growth mindset

Championing a growth mindset champions leadership

One of the greatest tennis players in the world is Roger Federer. Throughout his career, Roger achieved phenomenal success. Was Roger born with an innate talent to be a great player?

A contributing factor to Roger’s success was his growth mindset. His gift for the game was developed and nurtured over time. Developing his mental strength set him on a course to reach the pinnacle of his career – being No.1 and becoming a Grand Slam champion, consistently. Roger constantly practiced improving his performance, maintaining a healthy level of fitness and nutrition, developed skills to cope with the rollercoaster of emotions from winning and losing matches, and continued to learn ways to up-level his match-winning style.

Roger Federer – an inspiring example of a sports professional who harnessed the power of a growth mindset to unlock and realize his own potential and embrace lifelong learning to become a master of his chosen sport.

What is a growth mindset and how do you develop one?

From extensive research, looking into why people succeed in life, US psychologist, Carol Dweck, penned the term ‘growth mindset’.

She discovered that the degree of success achieved by many people is definitively linked to a growth mindset.

There are two main mindsets, fixed and growth. A person with a fixed mindset believes people are born with abilities and talents. They avoid challenges and believe there is no necessity to go the extra mile to get results. When a mistake is made, they get discouraged and often push out the blame to others, without dealing with or learning from the experience. Feedback can be taken personally.

On the flip side, a person with a growth mindset fully embraces skills and talent as opportunities to be developed and grown. They believe people are not born with talents, rather they can be built. They thrive on and embrace challenges, viewing these as opportunities. To this person, failing or making a mistake is a vital learning experience. Mistakes lead to growth. Feedback is a gift to reflect on and move forward with an open, growth approach.

Which type of mindset do you recognize in yourself?

Even if you have a fixed mindset, you can change. You can flip the switch and learn how to build and sustain a strong growth mindset. Like Roger Federer, you too can embrace learning and unlock your true potential. Imagine how you will feel when you take steps to open your thoughts, beliefs, behaviour, and actions, to the opportunity of a growth mindset.

Begin by visualizing the type of person you and others want to be around. Think about the relationships you have in your life and the conversations you have with your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. When you are with others, do you leave them happy and motivated, or down in the dumps and gloomy?

Set your intention to become an Uplifter not a Downcaster.

Becoming an Uplifter puts you in a positive light. As you adopt and practice the growth mindset approach you will start to see skills, challenges, effort, failure, and feedback, as opportunities to learn, not hinder, your personal growth.  

Remember, it is ok to take your time to grow into the change you want to see and live. You will experience times when you slip between a fixed and growth mindset. You are human and we all do it. However, with every step you take, you can unlearn and learn, as you shift from fixed to growth. Keep asking yourself, daily: What steps did I take to make my day a success? How did I keep going when things got tough? What have I learned from the challenges I faced today?

Making time to reflect, will lead you toward fully embracing learning about yourself.

Regular self-reflection becomes an asset for you, as you develop a greater sense of awareness. I encourage you to write down your reflections and tune in to what you are noticing is different in your conversations and relationships. Ask for feedback. Take note of what people are saying to you as an opportunity to continue your practice of learning.

Celebrate your wins because it is the small steps and daily habits that lead to big successes and unlocking your potential.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *