Manilka Ediriweera says a growth mindset is necessary to achieve success

Think of the thoughts and beliefs that occupy your mind daily. Are they thoughts such as ‘I’m not good at adapting to change’; ‘Will I succeed or fail?’; ‘I’m a natural, I don’t need to develop my skills further’?

Or are they thoughts like ‘I should try harder!’; ‘I will learn how to adapt to new technology’; ‘I’ll look into where I went wrong’?

If your thoughts resemble the former, you have a fixed mindset; if they resemble the latter, you have a growth mindset. The wrong outlook can destroy your sense of self-belief and negatively influence your success.

So what is a mindset and why is it crucial for success? And what are the differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset?

A mindset is an established set of attitudes held by someone. These attitudes continuously guide that person on how to perceive and think about things. They help determine your success and how you cope with challenges that are thrown your way.

Whether you’re starting your own business or being a parent, the right mindset can make the difference between success and failure.

In her book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,’ American psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck says that there are two types of mindsets – fixed and growth.

Those with a fixed mindset tend to believe that they must deal with the hand they’ve been dealt, and that intelligence and talent are static. Such individuals are more concerned about the opinion of others, and are less likely to push themselves out of their comfort zones and face challenges or constructive criticism head-on.

In contrast, a person with a growth mindset is a firm believer that intelligence, talent and skills can be developed through effort and practice. Individuals with a growth mindset are unafraid of failure because they have come to realise that failing is a part of the learning process.

We often switch from a growth mindset to a fixed version and vice versa, depending on the situation at hand. However, we need to develop our growth mindset – especially in the current day and age where change is inevitable. These constant changes mean that we must learn, adapt and challenge ourselves.

And for this, we must step out of our comfort zones… and embrace the problems and obstacles we face, without giving up or believing that our skills are fixed and can’t be improved. This means that no matter how challenging it becomes, we must try approaching every situation with a growth mindset and belief that there’s always room for betterment.

Muhammad Ali once said: “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” At present, employers are growing increasingly concerned about attracting candidates with growth mindsets to drive businesses forward.

Here’s how you can switch your mindset to a growth oriented model to be more successful.

SELF-AWARENESS Be aware of the thoughts that plague your mind when you are faced with challenges. Is the voice in your head telling you that you’ll fail? Are you worried about failure? Or do you feel there are no skills or talents that you need to develop?

If you can reflect and identify what prompts a switch to a fixed mindset when faced with challenges, it will be easier to recognise your negative and self-limiting thoughts, and develop a growth mindset instead.

LEARNING PROCESS Think of failure as part of the learning process. Do you fear failure and are you worried about what others may think of you if you fail? To develop a growth mindset, you have to embrace failure as a positive experience and understand that everyone has mishaps.

Even the most successful people in the world have failed at some point in their life. Instead of giving up, you should learn from your failure and use the experience to improve your situation.

PUSH YOURSELF Challenge yourself to go beyond your limits. And when you push yourself further than your perception of what seems to be limiting you, you can develop a growth mindset.

You may not always succeed. However, by challenging yourself and pushing your self-imposed boundaries, you will gain new experiences and learn valuable lessons that will enable you to win the next time around. It’s said that magic happens outside your comfort zone… so push yourself – because problems present opportunities to grow and develop.

ACTIVELY LEARN You should never stop learning; instead, keep your eyes and mind open to gaining knowledge. Be curious, discover and learn, and actively seek learning opportunities. It will help develop a growth mindset and propel you to success.

So change your way of thinking. Let go of any self-limiting thoughts, learn new skills and develop a growth mindset to reach greater success – because all that matters is how good you wish to be, not how good you are.