Sometimes life deals you a bad hand and it can be really hard to keep moving forward, especially if you tend to have a fixed rather than a growth mindset.

Carole Dweck’s research suggests that people with a fixed mindset believe (or are taught) that abilities can’t be changed. Conversely, those with a growth mindset believe that abilities can be significantly changed with effort.

Our mindset can play a significant role in how we deal with setbacks and challenges. We may not be able to change the situation. However, we can change how we think about it and therefore our response.

Photo: Greg Willson

“When you come to
the end of your rope,
tie a knot and hang on.”

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

With that in mind here are 7 practical approaches to help you keep a growth mindset when things get hard (as they inevitably will) on the path to success.

1. Be compassionate. We are wired to focus on negativity. Be kind to yourself and others. Keep nurturing growth because good things take time.

2. Dispute negativity. It is easy to get caught up in negative thinking patterns. Counteract this by focusing on the facts rather than overgeneralising.

3. Savour success. When good things happen we often move on quickly. Practice savouring the good times to increase your happiness.

Photo: Biegun Wschodni

4. Show gratitude. Set aside some regular time to reflect on what you are grateful for everyday. Consider who, what, when, where, why and how.

5. Practice mindfulness. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by our thoughts. Try a guided meditation or do an enjoyable activity to refocus your mind.

6. Trust yourself. Think about what is working well and what you could change to make things even better. This will help you stay open to possibilities.

7. Embrace failure. There can be no learning without failure. What matters more than achievement is the process and having the courage to keep trying!

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
— Martin Luther King

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  • Sarah Schimschal

    Founder and Director at Positive Legacies

    Sarah is an accomplished leader, coach and researcher with over 20 years’ experience working across different industries including education, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and recreation. Sarah is passionate about helping people to thrive by uncovering new energising pathways to reach personal and professional fulfilment. Sarah holds a BA in Training and Development, MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and is currently undertaking her PhD. Her research is focused on developing grit and related positive psychological constructs.