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Developing a Growth Mindset

August 03, 2016 08:00 AM / by Reliance Star

There has been a lot of talk recently in the business world, particularly among entrepreneurs in the eCommerce industry, about the importance of developing a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. This concept was pioneered in the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck. Here, we’ll break down the two mindsets and explain how you can cultivate a growth mindset to become a growth leader in your small business.

The Fixed Mindset

Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and abilities are inherent qualities that cannot be changed or developed. This mindset encourages a strong focus on success and failure, leading individuals in this category to often give up easily when confronted with setbacks. People with this mindset make a point of avoiding failure at all costs, often causing them to avoid taking on new responsibilities in areas where they lack confidence in their abilities. This typically results in them peaking out early on in their careers.

The Growth Mindset

At the opposite end of the spectrum, those with the growth mindset believe that intelligence and abilities are fluid and can be honed and developed over time. They embrace change and have a constant desire to learn, treating failures as opportunities to grow. Every criticism or mistake is a chance to learn and to improve. These individuals constantly push themselves to be better and to achieve new heights in their careers, ultimately resulting in them becoming much more successful than their fixed mindset counterparts. These are typically the growth leaders in any business.

How This Applies to eCommerce Businesses

The world of eCommerce is constantly growing and evolving along with changes in consumer preferences, so entrepreneurs in this area need to be able to change along with it. They must work to learn constantly to stay abreast of the frequent changes in the industry and work hard to accomplish their goals in the face of frequent challenges.

As such, those with the fixed mindset are unlikely to be successful in this area, as they will likely want to give up when things aren’t going smoothly. Those with the growth mindset, on the other hand, are better equipped to weather the constant changes and developments and to embrace new skills and information on a regular basis, becoming growth leaders in their industries.

Developing Your Growth Mindset

If you are more of the fixed mindset type, don’t worry; there are a number of things you can do to help yourself make the transition into having a growth mindset. The primary goal is to build up your self-confidence so that you will be more amenable to trying new things, both at work and in your personal life.

Start by quieting that negative voice in your head that questions whether or not you are capable of completing a new task. Of course you are capable of it, even if you don’t yet have the skills needed. Treat every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow so that you will be able to accomplish it.

Set realistic expectations for yourself. No one expects you to be perfect all of the time; rather, they expect you to learn from your mistakes and move forward. Remember to reward yourself for small accomplishments. While it may seem silly at first to recognize every little step, over time, you will start to notice a huge increase in your level of confidence in your abilities.

Keep in mind that this is not a change that will happen over night. In the beginning, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself of the steps you need to take to develop the growth mindset. Eventually, you will find that it becomes more natural the more you do it.