Do You Fall Into This Trap?
If you are human, you have done it. You compare yourself to other people. The good news is that people out there compare themselves to you and the not-so-good news is that you do it, as well. While neither is benefit of the other, it is simply part of human nature. It’s how we grow, it’s how we strive, but sometimes, unfortunately, it’s sometimes an excuse to give up, as well. We just need to know how to have a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset.
A Fixed Mindset
Do you ever find yourself viewing someone else’s success as only a way to make yourself look bad? If so, you are not alone in this thought process.
For some, the success of others equates to highlight their own failures. Excuses are made such as the other party being luckier or having it easy.
Another excuse is to say everything just comes easily to that person or, even worse, use their success to highlight some other unrelated shortcoming.
If we don’t have something to compare ourselves to, you might reason, then how will we learn to achieve and grow? Sometimes, when we compare ourselves to others, we have something to gauge our success and failure with and, therefore, a measure of where we can do better and achieve more.
However, unfortunately, for those with a fixed mindset, this does not occur at all. There is actually a reverse method of thinking. That reverse method tells us, since we are not as good as the other person, we might as well just quit.
A Growth Mindset
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a growth mindset. You can give yourself the opportunity to change and grow over time as you learn to re-train your brain to a growth mindset. When you view someone else’s success as a way to strive harder, do more, and work harder, you re-train your brain to view this not as an excuse to stay status quo, but as a reason to thrive.
If you choose the thought patterns that intelligence can be developed and you can most certainly train your brain to reach higher heights, you will see a radical change in your life. Once you get that your self-image has nothing to do with failing at something and that this failure is actually a path to higher learning, you will be at ease in your own skin.
How to Gain a Growth Mindset
Wouldn’t that be nice to be at ease in your own skin? If you change your mind, you can re-train your brain to view failure as a stepping-stone to new successes. You will begin to understand failure as a learning tool and not as a way to define your image.
So, the next time you want to compare yourself to someone else, stop and ask yourself if his/her success can highlight inspiration for you. Maybe he/she put a tremendous amount of effort into the realization of dreams and all that hard work paid off. This could be a learning tool for you rather than something viewed as an enemy.
Other people’s success could be a way and a means for you to learn, grow, and, most importantly, be inspired.
A growth mindset takes on a different perspective. A growth mindset takes on challenges as a way to expand and grow. It also dictates that there is room for hard work, learning, and achieving.
Exercise Your Way to a Growth Mindset
You might be asking, “What does exercise have to do with gaining a growth mindset?” The answer is there is a different type of exercise you can do. It’s not the physical kind – it’s the mental kind.
When you exercise your brain, you give this muscle a chance to grow and expand over time. If you want to gain a growth mindset, you need to take on new, challenging things. Once your brain sees that it can overcome challenges, taking on more challenges becomes easier over time. Once your mind recognizes you are taking on something new, fear can become minimized and new things will be placed in the part of your brain compartmentalized as something not to be feared.
If you have a certain learning capacity and accept that this is your limit, then that will be your limit. However, on the other hand, if you work harder, take on more learning, and then work even harder, you will begin to notice a shift. You will begin to challenge your own status quo.
The harder you work the more results and rewards you will see. You will shift your mindset to understand that the more effort you put in, the more effort you will get out. It doesn’t have to stop at a certain static place. You can work hard, you can put in more effort, and you can achieve different results.
Have you ever heard a point of view or a perception that was astonishing and bold? Do you sometimes see how other people set the bar a bit higher, try new things, and work harder? Just because you have to work harder, does not mean you cannot be more successful. Take some time to examine a certain area of your life, such as academically, and see if you can’t think outside the box, enter new territories, and achieve higher goals.
After all, anyone who has made a medical breakthrough or achieved a higher goal has probably done so by working harder, trying new things, and stretching way outside of their comfort zone; and you can too.
Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset: Your Choice
Comparisons are useful at times, but not when they negatively affect your emotional or mental health. Choosing a growth mindset over a fixed mindset can make the difference. Then you’ll be able to celebrate with others while being inspired to achieve your own goals.
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