In reality, especially in business, failure is always part of the journey. It is inevitable to struggle and face challenges along the path. This is why your perception of failure, success, and hard work are important to your own success. It is a battle between responding negatively or positively to the present circumstance. 

Be mindful of the fact that how you respond to the world depends on your mindset. This article will discuss the most useful and effective ways to build a positive mindset toward success alongside some tips on how to cultivate a growth mindset. 

Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University and the man behind the book “Mindset The New Psychology of Success,” categorized mindset into two forms: Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset. 

What is the growth mindset?

Smith (2020) defines a growth mindset as the ability of a person to view intelligence, skills, and talents as qualities that can be developed over time. More simply, it is a mentality you embody to manifest that you can improve and better yourself through continuous efforts and hard work. Similarly, she added that a growth mindset also entails the ability to perceive setbacks and failures as necessary in the learning process, which helps people to “bounce back” and “rise up.” Building a growth mindset affirms that it is plausible to get what you want and be who you want to be no matter how many times you fall down. 

Since those who embody a growth mindset view failing as temporary, they are more likely to use constructive criticism and feedback as an opportunity to learn, be inspired by the success stories of others, seize challenges no matter how difficult it can be, think of feedback as a source of information, practice self-mastery, and embrace lifelong learning experiences. 

Having a growth mindset helps you to view the world beyond your sufferings and know that you are capable of changing your situation through learning and developing a set of skills. As Dweck wrote “Individuals with a growth mindset believe that they are capable of learning nearly anything if they work hard and accept failures and challenges as opportunities to grow...They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”

What is a fixed mindset?

Contrary to a growth mindset, a fixed mindset views qualities, intelligence, skills, talents, and abilities as innate or fixed and cannot be either improved or developed over time.  People who have this kind of mindset believe that success is already engraved in one’s destiny. In that sense, life is only a matter of luck and only the destined successful people can enjoy it just as the unlucky ones suffer from constant failure. 

Having a fixed mindset can affect you in many ways. You will be afraid to go out of your comfort zone by continuously avoiding challenges. Additionally, you will never acquire the “never give up attitude” since you quit and get intimidated easily by the success of others. You will also be more likely to feel bad about yourself when given criticisms, even when these are constructive. You may also tend to exert less effort in everything that you do, doubt your own worth and capabilities, and feel insecure. 

How do you resolve your fixed mindset issues?

  1. Know exactly what your triggers are.

Recognizing a problem is always the first step in solving the problem. In this case, identifying your triggers is the prerequisite. Challenges, hard work, critique, setbacks, and the success of others are commonly the fixed mindset triggers. Each of these can hinder you from adapting to a growth mindset, and should therefore be overcome.

  1. Recognize your feelings and emotions.

It is totally fine to sometimes feel bad about yourself for not meeting your expectations. You are a human, not a robot. You commit mistakes and that is always part of your growth. Acknowledge what you truly feel but never allow your feelings to define who you are and what you need to do afterward. 

  1. Distract yourself.

Even the most successful people have previously declared the hobbies they enjoy doing when they had a bad week at work. Try to take a break from everything when you feel overwhelmed and only move forward when you are more than capable to do so. Some peaceful activities you can try practicing include writing journals, painting, biking, jogging, and a myriad other endeavors.  

How does one adapt to a growth mindset?

Do not worry if you believe you have tendencies of clinging to a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset because Neuroscience reveals that human brains continue to develop and change, even for adults! Studies also suggest that people who have practiced a fixed mindset for a long time can still gradually develop a growth mindset. 

Here are some tips on how you may slowly develop a growth mindset:

  1. Use positive affirmations.

According to Medicinenet, positive affirmations are statements that affirm something to be true. These may come in the form of positive phrases you tell yourself repeatedly to feel better especially when you wake up in the morning. This helps you create positive thoughts in your head and avoid pessimism. Invajy also asserts that thoughts have direct impacts on human emotions and feelings. According to them, having positive emotions can trigger the release of a chemical called “dopamine” in your brain that stimulates good feelings. 

At face value, positive affirmations are simply words, but if you try to dig deeper, these words mean so much more, including helping you develop a positive mindset, and as a result, enlighten your day.

  1. Be process-oriented. 

When striving for success, results are always anyone’s primary priority. You may tend to disregard the small victories and goals you accomplished along the process. It may be helpful to keep in mind that success is a continuous, tedious, systematic process, rather than an endeavor that is solely dependent on its results. You will also enjoy your journey better, and therefore have a better taste of your success once you get there knowing you endured through a long journey. 

At Harvard Business Review, Carol Dweck claimed that praising someone for their process and efforts is more meaningful and valuable than giving praise on their results. This signifies the importance of trusting the process rather than solely focusing on the end results. While a championship trophy may be a lovely award, this does not beat the thought of having gone through a journey of ups and downs.

  1. Surround yourself with good influence people.

Maybe you have heard of the saying, “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” Who knows how many relationships this sentence has broken, but we all cannot deny the truth value this line has. No matter how many times you deny that your environment and the people who surround you affect the way you act and view the world, they will always play a significant role in your growth and development.

If you are surrounded by people who have low self-esteem, quit easily, have no motivation in life, and embody a fixed mindset, you are more likely to think and feel the same way. 

In the context of the nature vs. nurture debate, it is argued that human traits, personalities, beliefs, and characteristics are shaped by biological or genetic predispositions (Nature). On the flip side, nurture describes the influence of learning from one’s environment. 

In order for you to cultivate a growth mindset, it is a priority to choose the people who surround you and make sure that you share the same positive ideologies with them.

  1. Redefine failure as an opportunity to grow.

You do not need to completely eradicate the words “failures,” “setbacks,” “rejections,” and “challenges” from your vocabulary. All you need to do is redefine these words and make them lean into a more positive frame. Most people perceive these concepts as negative, mostly because they are afraid to be seen as a failure by the people dearest to them. This is exactly why it is important to choose carefully the people surrounding you. If you believe that certain people do not influence you to be better, then that is an indication that you shut them off of your life. 

Do not be afraid of failure and instead think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow. 

Cultivating a growth mindset takes a long time compared to what you may have previously thought. It requires courage for you to take the first step, and once you acquire self-mastery and the “never-give-up attitude,” the odds will surely be in your favor. Success never happens overnight. It is a never-ending process.

Rivermate allows you to hire employees who have a growth mindset across the globe. On top of that, it offers top-notch tools that should ease the complexity of global business expansion. With this, you can focus your attention on mentoring and training your employees to achieve your business goals.