To successfully change your approach to challenges is to shift your perspective.
Instead of perceiving challenges as proof of one’s inabilities (a fixed mindset -- or limited belief system that exists below the awareness line), these tips and interventions have helped others perceive challenges as a way to grow (a growth mindset -- or expanding belief system that exists above the awareness line).
Just as weightlifting and physical exercise build your muscles, when you're learning and shifting your perspectives, the nerve cells in your brain are growing with mental exercise, and these neurons are developing greater connectivity.*
These tips and tool provide an overview of guidelines to assist you in elevating your thoughts and actions to a Powerful Perspective and developing a growth mindset.
1. Accept imperfection
Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Being imperfect is part of the human condition. You never signed a contract to be perfect. Acceptance is the first step toward living in a Powerful Perspective
2. Lean into challenges
Sometimes the hardest times help us grow. Rather than looking at challenges as something you might fail at, try to consider them as opportunities for growth.
3. Continue to learn
You are never too old to learn. Approach challenges with curiosity. Ask yourself, what can I learn from this? How can I use this experience to improve myself in the future?
4. Reframe perceived failure
Instead of calling something a “failure,” consider key takeaways and learnings from experiences. Reframe “failure” to “learning opportunity” or “growth opportunity.” The idea of failure is motivated by fear (below the line).
5.Seek approval from yourself (Instead of seeking approval from others)
Taking ownership of your experience allows you to be increasingly aware of yourself and the areas you need to develop. Awareness is a Powerful Perspective (see graphic below)
6. Focus on the journey (and not the destination)
Learning occurs over time, so enjoy the ride.
7. Rejoice in growth with others
Sharing successes with trusted others can cultivate motivation and restore energy for learning. Share your success with others. Own your progress.
8. Be patient with growth
Learning doesn’t occur overnight. Learning takes time and encounters bumps and mistakes along the way.
9. Genius takes challenging work
Those who are commonly defined as “geniuses” have not only talent but also commitment, drive, and persistence.
10. Be open to feedback (avoid defensiveness) when being criticized
Take some time to identify the specific learning opportunities when given criticism.
11. Disassociate failing from being a failure
Because you fail at something, this does not mean you are a failure.
12. Take time for reflection
Take time to review learnings every day. Acknowledge and give thanks for what is working well in your life.
13. Place hard work before skill
Efforts should always be rewarded before inherent talent.
14. Incorporate the word “yet” into regular vocabulary
This primes the mind for possibility and keeps the brain open. For example: “I don’t know how to do this yet.”
15. Learn from others
All humans make mistakes, so learn from those who made them already. This is not to say that mistakes cannot be repeated.
16. Make a new goal for every goal achieved
Learning is an endless, lifelong journey. Stay focused on learning. (see tip #7)
17. Take responsibility for your choices
Taking responsibility for your actions involves owning up to the positive and negative consequences of your choices and behavior, rather than attributing them to external factors or others' actions.
18. Respond instead of React
Reaction is motivated by emotion. Response is motivated by understanding.
19. Own your attitude
Once you feel that you have cultivated a growth mindset and transformed your perspective, own it. Let them guide you.
*Adapted from Positive Psychology (Aronson et al., 2002; Blackwell et al., 2007, Good et al., 2003).