The most successful people in this world understand the importance of cultivating a growth mindset.
They understand failure does not mean they are one, only that they have something to learn.
They understand that success is not found in achievement, but from falling in love with the process of self-improvement.
They understand that intelligence and capability are not fixed qualities but things which – with practice, training, and above all, method – can always be improved upon.
I think we all understand this on some level yet many of us can’t help but think we are less than. That we simply aren’t as intelligent, or as capable, or as courageous as other people.
The question is how can we do guard against having this kind of fixed mindset? How can we cultivate a growth mindset instead?
Of course we need a point of comparison. We need standards to measure ourselves against otherwise there would nothing to point toward and nowhere to go.
But why make other people that point of comparison?
It’s important to remember we are all individuals with a very unique set of life circumstances. The conditions of our lives are rarely comparable to others of a different age, race, gender, background…
They are rarely comparable, even, in our moment to moment difficulties. When dealing with the very specific traumas of our past.
Simply getting out of bed for some of us is an act of immense courage given the circumstances. Perhaps demonstrating far greater strength than someone who appears to have his or her life together.
So what to do? Who should you compare yourself to then? What should be your point of comparison in a world that only broadcasts the best of the best (or the worst of the worst)?
As a rule for life I’d say, “Compare yourself only with the person you were yesterday.”
Here’s the trick.
At the end of each day take the time to reflect. Think deeply about the ways in which you have failed to live up to your values and how you can do better. Then find a small way to better yourself and go do it (the following day). Finally when you reflect on that day, reward yourself for having done (or at least attempted) what you set out to do.
That’s worthy of a pat on the back and an ice cold beer!
But don’t you dare forget to reward yourself either! Rewarding yourself for the things you did well at the end of the day is equally important.
Do this everyday, and then watch as compound interest takes care of the rest.
I promise if you do, it will.