3 Steps to Prime Your Brain for a Growth Mindset

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Throughout my personal and professional journey, I have noticed some common trends for people who seem happy, successful and fulfilled — and one of them is that many of these individuals have learned how to embrace a growth mindset. Now we are all going to be faced with challenges and setbacks in our careers and in our lives, but it is how we respond to these situations that makes all the difference.

Our mindsets can dictate whether we take steps in the wrong direction after a hardship or whether we use obstacles and unexpected twists and turns as stepping stones to get to where we aspire to be. Unfortunately, having a growth mindset does not always come naturally. It can take effort and intention to begin to approach situations in a new way.

Regardless of where you currently are on your journey, there are certain steps you can take to start developing a growth mindset that will level up your happiness and success.

Related: How to Create a Growth Mindset as an Entrepreneur

1. Embrace the “No Excuse Rule”

I speak about my “No Excuse Rule” in my keynote talk, Find Your Imperfect Happy, and it is meant to help you wake up and reclaim your power over your happiness and well-being. If you take a moment to reflect on the areas of your work and life where you feel frustrated or stifled, there may be an eye-opening truth that comes into your awareness.

Often, we unintentionally fight to keep ourselves stuck. We make excuses and focus on all the reasons that we should be left in the exact same situation we are unhappy with — from struggling with taking time for yourself and justifying it by saying, “I just don’t have time,” to being annoyed with a portion of your job and complaining about it instead of making adjustments that could help you have a more positive experience.

Adopting the “No Excuse Rule” means that you choose to put your energy and focus into finding solutions instead of unintentionally advocating for all the reasons why you should stay stuck in the problem. When you adopt this rule, you are taking a step to regain control over your happiness, well-being and success in your work and life.

2. Embrace change

There’s no doubt about it. Change can be scary. Our brains like it when things are predictable and expected. Our minds will try to convince us that continuing with an unhelpful pattern makes sense because it is familiar, and it requires less energy. Getting off autopilot requires awareness and intention.

Seeing setbacks and challenges as opportunities for change, growth and innovation takes effort, but the rewards are huge. Using techniques like reframing can help shift your perspective to a more productive place in areas where you feel stuck. If you are someone who used to say, “This is too hard,” with reframing, you may find yourself saying, “How can I approach this in a new way?”

Related: Do This Simple Exercise to Unlock Your Potential, Says the Psychologist Who Coined the Phrase ‘Growth Mindset’

3. Focus on getting better, not being perfect

One surefire way to keep yourself from embracing a growth mindset is to think that you need to be perfect. When you are trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone, there is going to be a learning curve. When you let go of trying to be perfect, you will be more open to receiving feedback, which is a crucial component of knowing what is working and what isn’t working. So, build self-compassion. Let go of striving for perfection, and instead focus on doing the best you can while adjusting as you learn, adapt and grow along the way.

Cultivating a growth mindset is a powerful tool for achieving happiness and success. By embracing the “No Excuse Rule,” welcoming change and prioritizing progress over perfection, we can turn challenges into stepping stones and unlock the potential for greater happiness, success and fulfillment in our personal and professional lives. Remember, challenges are inevitable, but it’s your response to those challenges that makes all the difference.

Disclaimer: This content purely represents the opinion of the author and is not medical advice or treatment recommendations. Always talk to your healthcare provider about recommendations specific to you.

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