In my blog post about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I talk about clinically proven ways to change the way we think, feel and behave. All three affect one another, but ultimately it is our thoughts that dictate our feelings and actions. It is our mindset that drives everything in our lives. And there is one mindset that is all encompassing. One mindset to rule them all. One mindset that can sum up all other mindsets, and is the mindset to develop for greater health, well-being and success in all areas of life. And that is a GROWTH MINDSET.
This kind of mindset leads to a desire to learn, a desire to lean into and embrace challenges. People with a growth mindset persist in the face of setbacks and see effort as a path to mastery. They find lessons and inspiration from others. They learn from and embrace criticism.
The opposite of a growth mindset, as Dr. Carol Dweck, (a psychologist at Stanford who has over 20+ years of research experience) who coined the term and describes in her book MINDSET, is a fixed mindset. People with a fixed mindset avoid challenges and give up easily. They ignore useful feedback and see effort as fruitless. They feel threatened by the success of others.
Because of this line of thinking, they plateau early in life and achieve less than their full potential. Conversely, people with a growth mindset have a greater sense of free will, have greater confidence, take consistent action and achieve more in life.
How to Develop a Growth Mindset
The steps to develop a growth mindset are very similar to the steps in CBT:
- Mindfulness – become aware of the 2 mindsets and the various aspects that apply to you.
- Cognitive Restructuring – upgrade your beliefs or mindset using better logic and rationality (you can always change, as science shows).
- Replace Thinking – For example, challenges are good, effort is a path to mastery, feedback is critical to improvement.
Finally: Take action – set goals, create a plan, garner feedback, lean into challenges. In almost any situation involving change or where you want to get better, you must first believe you can change and get better. You must develop a growth mindset. And you should believe growth is possible.
Hopefully, after consuming the content on this platform (like the information about neuroplasticity – the literal rewiring of brain circuitry) you at least see the possibility that change can occur. Because it can. And does, quite often. But it takes work. It takes action.
And it will likely be challenging, at least at first or in the short term. But challenge is a good thing. Challenge promotes neuroplasticity and is an integral component of a growth mindset.
Recognize that everything begins and ends in the brain and with our thoughts. Use practices like mindfulness and cognitive restructuring to upgrade your thinking. Develop a growth mindset so you can achieve greater success, improve your life, your health and well-being!
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