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25 Ways Toward a Growth Mindset

Enhance your relationships and personal growth.

Disha Sheta/Pexels
Source: Disha Sheta/Pexels

This year has undoubtedly had its challenges. For some, they are exacerbated by pandemic-related restrictions and disappointments. Depressive and anxiety symptoms are mounting among children, teens, and adults as our health, safety, and personal freedoms remain threatened and ambiguous, especially now with the increased rates of infection.

I have a patient who contracted COVID, infected his parents, and his mother subsequently died from related complications. He was also unable to hold a traditional funeral for her which further contributed to and complicated his sadness and grief.

Among Uncertainty, We Have Choices

There is so much that we don’t have control over. We must accept our fate and circumstances despite how incredibly painful it can be at times. We make the choice to either give up or work through whatever we are faced with. At times it can feel so daunting and nearly impossible to move through. We wonder if we’ll make it out on the other end, and if we happen to, what will become of us in the process.

We often cannot change our circumstances, but we can change how we react to it and decide whether we will approach it in line with being our best selves. All we know is right here, right now. We don’t know what will happen two minutes from now, an hour from now, or a year into the future. If we focus on anything other than the present moment, we miss out on life.

This time we have is precious and priceless. It helps if we accept ourselves for who we are, set personal standards, and fortify goals that help enhance us so that we can live a purposeful and meaningful life.

Making the Choice to Shift Your Mindset

Consider shifting your mindset to reflect acceptance of who you are and expanding your self-love, self-worth, and self-compassion so that you’ll be more likely to take action on behalf of your values and who you strive to be for yourself and others.

Shift Your Mindset to...

1. My behaviors do not inherently define who I am as a person. I am not a bad person when I act badly; I am a person who has acted badly. I have the power to grow, change, and enhance myself.

2. I can accept myself whether I win, lose, or draw. I have the right and can choose differently next time.

3. I will not define myself solely by others’ opinions of me. My opinion of myself is the most significant and impactful. I can work to grow my self-belief, self-compassion, and self-love.

4. I can be myself without trying to prove myself.

5. I can accept my humanness and imperfections because we all collectively have them.

6. I have faults I can work on, correcting without blaming, shaming, or condemning myself for having them.

7. I can stop trying to confirm whether I am good enough. I feel all people have intrinsic worth, value, and are good enough, including me.

8. I can accept that I have favorable and less favorable parts. The less favorable ones do not define me and are only part of me, not all of me.

9. Accepting myself as being human is better than trying to prove my worthiness or have broad or unrealistic expectations of myself.

10. I can notice challenges, disadvantages, and failures without judging or defining myself by them.

11. As desperately as I may want to, I cannot change anyone else’s behavior, only my own.

12. It is OK to be selective with who I choose to surround myself with. I choose to be around people who respect, nurture, and support me.

13. It is unrealistic for me to expect to be accepted and approved of by everyone, as I do not accept and approve of everyone either.

14. Making judgments is natural. I will work toward noticing, studying, and leaning toward them with the possibility of flexing my perspectives.

15. I will seek contentment or satisfaction, rather than happiness, because happiness is too broad and ambiguous.

16. I can feel an array of uncomfortable emotions such as sadness, disappointment, guilt, and frustration, and seek to change my behavior, rather than take on demoralizing shame, which generally leads to cutting off and inaction.

17. I will just do it, whether I feel like it or not.

18. I commit to challenging myself each day because inaction leads to stagnation and challenge facilitates growth and change.

19. I will strive to have mindful awareness of my values and act on behalf of them rather than being driven by my fears.

20. I am not at the mercy of my circumstances. I can still choose to find intentionality, purposefulness, and meaning in aspects of my life.

21. It may feel worse to fail, but it’s worth taking the chance. Failure teaches me what is truly important to me and what I want.

22. I deserve to be unconditionally respected, protected, and loved. It is my fundamental right as a human being.

23. I have worth; therefore, it is essential for me to express and assert my needs and desires.

24. Being who I truly am is my right. I do not have to dull myself down to elevate someone else.

25. I understand when I commit to something important to me, I must exercise patience, consistency, and concerted effort as most things require unrelenting effort and trade-offs. I must be willing to give up something to get something I really want.

If we integrate these ideas into our mindset, we can be more present and make choices with more intentionality. We are reminded every day how unpredictable life is—it can change on a dime, without warning or preparation. Life may not necessarily be the party we hoped for, but while we are here in attendance, we can revel in it and dance because we want to and choose to.

Here is a Self-Compassion Guided Meditation led by me.

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