What if I told you, whatever you’re going through right now, even if it’s uncomfortable and feels unbearable, can be used for good? Would you believe me?
What if I said, your mind can change your life? Do you believe that?
That could be hard for some folks to believe, but when you truly understand how powerful the mind is, I know with all certainty that everything will change for you. You can develop a growth mindset that opens new levels of calm, joy, success, and of course, growth.
Let me tell you from personal experience, having a growth mindset can not only change your life, but it can also save your life. Six years ago when my world shattered and I lost my husband, it wasn’t long after his death before my pain felt too heavy to carry and I wanted to give up. The anguish just felt so unfair and unbearable; it was so dang hard trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other. But, somehow my mind started to give me hints along the way. Whenever I felt overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and bitterness, there would be this itty bitty glimmer of hope lingering in the back corner of my mind. And when I kept my eyes fixed on the light, it not only gave me peace of mind, it started to get bigger and bigger and soon the light started to consume the darkness. That’s what it feels like to keep calm in a storm with a growth mindset. Yeah, you recognize you’re in the darkness, but when you look at this light and you focus on it relentlessly, before you know it, it’s illuminating your entire world.
I’d never heard of a growth mindset when I first started on my healing journey. I just knew I wanted to give up, but something inside wouldn’t let me be defeated. Later, I discovered that I wasn’t crazy for feeling this way and there’s actually a name for it – a growth mindset. I started to explore this notion deeper and I discovered that having a growth mindset may be innately stronger for some people, but it’s totally attainable to anybody with a willing attitude.
You may be wondering if you have a growth mindset. Well, let me paint a couple of scenarios for you and depending on your reaction, you’ll get some insight as to whether you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
Okay, here’s the first one ? You didn’t land a job, or a contract, that you were really hoping for. Are you feeling utterly defeated and ready to give up? Or, feeling down but ready to brush yourself off and try again? If you can visualize yourself bouncing back and eager to start exploring the next opportunity, then it sounds like you operate with a growth mindset.
One more quick example ? A major unexpected tragedy comes your way. Do you wallow in misery and blame others for your unhappiness? Or, do you let the tears flow, acknowledge your sadness and look for the hope, or even gratitude, in your situation? Again, if the latter option feels natural to you, then it sounds like you have a growth mindset.
One of the things I appreciate most with the growth mindset research is, it doesn’t limit you from being human and feeling natural emotions. You don’t have to feel any pressure to suppress crazy, complex emotions that come with life. However, with a growth mindset, you don’t stay stuck in that unhealthy place.
Now maybe when it comes to those two scenarios, your truth is that the first option feels natural to you. You would feel stuck and miserable. You may even be bitter and want to hold onto your anger. Well, the good news is that a growth mindset can be learned, and strengthened through practice. One of the most life-changing books that I’ve ever read was Mindset by Carol Dweck. In it, she talks about how to strengthen your mindset, build your resiliency, and operate in hard times with a growth mindset. I’m not an expert on the research and data behind this concept, but I was able to harness the internal power of a growth mindset without even knowing what it was called.
So I’m telling you, if I could do it without any guidance, you could absolutely do it by learning from the experts.
Having a growth mindset is so important because the fact is, we’re all going to come to a point in our life where we have a choice. We can either one – remain stuck where we are, which could include a lot of unhappiness, sadness, anger, some kind of suffering or pain. Or, two, respond with a growth mindset, which means you acknowledge all of that chaos and address those feelings without letting them hold you prisoner.
This kind of thinking is the way to go!
You’ll be able to flow with challenges and difficulties and come out on the other side a better, stronger, wiser version of yourself.
Basically, you’re using all the problems that come to harm you, to benefit you. That means that all of your suffering, pain, and hardships are redeemed because you choose to grow from them instead of letting them keep you in a self-destructive state.
So if you are at all feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or stuck, then take a breath and look inward for a moment – notice your mindset. What story are you telling yourself in your head? That story needs to change in order for you to start moving forward, and the way you can do this is by exercising a growth mindset. Take your life back in your hands. This is not up to anybody else. It’s only up to you.
Your life is an outcome of your mindset.