In a previous article we introduced the concept of a growth mindset and why you should develop one. However, it's possible that you can start develop the traits of a false growth mindset which can keep you from truly improving.
At its very core, a false growth mindset is where you think you have a growth mindset, but in reality don't, and there are a few traits that can help you identify if this is happening to you.
Praise effort and not outcome
Be mindful about what you praise. For example, on social media you may find yourself paying attention to the quantity of likes and using that as a measure of your success.
Anything that produces metrics can trick you into feeling that you're growing by some arbitrary measure of success. YouTube followers, watchtime hours, instagram likes, retweets. These are all things you can obsess over—or even worse, use as a goal.
If your goal is to have 100,000 YouTube subscribers, then this is simply a consequence of the effort you put in. What happens if your number of subscribers drops? How do you feel now? Are you a failure, or did you stop putting in the effort?
To have a growth mindset, you need to praise the effort you put in and not the outcome. Success is not whether you have 100,000 YouTube subscribers, but whether you produce a high quality video every week.
Dealing with failure
A growth mindset takes the emotion out of your assessment of whether you've succeeded or failed. If you find that you have to resort to phrases like "at least I tried" then you are not objectively looking at your effort and how to improve it for next time.
You need to be comfortable with the hard truths about your ability to tackle hard challenges. A growth mindset is about developing a self-esteem about being a learner, and you cannot learn if you're afraid to hurt your feelings.
Focus on what you can do differently, not whether you're any good at it.
The 'ah-ha' takeaway of this issue is that you must not measure your success on empty outcomes, but rather the effort you put in.
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