We all have a mindset. A mindset is a mental attitude or disposition that determines how you will interpret or respond to situations.
- A fixed mindset
- A growth mindset
Let’s talk about a fixed mindset first. Think about how we use the word fixed. If you live on a fixed income – your income is limited and has no potential for growth. If your pet is ‘fixed’ then they are not able to reproduce and expand their genes. They are limited.
People with a fixed mindset believe their basic qualities such as personality, intelligence and talent are fixed qualities. You’re either born with them or you’re not. They believe they are the way they are and nothing can change it. They believe nothing can change the hand they’re dealt.
Those with a fixed mindset believe that effort is fruitless and won’t pay off. Challenges are avoided because the risk of failure damages their self-image. Why take the risk if it’s not going to change anything?
A person with a fixed mindset feels threatened by the success of others and believes luck accounts for their success. They take constructive criticism personally and not as a tool for improving.
The other mindset is one of growth. People with this mindset believe that talent, intelligence and personality can be cultivated and developed. These people believe what you’re given is a starting point and that through effort and learning they can improve.
Those with a growth mindset embrace challenges and feel the effort is worth it. Failure is not something to fear. It is viewed as experience and part of the learning process. Constructive criticism is listened to and the information is used to make improvements. They celebrate the success of others and are inspired.
Here’s a nice summary:
Have you identified which mindset you hold?
If you found yourself in the fixed mindset group, don’t despair. You can change from a fixed mindset into one of growth. How?
1. Learning to identify the fixed mindset ‘self talk’. It’s that inner voice tells you not to try something because you might look bad. You find yourself saying, “I’m not talented enough or smart enough.” It tells you that external circumstances are the reason you can’t succeed.
2. Realize that you have a choice. How you think and what you think is a choice.
You can choose to think that your talents, intelligence and personality are set in stone–or you can choose to believe they are areas that can be developed.
You can choose to believe that criticism and failures are because you aren’t talented enough or smart enough–or you can choose to believe these are areas that need work so they can be improved.
3. Learn a new inner voice. When setbacks and failures occur tell yourself it’s part of the learning process. If you are not able to do something now, tell yourself you will keep trying and improving. Tell yourself that all successful people have experienced failures and setbacks.
4. Take action. Now it’s time to act.
- Accept challenges
- Try again after setbacks
- Listen to criticism and act to improve
We have the capability for lifelong learning and growth. Failures and setbacks are signs that we are trying and accepting challenges.
Change your thoughts–change your life.
~Info from Carol Dweck’s Standford University Study: click here.