The word “growth mindset” has been a buzzword since a very long time now, but it is important to understand what is means and how is it the key to deeper learning and growth in all aspects of your life. While there are plenty of studies to explore what the growth mindset is, this blog is about activities any adult can perform on daily basis to foster a growth mindset.
According to a study done by famous psychological researcher, Carol Dweck–
“People who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset). And when people learned through a structured program that they could “grow their brains” and increase their intellectual abilities, they did better. Finally, we found that having adults focus on the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) could foster a growth mindset and its benefits.
Let’s check out various activities that can help foster a growth mindset in adults.
Activities to Help Foster Growth Mindset in Adults
Look for Opportunities to Skill-Up
With a fixed mindset, adults are not keen on trying new things, and even if they do, they do not tend to stick with it for a long period of time and it would seem challenging because the task they get, might not be from their preferable skill set.
It is important to take the first step and start somewhere. It is not only about taking a step towards your passion or something you want to learn, but it is about taking a leap of faith and trying something completely new in order to locate your untapped potential.
Once the journey of learning begins, you can now compete with your old self and keep growing and improving from the first point ahead. It is alright to begin with a small thing to get out of your head by dipping in your toes.
Do Self Introspection
There might be several skills that you have accomplished successfully over a period of time and advanced in them. Do you remember the time when you initially picked up the new skill or passion, and had no clue about it but now you are good at it?
For example, think about your first job, when you practiced the trial-and-error method to learn about office setting and so many work-related problems, but now you find a way to solve all those problems eventually.
This is when Self Introspection and Reflection comes along. To reflect and recognize the skills that you have mastered throughout your life will only help you be open to the idea of learning more new things and improving thereafter.
Once the skill-up begins, its time to introspect and reflect on what all you have learned up to this point and how you wish to progress from here.
Well, it might be an alien term for a lot of you. Neuroplasticity is the study of human brain and how it adapts to various environments and changes as humans take actions or experience new things in life.
While the brain is considered to be a “non-renewable” organ, other parts of the body such as skin can rebuild if wounded. According to a study, the human brain does not have the tendency of regeneration because of the lack of stem cells and new neurons required to regenerate.
Even though many subsequent studies showed that mammal brain can grow, regenerate and change and also, the use of anti-depressants and other medication helps change the cognitive functioning, therefore, proving that brains do change. If you keep repeating along the same pathway of learning, it will build your circuit and improve the ability to perform the task which means, practice will build the skill.
Not only this, the layers of the brain also evolve in an adult, including the brain stem which can be show clearly in the brain scans of illiterate adults. The study of neuroplasticity will not only allow you to recognize your brain’s capacity but will also help you see how your brain is capable of growing physically and how to continually improve your skill-set.
Record a Journal
Recording a journal for 21 days will help you to start new things every day. When you see your friends trying something new, or when you think you want to take up a challenge and want to get out of your comfort zone, that is when your growth mindset can be effective.
After the first seven days, when activities that are familiar to you ends, that is when the challenge begins. You need to get more creative with the things you are trying and even MORE innovative with the actions you are implying.
By the end of these 21 days, you will realise how you could tap into your unlocated potential and through regular practice and a shift in your perception, you can enjoy the everyday possibilities to transform as well as increasing the sense of well-being and confidence as you see abundance of new information that you can learn.
Develop Grit & Strength of Character
According to Genius Award winning researcher, Angela Duckworth, Grit defines the perseverance to meet one’s goals and it is the amount of effort one is willing to put forward in order to accomplish something new or just to keep going, no matter how difficult the situations get, even when the reward is far away.
In order to develop growth mindset, one needs to cultivate strength of character and grit. Believing that everything is possible and progressing towards improved and successful learning, while identifying and surrounding yourself with people who challenge you and support you to stick to your goals is what cultivating grit is all about.
The people you choose to surround yourself with play an important role on your beliefs and behaviors. Their norms and standards will unknowingly influence you and could also act as a positive form of peer pressure. It is also important to have a flexible thinking pattern in order to face all obstacles and to develop creative thinking strategies.
Knowing your purpose is the final step to developing grit. When on is aware about the greater meaning of the work they are doing, makes their work sustainable and satisfying making them confident enough to be challenged.
Now that you are aware of several activities to perform on a daily basis in order to develop a Growth Mindset in adults, there is no way anyone can stop you from feeling proficient and stop your growth plateau. Instead, all you need to do is to challenge yourself until you become an expert.