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The Importance Of Making Mistakes For A Growth Mindset

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Do you have a fear of making mistakes?

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s a fact of life. When you’re learning something new, it’s inevitable that you’ll make some mistakes before perfecting your craft. If we have a growth mindset, we are able to see our mistakes as learning opportunities.

Making mistakes is human

As humans, we make mistakes daily in all areas of our lives. Sometimes we will forget a crucial ingriedient when cooking and then dinner is ruined. Other times, we may snap at our partner or friend because we’re in a bad mood. They did nothing to deserve being snapped at, it was a mistake to speak to them in that way.

Making mistakes is fine, so long as we learn from them. If you believe you are allowed to make mistakes, it’s easier to allow yourself to make mistakes in the future. Scrap the self-hatred after making a mistake, remind yourself you are a human and it’s an opportunity to learn. An opportunity which requires a growth mindset. It’s a similar concept to apologising. If you are constantly apologising but never change your actions, are you really sorry? If you make the same mistake over and over, but do nothing about them, is it really a mistake if you’re not willing to learn from it? The key is to learn from your mistakes and improve in the future.

What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is a way of thinking that allows you to develop an optimistic, positive and flexible view of yourself. It’s the belief that intelligence and talent are not fixed, but can be developed. This type of mindset is important because it allows you to believe in yourself and your abilities. It also helps you deal with setbacks or criticism more effectively. There are many benefits to having a growth mindset, one of them being that it allows for mistakes and setbacks to be seen as opportunities for improvement.

It is the opposite of a fixed mindset, which is the belief that one’s qualities are set from birth and cannot be changed. A person with a fixed mindset believes that their level of intelligence or talent is innate, unchangeable, and cannot be developed any further. They believe that they are either born with these traits or they are not.

Growth Mindset Mistakes

Mistakes are a necessary part of life. We should not be afraid of making mistakes and instead embrace them as a way to learn from them. But how do we learn from our mistakes?

We learn by reflecting on the experience, what we could have done differently or better, and how we can change in the future. The first step to learning from our mistakes is to acknowledge that you made a mistake. This may sound obvious but can actually be a tricky step. For example, think about a time when someone told you that you had upset them. Was your initial reaction to accept that you made a mistake, or was it to defend your actions and protest your innocence? We cannot learn from the mistakes we make if we do not acknowledge that we made them in the first place.

Reflecting on our mistakes is important for a growth mindset

The second step to learning from our mistakes is to reflect on the situation. By taking the time to reflect on what we should have done differently and how we can do better next time, we begin to adopt a growth mindset. Reflecting on our mistakes is a way to learn from them and make sure that we don’t repeat them. We recognise the wrong, understand the impact, and begin to rewrite our next time.

Examples of a growth mindset

Building a growth mindset that works for you

  • Use the word ‘yet’. I haven’t passed my driving test yet. We haven’t passed the exam yet. I haven’t published a book yet.
  • Celebrate the successes of others to inspire your own.
  • View challenges as opportunities.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others, as well as yourself.
  • Try new things and accept that you will not be an expert straight away.
  • Adopt the mantra “practice makes perfect”.

Having a growth mindset means acknowledging that you will make mistakes, but you will learn from them. It will not be an overnight change and it will take weeks of practice before your new way of thinking becomes a habit. It may even feel challenging at times. However, it’s a challenge worth pursuing.

What are some examples of mistakes you’ve made that have helped you to develop a growth mindset?

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