How to have a growth mindset when you’re not an entrepreneur

I love that we’re now in an age where self-care and the removal of negative self-talk have become a priority. Maybe it’s just because of the company I keep, but I’ve noticed that a lot of the content around mindsets, especially growth mindsets, leaves out a lot of those who have no plan to start their own businesses.

So this post is for you.

How to have a growth mindset when you’re not an entrepreneur

A caveat, first. If you don’t know, I AM an entrepreneur so I do have that lens I look through while writing this. But I’m also a wife, pet mom, homeowner, nerd, gardener, lover of 90’s movies, and much more. So I hope you’ll still take in what advice I’m giving, even if my background is filtered through seeing this as an entrepreneur.

So first, what does “growth mindset” actually mean? My version of it is that to have a growth mindset means to have an intention to be better in your life, in whichever way you choose. 

That sounds way oversimplified, I know! Of course we all want to be “better” so do we all have a growth mindset? 

No.

Here are some signs of having a growth mindset:

Recognizing that the past flaws don’t mean future outcomes

Those who have a belief that they are ready to change their lives to a more positive style let go of the past mistakes and let go of the negative feelings that they’ve harbored about it. We’ve all screwed up, and sometimes paid a steep price, but those with the idea of shifting their mindsets in order to move forward let that shit go and anything else that no longer serves them. This could involve journaling, going to therapy, or any other way that feels good to you. There’s no right way to move forward, but you DO have to move forward.

Opening the mind to new possibilities

I think a lot of people look at things like manifestation, Law of Attraction, etc. as hippy freaky shit that they’re above. I was the same way! I’m not a religious person, so the idea of giving up control to something else that is undefinable (God, Source, the Universe) was a non-starter. However, the way I was living my life clearly wasn’t working, so I started to learn more about how I could incorporate more of this thinking into my life, while still letting myself have my own beliefs. I practice manifestation with the angle of giving into energy and the Universe.

There’s a great book that goes into this called A Happy Pocket Full of Money which covers more about how manifestation works in congruence with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, spacetime, and quantum physics, but essentially I see it as “the elements we’re made of come from the Universe and came together in such a way that it created me and everything in my life. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to think that this stuff/energy could also come together to create the things I most desire, too.” 

I mean, what’ve you got to lose? If what you’re doing now hasn’t worked, what’s the harm in trying to open yourself up to a new idea of how it COULD?

Stopping negative self-talk

This one is hard, but has huge payoffs. When we have a growth mindset, we recognize that the way we move forward is by releasing ourselves from the things that block us from growing. The most insidious of these is the negative self-talk that so many of us were conditioned to have. The “yeah, but…” or “maybe for them, but not for you” stops so many of us from ever achieving the things we set out to accomplish! Try recognizing when these phrases come up in your head, and then call them out. Instead of “why me…” try “why NOT me!”

How to start getting into mindset work

1. Recognize that your Self is worthy of being a priority.

Don’t apologize for taking the time to meditate, or journal, or be alone, or have a vision board. I used to be so embarrassed at the thought of anyone seeing my vision board but then I realized that:

  1. My husband, the only other person in the house, already KNOWS my goals and
  2. Anyone who comes into my office knows me and accepts me for who I am anyhow. Them seeing the dream home I want displayed in pictures isn’t going to be a big stretch. 

2. Read up on how to start

Some great books for understanding your worth and how you can change your thinking include:

  1. Ask and It is Given 
  2. Your Money or Your Life (to understand the cost of your time and ways to adjust it so that your life is spent doing the things you want)
  3. I Can’t Do That Yet (a great growth mindset book for kids)

3. Get comfortable giving up control

Easier said than done, I know! Stop trying to control the way things happen, and instead let yourself believe that the result you want is coming, and it doesn’t matter how it shows up. 

4. Be more authentic

Don’t try to live someone else’s life, or look the way someone else does. You cannot grow from someone else’s spot in the world because you don’t get to see the inner workings that got them there, or what their inner thoughts look like. Like the adage says, grow where you are planted! 

5. Add “Yet” and “Soon” to your vernacular

Reframe the things you don’t have as the things you don’t have YET. When someone asks about a goal you have and when you plan to achieve it, your best answer is “soon.” Not 5 years from now, not in 3 hours, not in 4 days. Soon. This stops your ability to use time as an excuse (“well, I can’t fit into those jeans now, but I will in 5 years” or “I’d love to buy a house in the next decade.”) and instead shifts it to a feeling of urgency. “Soon” is coming, so you better get to work! Your mind will then begin to create the path towards what you desire.

6. Lose “want”

This is a little on the pedantic side, but instead of saying “I want” change it to “I desire” because “want” comes from a lack of. You want because you don’t have, so this just adds to the negativity that you’re trying to break free of. “Desire” is more of a feeling, stronger in its intensity, and can help you focus on what needs to get done. When you think of the difference between “want” and “desire” do you notice a “Whoa…desire is a STRONG word” feeling? If you do, then you inherently get the difference, so start using it to your advantage.

Having a true growth mindset isn’t reserved for the billionaires and the yogis, it’s a skill that any of us can learn to cultivate if we just shift the way we talk to ourselves. Give it a shot, see what happens!