5 Tips for Maintaining a Growth Mindset in Difficult Times

What is a growth mindset, and how can we use it to keep motivated during a time we need it most? There are two types of mindsets; fixed mindset and growth mindset.

A fixed mindset means that people think their qualities are fixed traits, and they can’t be changed. They believe that intelligence and talents are innate and cannot be changed.

Those with a growth mindset believe that learning and intelligence can grow with effort. People understand that their success relies on their initiative, and they can achieve more by working harder.

Like trees, we are always growing

Now, more than ever, it is essential to maintain a growth mindset to stay motivated and healthy, while many of us are working from home and practicing social distancing. Having a growth mindset will help you to stay motivated and to learn from each opportunity presented. It can be hard to maintain a growth mindset, but the following are some tips to help keep you motivated.

  1. Make a plan
  2. Pace yourself
  3. Challenge yourself
  4. Share your accomplishments
  5. Reward yourself

Make a Plan

It may seem silly to make a daily “chore” list, but it can help to ensure that you are still keeping up with what needs to be done. For some people, it may even start with something as simple as taking a shower. Knock it off your list and move on to the next item. 

There may be little jobs around the house you have been meaning to get done, and you have just not had the time. Make yourself a list of those jobs. You may want to do some deeper cleaning that rarely gets done, such as washing walls and baseboards, cleaning out closets, arranging seasonal clothes, etc. If you make a list, you will be able to cross things off as you do them giving yourself a sense of accomplishment.

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Pace Yourself

You may end up with an extensive list of tasks and feel discouraged. Remember, it does not need to be done at once. After you make your list add a schedule. Decide what you can do in one day and assign yourself a task or two per day for the week. Remember to check things off as you complete them. Having a visual of what you have achieved can be very rewarding.

via GIPHY – Make sure you don’t spook yourself from a huge list

Challenge Yourself

During this time, you also want to keep your brain active and engaged. Challenge yourself with something new that you have wanted to do. Learn a new language, take up a hobby you have had an interest in, read something engaging; there are many activities you can choose that will keep your mind engaged.

Challenging yourself helps to maintain a growth mindset as you can learn something new. If you value the process over the end result, you are keeping a growth mindset. Learning something new can be challenging, so take up the challenge and remember that mistakes along the way are also an opportunity for growth and learning.

Every victory starts with the first step

Share Your Accomplishments

When you have worked hard and achieved a goal, it is important to be proud and share what you have done with others. Celebrating your growth with others gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose. When you have worked hard on something, it is vital to recognize your achievement keeping in mind that the process was more important than the end result.

Though you are sharing your successes with others, remember that you are not seeking approval. People with a growth mindset understand that they are not trying to please others; instead, they are working at improving themselves.

Reward Yourself

When you work hard to achieve something, you should reward yourself for your efforts. A reward will look different for each individual, depending on what you enjoy. Some people may feel rewarded by taking an hour to themselves to practice yoga while someone else may want to take that hour to play a favorite video game. Make sure you take some time to recognize your own efforts and to be proud.

Reward yourself with some ‘me’ time

Keep on Going

When things are more complicated, it may be hard to maintain a growth mindset. It is something that requires a concentrated effort since so many are used to having a fixed mindset.

Take a few minutes each morning to remind yourself that you want to maintain a growth mentality and let that help to guide you through your day.

Remember that if something does not go as planned, you have not failed, you are learning. Everything we do is an opportunity to grow, whether it is learning something about things around us or learning something about ourselves.

Keep on pushing yourself, something worthwhile takes effort


More Ways to Stay Motivated

Motivation on your own can be hard. It’s like having a gym buddy; you are more likely to get to the gym when you have someone else who is motivating you to go.


Put out some challenges for friends. Maybe you want to stay active even though you need to stay home. If you have an activity tracker, put out some daily step challenges. You could also create a social media group and initiate a plank challenge or a wall sit challenge – something that will keep you active and hold you accountable.

Count those steps!

Social Media Groups

Use social media to find groups of like-minded people. Join (or start) an online book club, find groups that speak to your talents and interests. There are many groups out there for both men and women, from recipe and meal planning to specific interest groups. It is a great way to stay connected while cultivating your own interests and learning from others.

Phone Calls

Family and friends are all in this together. Rely on them to help keep motivated, and you can do the same. Remember to call or message people regularly so that you don’t start to feel alone and isolated. Keep in touch with the world around you and with people you love, so you stay connected.

Start Now

There is no better time than the present. Make your plan and get started right now. If you have trouble getting a plan started, there are lots of templates out there to help you organize your day. This is one I like, but there are many options available by doing a simple online search. Find one that works for you!

So what are you going to do?

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