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  • Writer's picturePawel Pilat

Motivation and a Growth Mindset

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

The way we talk to ourselves impacts our behaviour and our mental health. In this article, psychology student Pawel explains how to adopt a growth mindset to overcome negative self talk and fuel motivation.

Motivation can be a rare but useful skill. Unfortunately, for a lot of people self-motivation is hard to come by. It can also be hard to maintain motivation for certain tasks or goals when we come across setbacks. Many times, we have motivation at the beginning of a goal we set ourselves, then as momentum slowly fades away, we find that motivation to persevere fades away with it. Fortunately, this can be changed, and motivation can be fostered with what’s known as a growth mindset.

A growth mindset can be described as a view of problems and obstacles with a positive and confident lens. It is the belief that our intelligence and abilities can be developed over time. Everyone starts somewhere and because one is at the area of not knowing anything about a certain topic, but having the belief that overtime we will become an expert. Being confident in your learning can vastly improve your motivation to persist. Saying to yourself: yes, this problem is a big one, but if I believe I can solve it, it will be done.

On the opposite side is a fixed mindset. “I was born this way and I cannot improve myself anymore than I already am.” This is a phrase uttered by many people, but if we can change our mindset and build our confidence, we can change our mindset and in turn, change our life.

Motivation comes from work done and improvement. If we see that we are improving and growing it in turn fuels our motivation. The more improvement over time the more motivation. As motivation builds, success quickly follows and when success is evident then happiness and job satisfaction follows.

If you are stuck in a fixed mindset of “I cannot improve, I am only as smart as I am.” Use these tips to change your mindset from fixed to growth. Change the following thinking patterns:

  • I don’t know how to do it -> I don’t know yet.

  • I’m not smart enough for this -> I will improve with consistent effort.

  • I can’t do it -> I will do it.

  • It’s too hard -> It will get easier as I get better.

  • I’m afraid to try -> I am afraid, but I am brave enough to try.

References Berg, J. M., Wrzesniewski, A., Grant, A. M., Kurkoski, J., & Welle, B. (2023). Getting unstuck: The effects of growth mindsets about the self and job on happiness at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 108(1), 152–166. Takehashi, H., Toyosawa, J., Shimai, S., & Yananose, M. (2023). A study of the conceptual structure of growth mindsets and their impact on self‐improvement motivation. Japanese Psychological Research.

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