A growth mindset refers to the belief that your abilities can be developed. This differs greatly from a fixed mindset which ascertains that a person has fixed amounts of traits and talents.
Adopting a growth mindset can be incredibly freeing as it helps you to see yourself as a person who has the ability to grow in knowledge and skill, versus someone tied to a limited amount of information and talent. Tapping into a growth mindset is essential to helping you live more fearlessly and here is how.
As previously stated, the growth mindset is characterized by the belief that your abilities can be developed. A person approaching life with this mentality is likely far more at peace with themselves which allows them to experience freedom within their lives. A series of studies by Carol Dweck and colleagues determined that the more fixed the mindset of a person was, the more likely they were to remember negative events.
The memory of those negative events then led to an increase in helplessness which made way for increased reports of depression. An optimistic outlook, on the other hand, sets the tone and expectations for how one faces challenges. When you understand that a lack of present knowledge is temporary and that the opportunity exists to gain the needed knowledge to meet/exceed the challenge, you are in a better position to thrive and more likely not to be bound by the fear of trying or pressing forward.
Individuals with a growth mindset are open to feedback and constructive criticism, whereas those with a fixed mindset avoid criticism and feedback at all costs. The lack of feedback and criticism robs those with fixed mindsets of the opportunity to learn more about themselves and the ways they can improve.
On the other hand, the feedback from others received by those with a growth mindset helps them become aware of areas of weakness. They are then able to use that information to develop a plan/pathway that addresses those areas of weakness and develop the necessary skills to transform those weaknesses into strengths.
When you are able to improve upon yourself and grow via self-awareness the fear of not being enough is eliminated because you know there are ways for you to improve.
A person with a growth mindset is better able to embrace challenges and risks. This is because they understand that facing challenges and taking risks is a means by which more knowledge can be obtained and more skills can be developed. Such a mindset places those with a growth mindset at an advantage because it enables them to view challenges and risks as a positive rather than a negative. They are then able to tackle challenges and risks head-on and gain the needed exposure to help them develop and grow, freeing them from fear that would likely keep them from taking action and lead to stagnation.
Adapt to Change
Those with a growth mindset understand that change is a natural part of life and that with change comes growth and development. This adaptability equips them to embrace change in a way that those with a fixed mindset would not.
This ability to accept change once again enables those with a growth mindset to be in uncomfortable situations with a deeper understanding that the discomfort and uncertainty in the present will make way for new knowledge and understanding via processes of exploration and investigation.
The better you are able to exist in uncomfortable spaces, the less likely fear of discomfort keeps you from adjusting and progressing.
Each of these outcomes of a growth mindset contributes to a greater measure of fearlessness. As you become more optimistic, more self-aware, better able to adapt to change, and more willing to take risks you find yourself less impacted by mindsets and beliefs about yourself that would hinder you in life.