Most of us have been conditioned to fear failure. We have been told that failure is not an option, that to fail is unacceptable. But, this type of thinking ignores the valuable role that failure plays in our lives. If you are allowing your failures to control you, and you have become a victim to your setbacks, it is time to change your mindset.
A Growth Mindset
When you embrace a growth mindset, you can see that failure is a significant part of learning. After all, trial and error is a legitimate form of learning, with the “error” being the most critical part. If you try something and it doesn’t work, then you have new information you did not have before. Failure represents new learning that you can apply to your future attempts.
A growth mindset also allows you to learn more quickly from mistakes. When you have a mentality that embraces mistakes as learning experiences, you more promptly apply this new knowledge to solving the problem laid before you.
A Fixed Mindset
When you have a fixed mindset, you become a victim to your failures. You do not believe you can improve or grow and that failures represent reasons why you should stop trying to succeed. How can you tell if your mindset is fixed? Here are some signs to look for:
- You give up easily, especially when trying new things.
- You think that any failure on your part is a sign you lack intelligence.
- You often ignore or discredit constructive criticism offered to you.
- When you succeed, you see it as an affirmation of your inherent intelligence.
- You actively avoid failure at all costs.
- You are resistant to challenges.
- When you see others succeed, you feel threatened.
These behaviors and thought patterns affect your decisions and whether you achieve your goals in life. Your fixed mindset, which places you in the role of victim to your own failures, is preventing you from becoming the person you want to be and from doing what you most value in this world. You are at risk of not reaching your full potential in life. But it is not too late.
How to Change Your Mindset
When you decide you are ready to act to change your mindset, there are many things you can do to stop being a victim and start taking control. The following are just a few of the many strategies and habits you can use to cultivate a growth mindset and start realizing your goals in life.
#1. Embrace learning. You can learn something from every situation and person in your life. You must be open to seeing these opportunities and from receiving these lessons. You are never too old to learn more, and you can accomplish anything to which you set your mind.
#2. Actively pursue change. When you are open to new ideas and experiences, you see the benefit of trying out new things, even if they don’t work. Pursue something new to you to practice taking steps toward a more growth-oriented approach.
#3. Learn from mistakes. The next time something goes wrong in your life, ask yourself what you can learn from this experience. What lessons can you apply in the future? What would you do differently, if you could turn back the clock? Practice this at every opportunity you can, no matter how big or small the mistake.
#4. Take chances. Start small, but try something new each day. Take risks you have never taken before. Adopt a curiosity about the world that encourages you to try new things, because it doesn’t matter if you succeed or not.
Each day of your life is filled with many possibilities. Be sure you are embracing them all by focusing on what you can learn from the world and how you can use that new knowledge to make your dreams come true.