How To Build A Growth Mindset To Better Deal With Life's Challenges

Life isn't always sunshine and rainbows. How many times have you been faced with a challenge and thought, "Why me?" Challenges happen every single day to everyone around the world and are often exacerbated by stress. There are so many common causes of stress, whether it's a morning where you slept through your alarm or a continuous issue like a workplace relationship gone sour, challenges can be overwhelming and affect your mood, work ethic, and overall spirit.


So how do some people seem to rise above everything life throws at them? The answer is mindset. According to The Stanford Report, your mindset dictates what you experience and how you will handle future experiences. 

A growth mindset is key to dealing with life's sticky challenges — whether they're short-term or long-term — meaning that you approach obstacles as learning opportunities rather than burdensome problems to solve. This way of thinking ensures that you learn from every experience and do not let challenges stop you from achieving your goals. To obtain this new perspective all you need are a few vital rules to live by.

Relabel challenges

The word problem is ... well, a problem. This word holds a negative connotation that makes whatever you're facing feel harder than it actually is. So, instead of a problem, let's call it an opportunity.


When opportunities pop up, approach them with a learn-and-grow mindset. For example, you miss your flight. The old you may have blamed the universe, the cab driver, or the woman in front of you at Starbucks. However, approaching the situation with a growth mindset will give you an opportunity to learn. This hiccup in travel may teach you that making cold brew is way more simple than you'd expect and that leaving earlier and driving yourself to the airport may ensure you'll get there with plenty of time to spare. With a growth mindset, you stay positive and you learn from mistakes by taking accountability, reflecting on events, and making changes in the future.

Accountability is not an easy task to master. It's much easier to blame someone else for an obstacle in your life. However, by taking accountability and accepting failure, you are giving yourself the power to change what happens moving forward.


Focus on yourself

Our society is a breeding pool for comparison, so focusing on yourself can definitely be a challenge. However, doing so is vital to practicing a growth mindset. When you look to others to gauge your success, the ladder of your growth isn't visible. Rather, you're gauging your success off of what another person has accomplished. If this person you're comparing yourself to is highly successful, this will make you forget everything you have achieved and you'll end up feeling inadequate. If this person has achieved just as much as you or less than you, you'll see that there's nowhere to go and you will feel content (or not) as you are. Both of these scenarios stunt your growth.


The trick is to focus on your own journey and make yourself your only competition. Furthermore, set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals. Don't expect to finish your whole to-do list in one day, instead pick a few tasks from it and focus on those. This ensures that you will achieve them, set more, and continue to advance.

The growth mindset is all about progressing as an individual, no matter what your ultimate goal is. This perspective allows you to keep moving forward despite any obstacles that turn up. Give it a try and see if this method has any effect on your mood, and how note quickly you're able to reach your goals.