Student comparing a growth mindset to a growing plant at ASU

I'm not an expert...yet

You’ve accomplished a lot so far. But let’s be honest, you haven’t mastered absolutely everything. In fact, you probably found a few areas where you need to improve. It could be a new subject you’re learning, like statistics, or a soft skill like improving your study habits or working on your networking pitch.

Identifying these challenge areas is an important part of your personal growth. Knowing that you can improve is key to your success.

If you’re not a “math person”

Have you heard people say “you’re either a math person or an English person”? The reality is that while many people feel that way, thinking you’re not a “math person” (which isn’t a thing btw) can prevent you from doing as well as you could in math because of your low expectations of yourself. Part of succeeding comes from your mindset. It affects how hard you try and ultimately how much you grow.

Flip your mindset

Let everyone else live that stuck-in-their-mindset way — you know better. Maybe you haven’t focused on math previously, or writing essays has always given you major writer’s block. None of those things means you’re fundamentally not good at them, you just have hurdles to overcome and mind blocks to get past.

Live in the “yet”

Start thinking about things you’re struggling with like this: I don’t understand it yet. It’s a growth mindset hack that will help you remember just because you don’t know something yet, it doesn’t mean you’re incapable of knowing it. It means it’s something for you to work on.

You can apply the growth mindset concept to anything, even things you’re already doing well at. Watch Emmy-, Grammy-, Academy- and Tony-award winner John Legend explain how having a growth mindset helped him push past his expectations and allowed him to become a successful artist.

Master your future

With your new way of thinking, you can do anything. You just have to put your mind to it. Having a growth mindset doesn’t mean that it won’t take work to master a new task, but it does mean not giving up and believing that you can have the future you want.

Consider making time in your schedule for Mindset Connections, a one-credit course that focuses on how your strengths and barriers influence your success. You’ll discover methods for staying focused and meeting academic and personal goals. So put your growth mindset to work in the new semester, and dive in with the intent of getting past your “yet” and mastering some skills.

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