One of the most important qualities every business owner and leader should possess is the ability to learn. If you are not open to learning new things as a business owner or leader, you may be unconsciously reducing your chances of success. This is why you need to develop a learning mindset.
You should be able to look at situations (whether good or bad) and draw lessons from them.
The learning mindset is what makes this possible.
If you recently heard of the learning mindset, or perhaps, you’ve heard of it before and you just want to find out more about it, then you are in the right place.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about the learning mindset.
It will even go further to share tips on how you can develop it.
Let’s start first by explaining what the learning mindset means.
What Does a Learning Mindset Mean?
The learning mindset is a mindset that allows people to see every happening and situation in their lives as a chance to learn.
So, typically, a person that has a learning mindset approaches everything with the intention of learning from it.
If you have a learning mindset, you will no longer see failure and mistakes in a negative light.
Rather, you will see them as a chance to learn.
Your urge to learn will be constant at all times, regardless of the situation you find yourself.
The learning mindset makes a person open to new opportunities and things.
If you have a learning mindset, you won’t be so fixed in your ways that you’d find it difficult to let go of old ideas and embrace new ways of getting things done.
Learning Mindset Vs Growth Mindset
Learning mindset and growth mindset are somewhat alike so it is easy to confuse one for the other.
In some cases, you won’t be wrong to use them interchangeably.
However, the two are not the same.
When a person has a growth mindset, it means they believe in their capacity to grow beyond what they currently are.
They know that their attributes, skills, and knowledge are flexible enough to stretch if they put in the effort.
A growth mindset focuses on development and self-improvement through proper steps, strategies, and hard work.
A learning mindset on the other hand can be seen as an off-shoot of a growth mindset.
This is because to grow, one needs to learn new things.
Therefore, learning is one of the steps of growing.
This is how the learning mindset takes the growth mindset a step further.
It’s not just knowing that you can grow your abilities and attributes, it’s doing something (learning) to grow them.
So, if you have the learning mindset, you most likely have the growth mindset too.
Learning/Growth Mindset Vs Fixed Mindset – Learning Mindset
Just like every other thing in life, the learning/growth mindset has an opposite side; a fixed mindset.
Unlike a learning mindset, a fixed mindset makes a person fixed in his ways.
A person with a fixed mindset does not believe that they can grow or improve their skills and abilities.
Rather, they believe that their abilities, skills, and so on are innate, fixed at birth, and therefore, not flexible.
Typically, they believe that qualities like personality, characteristics, talents, intelligence, and so on are inherited.
This makes them adverse toward learning or doing anything to improve themselves.
Because they feel that regardless of what they do, their attributes and skills will stay the same all through their lives.
This is not a great mindset to have because it makes a person limit themselves to just a few areas of their lives.
It makes them less likely to learn new things and explore new opportunities and perspectives.
Subsequently, a fixed mindset may affect a person’s chance of succeeding.
Advantages of Learning Mindset
As you have seen above, a fixed mindset is disadvantageous to anyone who has it.
A learning mindset on the other hand comes with several advantages.
The following are some of the advantages of the learning mindset.
Builds Your Self-Confidence – Learning Mindset
When you have a learning mindset, you’ll always learn new things that will build your skills and abilities.
You will become knowledgeable and this would do wonders for your self-confidence.
If you used to doubt yourself before, these doubts will go away as you begin to build yourself through learning.
You’d know that you can work on even your weak areas and become better (growth mindset).
This conviction will make you feel more confident in yourself.
Even when you are faced with situations that you are not familiar with, you will still be confident in your ability to scale through.
This is because you know you can always acquire the skills or knowledge needed for the situation; you simply need to put in the work and effort.
All these will make you do things that you otherwise won’t have been able to do.
Subsequently, you won’t have any reason to doubt yourself again.
Not only will your self-confidence increase, but you’d also be more confident to take on more challenging tasks and set challenging goals.
Recognize Opportunities – Learning Mindset
When you have a learning mindset, your whole perspective would be different from the perspective of others.
