5 Ideas for Developing Your Growth Mindset
As a little girl, I always was the student who would ask questions. I wasn’t afraid to raise my hand when no one else was. I was curious. My curiosity overrode my concern for what others would think about me.
What I learned along the way is that I am not normal. It’s not normal for people to let their curiosity lead them in life. In my learning that it wasn’t normal, I allowed my curiosity to be put away in a box. I shut it down a little bit so that others could somehow be more comfortable. Or so I thought. I thought that by me being quiet and not asking the questions I love to ask would bring other people more comfort. When I did this, I became smaller. And less like me.
Have you ever done that? Become less like yourself because you were trying to bring comfort to others?
When we do this, we don’t grow. It’s an invitation for depression, anxiety, loneliness, and many other mental health struggles to come in. We don’t realize it at the time, but it’s an open door to those mental health gremlins. It starts small at first, then grows as we continue to think that those gremlins are “normal.”
As I got my own counseling, consulting with other business owners, took time journaling and in prayer, I found out there is a purpose for my life. And part of me living out this purpose is being myself 100%. When I do this, I am alive and become more and more of myself each and every day. Essentially I am growing each and every day as I allow myself to truly be ME.
Would you like to truly be YOU? If so, you need to be open to growing and changing. It’s like you used to be a seed in a pot and now you’re growing and flowering. You need things to keep it going like water and sunlight and proper care. So how does that translate in human being language? I have some tips for you to water your human authentic self and continue to grow. Here are five of them:
1. Get curious. Social worker, author and researcher, Brene Brown defines curiosity as the feeling of deprivation we experience when we identify and focus on a gap in our knowledge. When you run into situations with yourself or others where it doesn’t quite go the way you’d like, get curious first. Don’t make assumptions. This allows growth to happen instead of anger, frustration, or other challenging emotions.
2. Have wise counsel around you. Don’t do life alone. Have people that get the best out of you. I will have times when I might be a little frustrated and a quick talk with my best friend gets me unstuck. This can keep you growing with wise people around you when you might not see it yourself.
3. Read, listen, watch, and learn. Find things that you are passionate about and learn about them. Keep yourself interested in different things. For example, I have a couple garden boxes in my backyard that I love to experiment with planting different things every year. I mess a lot of things up but I also have gotten a lot of vegetables for my family as well! I didn’t really know what I was doing at first, but now I know more. Don’t always stick with the same subject; try to go outside your comfort zone.
4. Keep moving even when you don’t feel like it. There might be times when you don’t feel like moving. Depression might be taking over and you get in a slump of isolation or watching Netflix for too long. Even in these places, don’t beat yourself up, just keep moving. When you look back five years from now, what will you remember? The hours of Netflix or the new dance class you decided to take? My guess is that new class you decided to take will bring a joy and excitement you needed at the time.
5. Create a vision board. Ralph Lauren is quoted as saying, “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” When you put the vision down and can visually see it, it inspires the dream to happen. This creates purpose, drive, determination, and ultimately growth. You become more like you.
When you authentically take on life, you grow. It’s a natural process of being—or becoming—yourself. You grow stronger, you expand, you change, you become more. This leads to richer experiences, richer relationships, and learning for life.
I’m grateful I discovered my natural desire for curiosity and asking questions again. My purpose was awakened and I now am not only a mental health therapist, but I have stepped out as a podcaster and published author. In short, a fixed mindset means limits while a growth mindset means possibilities.