A Simple Mindset Change May Change Your Results On Your Firefighter Promotional Exam For the Better

It is easy to see your firefighter promotional exam prep as a chore, but what if you looked at it differently. Changing the way you look at difficult tasks can be a life changing endeavor, but getting into a growth mindset can be the key to you acing your exam. 

Growth Mindset Explained 

There are two types of mindsets, growth and fixed. Someone with a fixed mindset “assumes 

That our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which cannot be changed in any meaningful way…” While a person with a growth mindset, “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and stretching our existing abilities.” 

If you have a growth mindset, instead of seeing studying for your firefighter promotional exam as a difficult task that is impossible to complete, you will see it as an exciting challenge and learning opportunity for yourself. An opportunity to grow your knowledge and skills and further your career in the fire service. Most people develop their mindset at a young age and it can be deeply ingrained in who they are, but it is possible to shift your mindset from that of a fixed to a growth mindset. 

How to Develop a Growth Mindset 

  1. Acknowledge Your Mindset Type

The first step to changing your mindset from a fixed type to growth is to acknowledge that you have a fixed mindset. It may not be easy to be honest with yourself and tell yourself you have a fixed mindset because it may be seen as a bad thing. No one wants to think they are what they are and cannot grow or develop more as a person, but so many people think this way without even realizing it. So have an honest conversation with yourself to determine if you have a fixed mindset, because the first step in growing is accepting there is a problem in the first place. 

  1. Turn the Negative Into a Positive

Once you realize you have a fixed mindset, you need to pay close attention to how you think and speak about the challenges in your life. If you realize you give up on things or don’t challenge yourself because you think it will be too hard, or worse don’t even try because you “know” you will fail, it is time to stop. Approach difficult tasks as learning opportunities and good challenges. Instead of seeing your study sessions as things you have to do, change your thoughts. Studying for your firefighter promotional exam is  something you get the opportunity to do. An opportunity to learn and progress in a career you like. An opportunity to make more money. You have to eliminate the negative self-talk and change it to positive. This is obviously not something that can be done overnight especially if you are so used to that fixed mindset. You have to actively stop and change your thinking if you want your mindset to change to one of growth. 

  1. Listen to Criticism

If someone criticizes you, whether constructively or otherwise, don’t get defensive. Instead of taking criticism to heart and feeling like what someone says to you is true, use that information as a growth point. It can be hard to hear someone say you did something wrong, but if you use that information to learn so you can improve for the future you will get so much farther in your career and life. Not only will it improve your skills but it will improve your mental health if you take what a person says and learn from it instead of sulking in it. 

  1. Seek Out Challenges

If you are stuck in a fixed mindset you may be afraid to try new things because you think you will fail. If you want to change from a fixed to growth mindset you must seek out new challenges for yourself. Things that are hard and may have scared you before, you must give them a try. Whether it is on the job,a hobby, or in your personal life, try new things. The more you try, the more you will be willing to try. Avoiding things because they are hard or scary is not going to get you anywhere. 

  1. Fail

The reason so many people are stuck in a fixed mindset is because of a fear of failure. Allow yourself to fail and move on. Allow yourself to fail and learn from that failure. Failing something does not have to destroy you, it should motivate you. People with a growth mindset don’t do things because they know they are geniuses and will be perfect the first time they try anything. They do things because they don’t care if they fail, as long as they learn something from it. Failure doesn’t have to be the end of the world. I am sure so many people have put off taking the firefighter promotional exam because they are convinced they will fail, but so what if you do. You will still get something out of it, but you will get nothing if you don’t even try. 

The Takeaway

Changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is not an easy task, but one that must be done if you want to be promoted in the fire service. Having a growth mindset will allow you to see your study sessions as opportunities to learn and grow instead of a boring chore, which will keep you motivated. A growth mindset will set you up for success in your exam, your career and your personal life.