How to switch on your Growth Mindset? 

Fixed mindset is a given. 

Growth mindset is hidden. 

Something switches it on for some. 

The rest never even know that they have always had it, just that it wasn’t switched on. 

The Myth

Conventional wisdom prescribes a set of self-motivated changes in perspectives and approach to learning and challenges for one to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’. But that advice can feel overwhelming.

I can’t pinpoint when & how exactly my growth mindset was activated, but there was one pivotal incident that may have been the trigger.

Back in my school days, I was living in a small town called Siliguri and came from a humble background. I saw education merely as a means to secure a job. However, I wrote an exam for a National Science Scholarship program, and to my surprise, I was shortlisted for an interview. I had to travel to Kolkata Science Centre for an interview. Unfortunately, my interview slot was not convenient, and I couldn’t afford the extra stay and expenses. So, I requested the organisers for a change, but nobody was willing to switch slots, except for the person who was first on the list. I happily accepted the option. 

After the interview, one of the panel members told me that it takes a lot of courage to do what I did, and I had the wherewithal to back up that courage with substance. 

Those 30 seconds were golden, and something switched on inside me. Perhaps, it was my hidden growth mindset. 

Did I WILL it? Or did it just happen? The answer is somewhere in the middle. I put myself in situations where something could have switched it on, and I recognised it when it happened.

A Simpler Path

I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to activate their growth mindset, and to do so, we must put ourselves in situations that trigger it. Here are some ways to do that:

A. Embrace discomfort by doing things outside of your comfort zone.

B. Surround yourself with people who have a growth mindset.

C. Reflect on positive feedback and don’t let it pass by unnoticed.

D. Share and reveal yourself to others, don’t just seek their input.

What Changes with Growth Mindset

The more you practice these things, the more likely you are to discover your own growth-minded switch or have someone else help you activate it. Once it’s on, the world around you changes. It changes the way you think, feel and act. Here’s a few that you would begin to notice. 

a. Your perspective on experiences shifts from success and failure to success and progress, 

b. You approach ambiguity to find greater certainties, rather than avoiding it

c. People around you become challengers, not competitors, who push you to higher levels. 

d. You make stress work for you, rather than let stress work on you

e. And your Center of Emotions moves from fear and negative anticipation to hope and positive anticipation.

The Mentza Community

We founded the Mentza live-audio community to help people discover their strengths, find confidence, and collaborate with others. In 20-minute live conversations with coaches, mentors, and peers, we interact on useful topics related to careers, communication, behaviour change, and mental well-being.

On Mentza, talking is not a permitted privilege, but the expected norm. It’s a community where conversations lead to collaborations, mentors become friends, and where you can bring alive your growth mindset. Join this community now.

Anurag Vaish

Co-Founder Mentza | Gramya | Finalmile | Behavioral Sciences

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