Where other people see obstacles and setbacks, your learning mindset will make you see opportunities to learn and grow.
This is because most people (especially those with a fixed mindset) would rather give up once they see the challenges.
But you won’t because you want to learn and become better through that experience.
It is not that you won’t see the challenges.
Of course, you will see them; it’s just that, you know you stand to gain something worthwhile if you overcome them.
Additionally, when you have a learning mindset, your subconscious will always push you toward new opportunities.
Your brain would subconsciously pick up opportunities for you to learn from.
On the flip side, a fixed mindset will make you subconsciously bypass opportunities.
Even when they are glaring.
This is because the mind has already configured itself to the limitation that has been set.
It knows that you most likely won’t be able to handle whatever opportunity it presents because your mind is limited.
So, your brain won’t even go through the stress of presenting new opportunities and ideas.
Read this article to learn how to recognize meaningful opportunities.
Supports Growth – Learning Mindset
One of the best things about the learning mindset is that it lets you grow in so many ways.
You get to upgrade your skills, abilities, knowledge, and even personal traits when you have a learning mindset.
For instance, let’s say you were brought up in a particular way; perhaps, because of your upbringing, you are not sympathetic.
This may affect your relationship with others even though it is not your fault in any way.
If you have a fixed mindset, you’ll feel “well, that’s just how I am” and go about your life not caring about it.
But when you have a learning mindset, you can learn to be sympathetic.
You can grow and become better in this area of your life just because you were willing to learn something new.
Overcome Your Imperfections and Weaknesses
A learning mindset’s main focus is getting better through learning.
And one of the things that prevent learning is not owning up to one’s weaknesses or imperfections.
When you don’t see a problem in how you do things, you won’t see the need to fix it.
This is why anyone who has a learning mindset is ever ready to recognize and then accept their weaknesses and imperfections.
And this is a big bonus because it gives you the chance to overcome your imperfections and weaknesses.
How to Develop a Learning Mindset
Knowing about the learning mindset and the benefits attached to it is not enough.
If you want to enjoy these benefits, then you need to develop this mindset.
The big question then is how do you develop it?
Well, the truth is that there are no fail-proof steps on how to develop the learning mindset.
It works differently for everyone.
But the good news is that anyone can develop a learning mindset once they put their minds to it.
While there isn’t a procedure to develop this mindset, some tips can help you along the way.
1. Know the Mindset You Have
One of the most important things you need to do to develop the learning mindset is to figure out the mindset you currently have.
Do you have a fixed mindset?
Or do you already have a learning mindset?
Some people are even stuck in the middle; they neither have a fixed nor learning mindset.
They are simply in the middle; sometimes, they may act like someone with a fixed mindset and at other times, they may behave like they have a learning mindset.
For example, you may believe that you are a great public speaker because you have spent time and effort to make yourself better at public speaking.
At the same time, you may believe that your skills as an entrepreneur are inherent and were handed down to you at birth.
You need to know the kind of mindset you already have so that you can figure out the next step.
If you already have a learning mindset, then you can still follow the subsequent tips to further improve this mindset.
And if you have a fixed mindset or you are stuck in the middle, then you know you have a lot of work to do.
2. Acknowledge Your Imperfections and Weaknesses
A lot of people tend to overlook their imperfections and weaknesses.
In most cases, it is not like they do not know they have these weaknesses; it is just that they do not want to acknowledge them.
And if you do not acknowledge your weaknesses, there’s no way you will do anything about them.
Acknowledging your weaknesses and imperfections will make you want to fix them.
This will push you to want to learn things that will help you overcome them.
Your urge to learn will significantly increase and you’d find yourself thinking of ways to do and get better.
3. See Challenges Differently
A lot of people fail to improve themselves because they get intimidated by the challenges and obstacles they have to overcome to do so.
They may pass up great opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge because they don’t want to go through the trouble of learning them.
This is why you need to see challenges differently if you want to develop a learning mindset.
