traffic-sign-108779_1920Jenna decided to quit her job because she disliked her boss and the company. But shortly after she quit, she couldn’t stop blaming herself for a poor decision. Every night, she ruminated on the mistake she made. How could she have been so wrong? After all, she wasn’t that talented. She would never get an opportunity like that again. What was wrong with her?

We all make mistakes, right? But how we respond to those mistakes is a clue as to the type of mindset we have. A mindset consists of our beliefs and how they influence the way we handle life issues. Think of a mindset like an orientation to how you think and approach life challenges. Do you measure success by talent and fixed traits? Or do you measure success by learning and growing?

If you believe that the qualities that lead to success are fixed and a result of in born abilities and talents, you have a fixed mindset. People with fixed mindsets doubt themselves when they fail. They need constant approval and evaluate challenges through the lens of being a winner or loser. They avoid situations that make them uncomfortable, refuse to think they can change and stay stuck in negative patterns with other people.

A person with a growth mindset believes in change, growth and resiliency.  In born abilities can be developed but they don’t determine success. Hard work pays off. Failure is a learning opportunity to show them what they need to do better. Anything, good or bad, can be used to teach. People with a growth mindset persevere with setbacks and don’t give up.

If Jenna had a growth mindset, she might think. This boss is really difficult, but what can I learn from this situation? Can I grow and find ways to get along with him better? I need to give the job time and focus on ways to contribute and perhaps make the company better. There are probably things I can do to improve even if this isn’t my dream job.

So, take a few moments and do a little self-reflection. How did you handle problems this week? Did you get defensive or accept feedback? Are you cultivating grit and not allowing failure to define you? Or are you defeated and discouraged because of setbacks? Can you create goals that keep you motivated and interested in new things? Basically, are you ready to grow in whatever circumstance you encounter? If you approach life with the idea that problems create opportunities to grow and learn, you have a growth mindset.

And consider this, having a fixed mindset is not consistent with Scripture. The idea that we can’t change and grow stands in direct contrast to the power of the gospel to transform our life.

Spiritually, growth comes when we humble ourselves and recognizing the power of God in us to change us. The gospel is all about change and molding us to be more like Christ. In this life, we will have troubles. But how we respond to those troubles can create growth.

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