Fulfilling Your Purpose: The Benefits of a Growth Mindset for your Faith and Health Journey
Do you have a fixed mindset? If so, is it about one thing in particular or is there a pattern? Or do you have more of a growth mindset? Do you know the difference between the two?
A fixed mindset is one where you don’t believe change can happen. You don’t believe that it’s possible to change your natural abilities, your natural talents, or the way that you do things. You tend to stay in a similar place and perhaps stagnate a little. Whereas with a growth mindset you believe that change is possible – you embrace it and have the attitude that anything is possible. But why is a growth mindset so beneficial for your faith and health journey? The video and blog below explain more…
If you have a fixed mindset it can hold you back in many ways from fulfilling your purpose:
- It can make you a afraid of failing and believing it will reflect poorly on you
- It can make you resistant to change, believing that your abilities and your traits are set in stone.
- It can make you lack resilience and struggle to recover from setbacks and challenges, because you view yourself as evidence of your limitations.
- It can mean that you miss opportunities for growth and improvement because you’re frightened of failure.
- And you perhaps find criticism difficult, believing that its an attack on your abilities and you as a person.
- Perhaps you suffer from low motivation and decreasing engagement in personal and professional development.
As Christians we believe that God has called us for a purpose, and that we come alive by serving him and living in a way that we were designed to do, while helping others to grow closer to him too. and I don’t know if you ever feel that when you’re serving God with your gifts in the way that you’re meant to, you also feel alive! And that’s all about growing and developing.
There are a few verses in the Bible that that highlight this:
Hebrews 12: 1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind then you’ll be able to test and approve what God’s will is. his good pleasing and perfect will.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength” so believing with a growth mindset that God has given you everything you need to serve him.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
All these verses encourage that growth mindset. Have new thoughts about what you can do. Don’t get stuck thinking back to mistakes that have been made or failures that have happened. Renew your thoughts and transform your knowledge of Christ so that you can move forward.
And we can choose to act in a way that will fuel a growth mindset, so the more things change, the more we realise change really is possible, which in turn perpetuates your growth mindset. But if we have a fixed mindset and don’t hink things can change, then guess what? Things probably won’t change, fueling further thoughts that things won’t change.
When we adapt to a growth mindset we can see failures and mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than reflections on our own abilities. We can be open to new ideas new perspectives, making it easier to adapt to changes that come along. This can lead to increased motivation too, because we get that love of learning from all situations and we have the desire to develop and grow closer to God, and closer to how he designed us to be.
But how exactly can we have a growth mindset? What kind of stuff can we do?
- We can embrace challenges seek out opportunities, new things to do, and chances to learn, rather than seeing them as threats.
- We can self-reflect and think about any thoughts, beliefs, or challenges that are holding us back because of a fear of failure or of making mistakes.
- We can ask for feedback from other people and see that as an opportunity to grow and improve.
- You could embrace failure so learn to view failure as part of the bigger picture.
- Celebrating others’ progress also cultivates a supportive growth environment, so think about ways you can encourage others in their own endeavours and celebrate the things they achieve.
At Fitfish, in the Healthy Whole and Free course, we often refer to a Snakes and Ladders board. If you slide down a snake it’s not the end of the game, there’s a ladder just around the corner. So everytime you slip up or make a mistake, it’s fine! It’s only an issue if you become in bondage to those mistakes and you throw the board away. With a growth mindset you’re embracing failure as an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to improve and think: “What happened then? I’m ok! I can do that differently next time.”
Can you engage in some deliberate practises to stretch and challenge yourself, to help you grow and stay curious and seek out new experiences? And rather than thinking about the end goal, and whether you have succeeded or failed, think about the journey, and what you are learning on the way.
As Christians we are encouraged to trust in God’s plan and view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, and to rely on our faith to guide us through these experiences. We are called to continually grow in our relationship with God, to not stay still, but to move forward with joy. And we are encouraged to love and support each other, to learn from each other, and celebrate each other’s growth and progress.
And as Christians we believe in God’s grace and God’s forgiveness. So failures or mistakes aren’t the problem; God has a plan for that. It’s bondage to those mistakes and failures a mindset that we can’t move forward from them that can be a problem. So we must stay curious, growing in the love and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
How are you staying curious on a day-to-day basis? It may be helpful to focus on the process: God didn’t just come just to save us, but to encourage us to reach others on the way, and to develop our character on the way. Thinking about fixed and growth mindsets, highlights the importance of focusing on God and living in a way that honours him. And that includes moving forward, pursuing habits and behaviours that are healthy, whole and free and beneficial not just to us as individuals, but also beneficial to the wider body and to others who don’t know him.
If you are looking for some encouragement from others on the same journey, why not join our new-style Healthy, Whole and Free course? It’s delivered to your inbox in bite-size chunks, you get a weekly video with a couple of things to do every week for 6-months, along with some live teaching and coaching elements and a Facebook group for support and encouragement. You can join at any time – find out more and sign up here!