Growth vs Fixed Mindset: How to Set Your Mind For Growth
By Guest Blogger Heather Mathews
“Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.” ― Stephen Richards
What’s the difference between people who succeed and those who fail?
You might say it’s in the way that they do things. Or maybe it’s their habits.
It could also be their environment and the people who influence them.
All of these are true. However, there’s one thing that will easily set the successful ones apart from those who’ll fail.
It’s all about mindset.
Growth vs Fixed Mindset: The Difference
Let’s take a woman named Jen, for example.
Jen is 33 years old, she has been working as a government employee all her life.
The problem is she doesn’t love her job. Deep inside her being, she knows this is not her calling.
But she doesn’t know what else to do. She knows she likes music and she feels she’ll be much better as a musician.
But her job is where she feels safe – not to mention she grew up working for the government.
All her relatives worked in the same field until they all retired.
Because of this, she feels stuck. And she doesn’t want to try to change anything.
Not even when she doesn’t feel good about her current situation.
She’s completely trapped in her comfort zone.
Then there’s Joan.
Joan is also in her mid-30s, she’s a nurse by profession and she finished nursing because her father forced her into it.
You see, while Joan was in high school, nurses were in demand. But by the time she finished her university studies, the workforce ended up with an abundance of nurses.
This change made it hard for her to get a job. But luckily, she still managed to find work as a nurse.
There she was, working at the hospital at night and resting during the daytime.
But deep inside, she hated her job. In fact, she hated the kind of lifestyle she had.
While Joan felt stuck like Jen, she had a better chance to change her situation.
You see, Jen also knew what her passion is. She likes drawing and sketching architectural landscapes.
This was her hobby back during her university days. However, she lost the drive because she didn’t have the time anymore.
So, what was the difference between these two women?
Joan was willing to move outside her comfort zone. In spite of her circumstances, she exerted the effort to get in touch with her creative side during her free time.
Whenever Joan had some free time, she used it to make a quick sketch of what saw around her.
At first, she drew her room, just so she could practice drawing again.
Then by the time she was confident about her skills again, she went outside and drew whatever she felt like sketching.
It wasn’t easy. Sometimes Joan would feel so tired that she wouldn’t have the energy to draw. But most of the time, she gathers the energy to get out there and be creative.
What happened over the next few months was inspiring. Joan was able to meet someone and they talked about how she can monetize her art by selling her service on a freelancing site.
Now Joan knows that getting outside her comfort zone pays off. And now she’s thinking about leaving her job if she can make a living out of selling her art.
This is the difference between growth vs fixed mindset.
The 4 U’s of Growth Mindset
Growth vs fixed mindset is all about getting outside your comfort zone to follow your dreams.
When you’re fearful, uncertain, uneasy, and uncomfortable, you can still grow if you have the right guidance (e.g., Spiritual guidance or a mentor).
Fear stops those who stay in their comfort zone. Fear is not conducive to growth. Courage is.
When you want to get ahead in life, be fearless.
When you want to be unstoppable, be courageous.
Joan was Uncertain
When Joan was just starting, she wasn’t sure if she would get anywhere with her hobby. She loves it, but there’s uncertainty.
She wasn’t sure if she still had what it took to be a great artist. And she wasn’t sure if it’s worth it to skip some rest to practice sketching.
Finally, when she started selling her art, she wasn’t sure if people would love it.
Joan felt Uneasy
It wasn’t easy for Joan to get back in touch with her creative self.
At first, there were some sleepless days just to draw and sketch. It was not easy for her to leave the bed for her art.
And she didn’t find it easy talking to customers who wanted to commission her to do an original piece.
Joan felt Uncomfortable
It wasn’t comfortable for Joan to break out of her daily (and nightly) routine just to draw.
It wasn’t comfortable for her to put her stuff out there in exchange for money.
And I’m sure it wouldn’t be comfortable for her to leave her job as a nurse to make a living as an artist.
But Joan is Unstoppable
Even when Joan felt all these, she was unstoppable.
She didn’t let fear stop her. And I’m sure Joan will be on her way to her own definition of success and happiness.
Comfort zone is a dream killer
While Jen felt safe about her job and her circumstances, she wasn’t growing and felt a deep lack of fulfillment.
When you stay comfortable with where you are, as time passes by, you’ll forget your dreams. You’ll forget what you really want because your present circumstances look safe.
If I’m safe and if I’m making a living, what’s the problem, right?
But it’s a scary place to be in.
When talking about growth vs fixed mindset, I hope you make the effort to keep growing.
Growth vs Fixed Mindset: How?
As you venture outside your comfort zone, you’ll need to know how to do it properly.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Joan had a mentor who taught her the essentials of selling art online.
If you want to get ahead in life and have an idea on what path to take, but you’re confused, find a mentor.
Having mentors will reduce the intensity of uncertainty. They’ve done the work to get to where you want to be.
And more importantly, they’ve overcome the same obstacles you’re going through now. They have a pretty solid idea of how you can get to where you want to be.
Find someone who is an expert on what you want to do and learn from them. Read their books, listen to their stories. If you can contact them and if you’re serious enough, do so.
Be prepared to fail
Can you imagine how many sketches Joan discarded before she was satisfied with the level of her work?
Do you know how much revisions her clients asked her to do before they were satisfied with the final result?
Maybe you’re afraid of failures, rejections, and frustrations. But know that it’s part of the process of growth. Failures are stepladders to success. And remember, without failure, you won’t appreciate success so much.
Don’t let your fears stop you. Uncertainty is your friend. Courage is your armor. And dreams will be your inspiration.
If you aren’t committed to your growth, even a slight resistance can stop you.
Joan was committed. Even when she didn’t feel like doing it, she practiced her art.
And again, I’m going to mention this because it’s so important when talking about growth vs fixed mindset:
Even when she felt uncomfortable, uncertain, and uneasy, she was unstoppable. Why?
It’s because she was committed. She had her sights set on her goal and kept it at the front of her mind at ALL TIMES.
You might be going through hardships right now, so I have to tell you this:
If you believe in your heart that you’re doing the right thing, and you have mentors and guidance, then make the commitment to turning your dream into a reality.
No one has the power to tell you otherwise or dictate the path you should take.
Don’t be like Jen.
Jen was stuck because she allowed herself to be in that position. She didn’t take the initiative to venture outside her comfort zone.
It’s your personal responsibility to grow. It doesn’t depend on what your relatives have accomplished.
It doesn’t depend on what society is telling you. And it doesn’t even have to depend on what your parents are telling you.
You know deep in your heart what the right path for you is. Follow that path religiously. Dedicate your life to your dreams.
Dream big. Growth is about making steady progress, one day at a time.