Recently I came across this idea known as the growth mindset by Carol Dweck. As I read, I found the ideas it held lined up with my take on blogging. This mindset has several points or attributes that help us achieve goals and milestones. Without this mindset we limit ourselves in both our mental ability and our ability to overcome obstacles.
The opposite mindset is known as the fixed mindset. It keeps us focused on talents and outcomes but misses the process. When we have this fixed mindset, we run into challenges and give up. This is because we think we are not good enough or that we could never learn what it is that we need to learn.
Don't have a fixed mindset on the growth mindset!
The growth mindset is said to be 65 percent effort and only 35 percent ability. It is our desire to learn and improve after each and every success or failure. This is not something that we need to train for or study to be the best. All we need to do is change our outlook on life.
Here are five common sayings or thoughts someone with a fixed mindset has and we will alter them in order to have the frame of a growth mindset.
- I'm not good at this. -- What am I missing?
- I'm awesome at this! -- I'm on the right track!
- I give up. -- What lessons can I learn from this?
- This is too hard. -- This will take extra effort.
- I can't make this any better. -- I can always improve.
As we can see it is very easy to change the frame of the thought and make it growth oriented. Even if the most talented person at any given task has a fixed mindset, they will not see their true ability. For anyone that seems only average, implementing this shift in thought could be the difference between sticking through the dips or giving up too soon.
Science now knows that our brains are not set in a certain way at a certain age. Instead, studies have found that the brain is more 'plastic.' It is able to adapt over time to the external stimuli and internal monologue we give ourselves. No one has the growth mindset in every part of their life but we are able to train our brains to use that mindset as our default over time.
Blogging with the Growth Mindset Leads to:
Embrace Our Blogging Challenges
When we implement the growth mindset to our blog, we are better able to see the obstacles and work through them. So many people start a blog with dreams of meeting new people, creating a tribe, and earning some extra cash. It never takes long for their dreams to be crushed by the cruel weight of the internet.
This is why so many new bloggers give up after a month's time or so. Some even a week, when their mindset is fixed and the instant gratification is nowhere to be found. We need to be different! If you are new to blogging or if you are just new to this platform, it is imperative to realize the challenges.
Blogging takes work and will seem like a waste of time when no one is reading. Embrace this and keep working to create the best content you can. There are many posts that I wrote over the last 15 years that no one read. The growth mindset was there with me back then and I took the time to learn what I may have been missing in order to gain traction.
Persist through the blogging setbacks
There will be days when our latest post gets a ton of traction, comments, and upvotes. Feels so amazing and it injects a newfound fire to write the next day. So we do, we write the best post we can for that day and then no one reads. This may go on for several days or weeks. @jerrybanfield called this "The Dip" in one of his videos that I saw.
Without the growth mindset, we will fall off. We will see no point in blogging when no one is reading or it feels like everyone left. Instead of throwing our hands up, we need to ask, "What am I missing?" and then search for an answer. When we find one, we need to implement and look at the results. This process never ends if we want to grow our blog every day.
Effort is the path to mastery
If we are not putting in the effort to make the best, we can never expect to master this craft. Blogging is a unique craft that pours from our mind and into a word processor. When we do not put enough effort into each post to make them our best, we stagnate. Stagnation will only keep us where we are but our goal is to grow and be a successful blogger.
With effort comes more intent practice and that turns around to a better blog post each writing session. We also start to find our internal voice and how to express ourselves. Do not run away when a blog post requires more effort that originally expected. It is through that effort that we are able to stand out among the mass of effortless posts.
Learn from all blog criticism
When we put blogging into the growth mindset, we are better able to accept and deal with criticism that may come our way. It is wise to listen to all the critics so that we can improve our blog over time. Each post gets more and more refined as we do.
Without honest criticism we may end up thinking our posts are the best and this will lead us into the fixed mindset. We don't need to be slaves to the criticism because sometimes the user is only trolling. Read over each critic and find the nuggets that will take your blog to the next level.
Find inspiration form the success of other bloggers
It is common to hear people saying to stay away from the trending page. This is because it will only make us depressed that some content has little to no effort and is earning way more than we ever have. This is true and I too tend to stay off the main trending page.
However, it is not good to look at every post doing better than ours with disdain. If we see a friend or fellow community member doing well on a post and we see them improving, it is good to use that as inspiration as a continuation of our own efforts. Having a growth mindset makes this easier to do.
Higher Achievement for Our Blogs
All of the above give us the mental edge to grow our blog to its true potential. Not full potential because we can always be better and learn something new. By making the choice to shift every thought around our work into one aligned with the growth mindset, we are better able to engage in the actions we talked about.
For more information and a look at the scientific studies around the growth mindset, head over to mindsetworks.com. There is more general knowledge there and proof to back up the claims. We may never be the best or most popular blogger on the internet but we can be much better than we are today.