Growth Mindset in Sport and Life: Part 3

Part 3: How to Change Your Mindset

with ALLYSA SEELY, Liv Racing Paratriathlete 

In the first two parts of this three-part series on mindset, we have explored the difference between fixed and growth mindsets, and learned how to identify which mindset we have. Our mindsets can vary across activities and change over time; therefore, it is important to be in-tune with ourselves and our mindsets and check-in with yourself often.

In this third and final piece we will explore how to cultivate a strong growth mindset. This may seem challenging, but growth is meant to challenge us. Remember, the brain has the ability to change and adapt.

There is not one single way to develop a growth mindset, but a culmination of small changes which will help you develop a growth mindset overtime. Just like training our bodies, our brain requires use and training to function properly. Therefore, even once you’ve developed a strong growth mindset, you’ll need to continue practicing and developing with the following tips regularly.

Tips for Developing a Growth Mindset

1. Retire the image of natural talent. Success in anything does not come without hard work, preparation, and training.

2. Acknowledge and embrace imperfections, by doing so you give yourself the opportunity to overcome them.

3. Be realistic about time and effort. Learning takes time and mistakes are part of the learning process. Do not expect to master new skills and improve performance overnight.

4. Change your point of view on challenges. Instead of dreading or even shying away from challenges, take challenges for what they are and relish in the opportunity for self-improvement. It can be helpful to use the phrase “not yet” or “haven’t mastered that yet” when referring to performance measurements you are still working on.

5. Stop seeking approval by prioritizing learning. Looking for praise for your achievements could lead to disappointment. Instead, give yourself praise for learning and improving along the way.

6. Disconnect improvement from failure. Having room to improve does not equate to current failure.

7. Believe in the concept of constructive criticism when provided feedback and learn from the mistakes of those around you.

8. Value the process over the end result. Enjoying the process of self-improvement can help to keep the bigger picture in mind and to develop a greater sense of purpose.

9. Cultivate grit. Those with more determination are more likely to seek approval from themselves rather than others.

10. Don’t fear failure or embarrassment when in the company of others, instead take risks.

11. Provide regular opportunities for reflection. Remember it is important to focus not only on what you can improve, but what has improved and what you do well. I find it helpful to write my reflections down so that I can look back and celebrate my progress.

12. For every goal accomplished, make a new goal.New goals help promote interest and stimulate further improvement.

13. Celebrate growth with others, just like you celebrate your athletic accomplishments. It is a big deal to develop growth mindset traits.

14. Own your new growth mindset and let it guide you through your athletic journey. >Developing a growth mindset will take practice. There will be setbacks and mistakes like with striving to accomplish anything new and unknown. Go with it and don’t give up. The results will come.