THE PCG GROWTH MINDSET TOOLKIT
YOUR GROWTH MINDSET GO-TO GUIDE
At Positive Change Guru we’re passionate about sharing practical tools for positive change with you. Our toolkits are designed to give you information, inspiration and great, actionable tips. In this toolkit you’ll find everything you need to begin your growth mindset journey. Once you’ve worked through this toolkit, for more great growth mindset resources, head over to our partner site for more free resources:
WHAT YOU’LL FIND INSIDE THIS TOOLKIT
Your four steps to growth mindset success:
- What’s your mindset? Analysis
- Growth mindset 101 – the facts
- Developing your growth mindset
- Find out more
Step 1: What’s Your Mindset? Take the Assessment
Remember, this analysis is just the start, it describes where you’re at with mindset now, it isn’t a summary of all the great things you can achieve when you develop and maintain a growth mindset. You’re at the start of your growth mindset journey.
Step 2: Growth Mindset 101 – the facts
Mindset is a simple yet groundbreaking idea. Participants on our growth mindset courses often describe the impact of growth mindset as being life changing.
Psychologist and world renowned mindset expert, Carol Dweck, has spent decades researching achievement and success. In her bestselling book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” she reveals:
- How teaching a simple idea about the brain can drastically increase performance and productivity
- Why intelligence and talent don’t accurately predict success
- How intelligence and talent may even become obstacles to success
- How we can unlock the limitless potential in ourselves and others by developing a growth mindset
Dweck’s childhood experience of the classroom sparked a lifetime fascination with intelligence and achievement. Dweck recalls how she and fellow classmates were seated in order of their IQ in school and remembers of her teacher,
“She let it be known that IQ for her was the ultimate measure of your intelligence and your character…”
Dweck’s research reveals that we can all possess both a fixed and growth mindset. It’s possible to have a growth mindset in some areas of life and take a fixed approach in others. As you can imagine, mindset has a huge impact on motivation to learn and take on new challenges. When you commit to developing a growth mindset you are actively changing your brain.When you take on new habits and learn new skills your brain fires new neurons and develops strong new neural pathways, this is neuroplasticity in action.
Typical beliefs when you’re in fixed mindset mode
- My intelligence, abilities and talents are fixed, there’s not much I can do to change them
- People are successful because they’re born that way, they’re just naturally super smart and talented
- Success = superiority
- There’s little point in effort, it won’t make a difference to my ability
- I’m defined by my failures, they show me my limitations
- When I learn something new I worry about looking and feeling stupid, I don’t want others to see me fail
- I sometimes struggle to bounce back from setbacks. Because I feel measured by failure, my resilience can be affected.
Typical beliefs when you’re in growth mindset mode:
- My current levels of intelligence, talent and ability are just the starting point, I can improve and develop them with effort
- I can improve all areas of my life by developing my strengths and abilities, not just the areas where I can see I already have a reasonable ability.
- When I fail at something it’s disappointing but it’s not all defining, I understand that failure is part of the process of improving my performance.
- When I reframe my view of failure and see it as part of the bigger learning process, I’m less afraid of getting things wrong and the effort involved in mastering something becomes more enjoyable, even if it’s just the challenge I’m enjoying.
- Effort and perseverance are important but I also need to examine setbacks and mistakes to understand how I can improve my performance, this is what takes me to the next level.
- I celebrate my successes and recognise all of the effort and perseverance that helps me to achieve my goals.
- When I begin a new challenge, I recall other times when I’ve started something from scratch, like a project, a job or new skill and then gradually excelled as I gained more knowledge and confidence. Remembering past challenges in this way helps me avoid feeling like a helpless newbie and motivates and encourages me to take on new challenges wholeheartedly.
Don’t fall into the false growth mindset trap
It’s great to discover a potentially life changing theory like growth mindset and think to yourself, “Yep! Pretty sure I’ve got that covered. I’m open minded, flexible about things and have a positive outlook, sounds like I have a growth mindset approach to life.” But have you really got to grips with mindset or is your understanding of fixed and growth mindset a bit more limited than you realise?
It’s not uncommon for people to distort the theory behind mindset and as a consequence fail to reap the benefits that a growth mindset can provide. Such misconceptions have become known as a false growth mindset. There are three common misconceptions that contribute to a false growth mindset.
Spotting your fixed-mindset triggers
Even when we work hard to avoid these false growth mindset traps we can still find it less than easy to develop a growth mindset because we all possess fixed mindset triggers. A fixed mindset trigger might be evident when we face criticism, are unfavourably compared with others or face a challenge. If we fall into defensiveness or insecurity then growth is stifled. Inevitably, some environments can be full of these fixed mindset triggers.
Tips for managing your fixed-mindset triggers
- Focus on being aware of when your fixed-mindset ‘persona’ shows up
- Identify what it takes to make you feel threatened and defensive.
- Develop a growth mindset approach by spotting your triggers, identifying the fixed-mindset persona for what it is and learning to respond with a growth mindset approach, persuading your fixed persona to work towards the new growth mindset effectively.
3 Key take-aways
- Effort, perseverance and learning from errors are the route to mastery.
- You’re unlikely to meet anyone who has a 100% growth or fixed mindset. Remember, it’s a spectrum, we’re all a mixture of growth and fixed mindsets depending on the challenge we face and what we believe about our abilities in relation to that challenge. It’s about developing the ability to recognise your own fixed mindset triggers.
- When you adopt a growth mindset approach you’re not deterred or defined by failure. Instead, learning from failure helps improve performance and achieve mastery.
Step 3: Developing Your Mindset
“Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.” Carol Dweck
4 habits to cultivate a growth mindset
The belief we hold about our own abilities and how this affects motivation is key to understanding how we can change. Here are four habits that will increase self-belief and fuel your motivation to develop a growth mindset:
- Learn to hear your fixed mindset inner dialogue voice
- Recognise that you have a choice. Your response to challenges, setbacks & criticism is your within your control.
- Respond to self-doubt with a growth mindset. “Most successful people had failures on their way,” “if I don’t try I automatically fail.”
- Choose to act with a growth mindset approach:
- take on the challenge wholeheartedly
- learn from your setbacks and try again
- hear the criticism and choose a growth mindset response, your mindset is up to you.
Some of our favourite growth mindset examples
Steve Jobs gives his Stanford commencement speech
J. K. Rowling on not giving up
Michael Jordan on failure and success
Nicholas McCarthy on becoming a pianist
We’d love to hear your growth mindset stories in the comments section.
Step 5: Find out more
We provide growth mindset trainings and courses globally to many household name companies. We also have hundreds of satisfied coaching clients.
If you’d like to discover more about growth mindset for yourself, your team or your organisation then we’d love you to: