experiences pave the way for new memories or at the very least, entertaining stories, if it all goes bust! :P It’s in these moments of stretching ourselves that significant growth happens.
3| Process Over Outcome
Focus on the process of growing, not just the end goal. Celebrate the small steps and the learnings along the way. This shift in focus helps you appreciate the journey of growth, not just the destination. Your constant efforts will pay off.
4| Cultivate Resilience
Develop resilience by changing how you respond to setbacks. Instead of viewing them as failures, see them as lessons and stepping stones to success. Resilience is about bouncing back stronger every time you face an obstacle.
5| Practice Reflective Thinking
Regular reflection is crucial in a growth mindset. Reflect on your experiences, understand what you’ve learned, and think about how you can apply this learning in the future. Creating time for a regular journaling habit can be a game-changer in your growth journey.
6| Spend More Time With Growth-Minded People
If you think hard enough, you will be able to make out who in your social circle is more growth-minded vs being more of a fixed mentality. Spend more time with the ones who are looking for growth, who have a more positive and encouraging view of life, and who live life with a positive attitude.
7| Encourage Others
Become a champion of people – encourage others in their growth journey and celebrate their successes. It’s called being a decent human being. Besides, it also reinforces your personal growth mindset and spreads more positive vibes all around!
Be adaptable in the face of change. A growth mindset involves being flexible and willing to adjust your strategies as you gain new insights and face different circumstances.
Be kind to yourself. Growth is not a linear process; there will be ups and downs. Practicing self-compassion means not being too hard on yourself during the low points and recognizing that growth often comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone.
By integrating these practices into your life, you don’t just affirm a growth mindset; you live it.
Do you use affirmations regularly? And what would you add to this list of affirmations?