Work can be a challenge when you believe your abilities are completely innate, and therefore unchangeable by your efforts. Your efforts do matter and it is possible to affect your skills and intelligence–it’s all about your mindset. Changing the mindset we have developed through our childhood may be difficult, but when we realize we can change we elevate our lives to new heights.
“Entering a mindset means entering a new world.” – Carol Dweck
You and Your Mindset
Mindsets are beliefs about yourself, including your talents, intelligence, and personality. Your mindset is key to how you interpret and react to everyday situations. Our brain is a highly developed muscle and fortunately, for us it is transformable, but not without a strong will and hard work. Whether you fall into a fixed or growth mindset it’s important to understand where you stand and how you can change if it’s prohibiting your personal or professional growth. Changing your mindset starts with the power of believing that you can improve.
What is Fixed vs Growth Mindset?
“Your mind is a force to be reckoned with. How you use it can either make you or break you.” This was said by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck in regards to the concept of Fixed vs. Growth Mindset. Those who have fixed mindset believe that talent and intelligence are innate, and cannot be changed, therefore always striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs.
People who have a growth mindset believe that they can change their skills and intelligence through hard work and see failure as an opportunity for growth. Individuals with growth mindset embrace challenges, persist through difficult situations and find inspiration in the achievements of others.
Advantages of Growth Mindset
If you fall into the fixed mindset, the idea that your skills and abilities can be improved might be difficult to grasp; failure is not something you are likely to want to show. Choosing to learn and select harder tasks will come with its challenges, but the advantages will help in all aspects of your life. When you are not focused on what you can’t do, you will learn to enjoy the things that you can do and be less stressed about them.
“The daily choices you make will influence what you believe and the person you will become. It’s not about the result—it’s about becoming the type of person who gets to enjoy those results.”
Growth mindset focuses on effort and once you can learn to focus on the effort, you will learn to enjoy the process and it will inevitably help your self-confidence. A growth mindset will allow you to never worry about being perfect or feeling unintelligent while you are learning.
Fostering the Growth Mindset
Changing just about anything in our daily lives is difficult, uncomfortable and most likely not high on our priority list. Fortunately, our mindset can be changed, and a large part of it comes from the people around us. If we want our employees and coworkers to embrace the growth mindset, as managers, leaders, and mentors we need to be a part of the solution. It starts with demonstrating the behavior ourselves. Then provide study skills, problem-solving tools and other methods and strategies to help with challenges. If we provide the proper resources and specific praise, we can encourage more challenging endeavors.
90% of the students praised for their effort wanted to take on the challenging new tasks. Click To Tweet
Self-reflection and analyzing the way that we learn, allows us to recognize the positives benefits of ongoing growth, rather than focusing on failure.
Focus on Learning and Improving
Now if the Growth mindset means that you can improve your capabilities, what are we doing to accomplish this? The biggest hurdle may be that you must acknowledge that you have the choice to have a growth mindset. Train and inform yourself about a growth vs. fixed mindset, feel that you have control and have a positive attitude towards your behavior regarding a growth mindset. Everything is a learning opportunity including and especially failure.
“Mistakes grow your brain.”
Emphasize learning and improvement over winning and losing. Deliberately focus on what you can learn today that will help you tomorrow. Remember that growth mindset isn’t just academic, it applies to all areas of our lives.
So, do you have a Fixed or Growth mindset?