You need to condition your mind to see challenges as an opportunity to learn.
Because, most of the time, they are.
If there are no obstacles and challenges, it is most likely because whatever you are striving to achieve is something you are already used to.
For instance, let’s say you have been working on the accounting aspect of your business for a long time and have gained proficiency in this.
In this case, you would be very experienced in this aspect so much that you can easily overcome any setback you encounter on the way.
But let’s say you suddenly have to handle the marketing aspect of your business and you’ve never done it before.
You will face several challenges and you may have a hard time getting through them because you are doing something you aren’t used to.
Yes, the challenges will be annoying, but it is also a great opportunity for you to learn more about marketing.
If you throw in the towel because of the challenges you are sure to encounter, you would not acquire the new skill that you should have.
4. Learn to Take Criticism
Some people stay in the same spot for years because they don’t like being corrected about things.
They often take offense when someone points out something they are not doing well.
Rather than taking corrections and trying to do better, they would ignore the feedback and continue in their ways.
This is not a habit you should have if you want to develop a learning mindset.
“Constructive criticism” may be a term you do not like to hear; perhaps because of how cliché it has become.
However, it is a concept you need to believe in and embrace.
A person that does not take criticism is often unteachable.
And so long as you want to have the learning mindset, you need to be teachable.
Someone should be able to walk up to you and tell you what you are not doing right instead of not saying anything because they know you won’t react well to it.
5. Be Determined
Being determined is very essential if you want to develop a learning mindset.
If you are someone who has a fixed mindset, then it won’t be easy for you to drop this mindset and adopt a learning mindset.
This is one of the reasons you need to be determined.
You are going to encounter challenges along the way; learning is not an easy process.
And without determination, you might give up when the challenges come.
So, whenever it gets hard, encourage yourself to keep pushing on and not give up.
6. Be Resilient
Resilience is another trait you need to adopt if you want to develop a learning mindset.
When you set out to learn something new, you most likely may not get it at the first trial.
You may have to do it several times before you finally get it right.
If you are not resilient, then you will easily give up whenever it seems like you are not making progress.
But with resilience, you will keep pushing on.
You will know it will only be a matter of time before you finally reach your goal.
Learn to use the word “yet” when speaking about something you are trying to learn.
So, instead of saying “I don’t know it”, say “I don’t know it yet”.
7. Take Lessons from Other People’s Mistakes
There are so many ways to learn.
But one of the best is learning from other people’s mistakes.
While it is smart to learn from your mistakes, it is wise to learn from that of others.
Everyone is unique in their different ways, but sometimes, people tend to share certain traits and even weaknesses.
In cases like this, it’s wise to analyze a person’s mistakes and weaknesses and use the lessons learned to improve yourself.
This way, you will know what to avoid so that you do not make the same mistakes.
However, this does not mean that you should compare yourself with others.
It simply means that you should be able to analyze someone’s actions and behaviors and then take valuable lessons.
8. Effort Over Talent
People with fixed mindsets always believe that they are inherently good at something.
When they excel at anything, they think it is because they are talented in that aspect.
Even though they may have practiced and put in the work.
But when they don’t do something well, they think it is because they just aren’t good at it.
They do not even consider that they may have done poorly because they did not put in the effort.
The opposite of this should be your belief if you want to develop a learning mindset.
You need to place effort over talent.
Yes, you may not originally be good at something.
However, you should know that you can be good at it if you put in the effort.
Being talented is good.
But if you have a talent and you do not make any effort to improve it, someone without the talent may become better than you just because they put in the work.
So, always remember to put the effort into anything you do.
Conclusion on Learning Mindset
The learning mindset is a mindset that everyone needs to adopt.
It increases a person’s chances of success because it opens them to several opportunities.
When you have a learning mindset, you will have a broader perspective.
This will make it a whole lot easier for you to think outside the box and stand out in your niche.
So, do not hesitate to develop a learning mindset by doing the tips shared in this article.