In the past, I've talked about the importance of adopting a growth mindset. I said that if I had to choose just one thing to teach my guys, it would be to adopt a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Check out the post right here for a refresher.
In that particular post, I wrote about the characteristics of a growth mindset and what makes it so crucial. But I didn’t go into detail on how to actually go about adopting a growth mindset. So in this post, I want to go over one easy and actionable tip to help shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
It’s very simple and it requires just one word: “yet.”
First, a quick refresher on the growth mindset.
The growth mindset is predicated on the belief that your skills and abilities can improve with practice. As a result, anyone who has a growth mindset must believe that with effort, they can achieve things that they are unable to do now. On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset believe that if they can’t do something right now, they won’t be able to do it because their abilities are fixed. This often shows up in what we say (either out loud or to ourselves).
"I’m not a good shooter”
“I’m just not a math person”
“I’m not a good artist"
“I’m not good enough to play professional basketball”
These are the words/thoughts of someone with a fixed mindset. But if you add the word “yet" to the end of these sentences, they take on a whole new meaning.
“I’m not a good shooter, yet”
“I’m just not a math person, yet”
“I’m not a good artist, yet"
“I’m not good enough to play professional basketball, yet.”
What I like about this technique is that you don’t have to delude yourself with phony positive talk. It doesn’t require lying to yourself to try and convince yourself you’re better than you are. It recognizes the reality of where you are and reminds you that you can improve. It opens up the possibility of reaching higher goals while being realistic that you’re not there yet.
You may not be a good shooter now, but you can become a good shooter if you work at it. You may struggle in math class now, but you can get better at math if you study hard.
Remember to add the word “yet” when you notice these negative self-assessments. Once this pattern of thinking starts to become natural, you’ll begin to see all the benefits of having a growth mindset.