Currently, our practitioners are mostly located in Sydney. However, online sessions are available for everyone.

Growth Mindset: What is it and how to get one?


Written by Victoria Maurer

Have you ever felt like you can’t do something without considering that maybe you just don’t know how? Do you back yourself to learn new skills in all areas of your life or feel that certain things will “never happen for you” because “you’re just not good at that”? You probably don’t remember but you won’t argue with me that this is true. At one point, you didn’t know how to walk or speak your mind. These are most likely things you do regularly and with ease now and prove in the simplest way that you can learn, grow, and evolve. 
"Somewhere along the way through life, we convince ourselves or someone convinces us that there is some kind of limit on what we can achieve"
When this happens we start to see the world through the lens of a fixed mindset. Meaning we often say things like “It is what it is”, “I can’t change the way I feel”, or the biggie “I can’t do that.”  
Up until a few years ago, I struggled with this too. I thought if I wasn’t good at something naturally “it wasn’t meant to be” and I should spend my energy “focusing on the things I am good at” without really considering too much what I wanted to be good at let alone what I was willing to learn to be good at
During the first COVID lockdowns in March 2020, I was on a slippery slope heading towards burnout, a place I had been before when I was living and working in New York. I had been with one of the Big 4 accounting firms for about 8 years at the time and always thought “This is what I am good at”, “This is what I studied so hard for”, “This is how I am going to make lots of money”, and ultimately, “THIS IS MY LIFE.” I had accepted these things as part of my identity and so I worked hard, got promoted, and dreamed about the day I would become a partner in the firm. 
I didn’t know it then but I was very much stuck in a fixed mindset and the universe conjured up a way to show me that. It was 2 am and I was on the phone with the CFO of one of my clients and the Engagement Partner talking about an issue with the calculation of their Deferred Tax Assets (who cares!? NOT ME!) and I realized at that moment “this is not what I want, I don’t HAVE to be this.” Without knowing it at the time, it was at that moment that my journey towards developing a growth mindset began. 

A few weeks later, I picked up a book called Mindset by Angela Duckworth, a psychologist renowned for her work on the Fixed vs Growth Mindset. The book opened up a new way of thinking for me that gave me enough of an edge to start making changes in my everyday life.
Fixed mindset vs growth mindset
I learned that in the simplest terms, someone with a growth mindset believes their intelligence, abilities, and talents are learnable and that they are capable of improving through effort. While someone with a fixed mindset views these same traits as “fixed” or unchangeable over time. 
Once I learned this, I realized I had a fixed mindset in a few areas of my life, not all of them but definitely in my career. I thought because I had made a choice I had to “stick with it” and because I had been successful in my career so far that continuing with what I knew was not just the best option but the only option. However, I noticed that I did not have a fixed mindset when it came to physical fitness. Why was that? Why did I believe I could learn new physical skills but not new career skills? This called to question some beliefs I had about myself, my success, and my financial security. It also led me to realize how deeply the fixed mindset impacts personal identity and mindset overall. 
I began reflecting on which areas of my life I had a growth mindset and realized there were a few. Perhaps this is the same for you. Let's find out, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do I believe I can learn a new skill that makes me money? 
  • Do I believe I can learn a new physical skill (weightlifting, swimming, tennis, salsa, etc)? 
  • Do I believe I can learn a new way to interact with people and build relationships?
  • Do I believe I can adapt the foods I eat and the meals I prepare?
  • Do I believe I can move to a new city, create a new routine, and make new social connections?
  • Do I believe that my past informs my future or that my current actions inform my future? 
If you answered ‘No’ to the majority of these questions, you may be stuck in a fixed mindset. Not to worry though, this is completely changeable, should you want it to be. 
The benefits of adopting a growth mindset are truly exceptional. Our potential becomes limitless because we truly believe that we can learn to do or become anything we put our minds to. We look for opportunities for growth once we understand how rewarding it is to commit to ourselves, learn a new skill, or change the trajectory of our lives. We are no longer stuck in our old patterns and so new doors begin to open for us, new experiences become available, and we start to become the person we always dreamed we could be but never actually believed we could be. 

Growth mindset coaching
My favorite thing about a growth mindset is that we stop counting ourselves out and create space for so many new opportunities and experiences to come our way. Life is hard enough when we are constantly trying to meet and exceed expectations in our careers, family lives, and social circles. When we start believing that we can learn, grow, and rise to the occasion, we stop sitting on the sidelines and as a result, our internal and external environments start to shift allowing our experiences to improve and our lives to change. 
So now that you’re convinced that adopting a growth mindset is worth your time, let's talk about how. Here are some tips:

1. Most simply and as a first step, make slight changes to your language. The language we speak out loud reaffirms the narrative we have in our minds and makes it more real or concrete. It also is the way we teach others how to interact with us. When it comes to learning something new, every time you say “I can’t do that” or “I don’t know how to” add “yet” at the end of the sentence. Before adding “yet” consider whether this is something you want to learn to do. If you’ve always had a dream to run a marathon but because you are time-poor as a result of your other life commitments you haven’t made time, stop saying “I can’t run a marathon” and start saying “I can’t run a marathon yet” this begins to condition your mind to the opportunity to learn. 

2. Next, set yourself a challenge. Pick something you don’t know how to do (maybe start to put together a running plan that fits your schedule, no matter how small you need to start) and commit time to learning this new skill. It could be anything but by doing this you prove to yourself you can learn new things. For me, this was ocean swimming. I have never been a swimmer (not surprising as I grew up in New York!) but I always admired the ocean swimmers so I decided to take the plunge. I went to the pool and swam 50m lengths one at a time and had to stop after each because I was so puffed. Now I swim 5kms in the ocean without stopping. This did so much for the development of my growth mindset, I truly started to believe I could learn new skills. With this confidence, I was able to make bigger shifts in my mindset, reframe limiting beliefs, and ultimately take steps towards living a life filled with aligned ambition that feels energizing and exciting to me. 
3. Lastly, consider working with a mindset coach. A mindset coach will help you identify the areas of your life where a fixed mindset and limiting beliefs are holding you back so you can create a plan to make changes and access your full potential. The benefits of working with a mindset coach are many but one of the key benefits is that a coach can help you identify your limitations that you are not currently able to see. By pulling these limitations into your awareness you can take action and make the change that better delivers the outcomes you desire. 
Once you’ve identified the limitations that are holding you back from reaching your potential, your mindset coach will use various tools, strategies, and coaching techniques to help you recreate new neural pathways and beliefs so that you are empowered and motivated to move forward towards achieving your goals. The best thing about having a mindset coach is they will be with you every step of the way and able to provide customized support that helps you achieve the outcomes you desire based on your specific needs, communication style, personality type, and current situation.
There are lots of forms of mindset coaching out there but in my practice, I use a combination of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Internal Family Systems (IFS), visualization and connection to the body. 
If you are interested in learning more about mindset coaching, I would love to have a free 30-minute discovery call to see if mindset coaching could be right for you! 

About the Author

Victoria Maurer

Victoria is a holistic health and mindset coach specializing in supporting ambitious women on their journey to find a balance that allows them to create the energy they need to thrive. In her practice, she focuses on movement, mindset, and nutrition as she has learned through her lived experience that each of these 3 pillars is key to finding a sustainable balance that lasts.

See Profile

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a regular dose of holistic news, tips and tools (we only send one every month or so we promise!)

© 2024 Bodhi Holistic HubTM Terms | Privacy | Sitemap