What defines success? Is it money? Fame? Or is it the ability to push through failure and strive to be better? I prefer the third option. To me, if you can accept your shortcomings and even learn from them, that’s true success.
So what makes this form of success possible? Consider the concept of growth and fixed mindsets.
What Are Growth And Fixed Mindsets?
According to psychologist Carol Dweck, people can think about new challenges in two different ways.
Growth Mindset: People with a growth mindset believe that their intelligence and talents can be developed through learning and time.
Fixed Mindset: People with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and skill are static and cannot be improved.
For people with a growth mindset, failure is a temporary state. They realise that they can achieve anything through hard work and success. However, people with a fixed mindset only believe that whatever talents they have is all they will get.
The Effects Of A Growth Mindset:
Having a growth mindset can affect many different aspects of your life such as:
- Challenges – Embracing challenges, and looking forward to learning something new and developing new abilities.
- Obstacles – Persisting even through setbacks and failure.
- Effort – Seeing effort as the necessary work needed to achieve mastery.
- Criticism – Appreciating feedback and criticism and learning from it.
- Other’s success – Taking lessons from others success and learning from their mistakes.
The Effects Of A Fixed Mindset:
In contrast, having a fixed mindset will limit you when it comes to certain aspects of life, such as:
- Challenges – Avoiding challenges and feeling that they are often unsurpassable.
- Obstacles – Giving up easily after little effort.
- Effort – Seeing effort as worthless and as a waste of time.
- Criticism – Ignoring feedback and criticism and even feeling discouraged by it.
- Other’s success – Feeling threatened by successful people.
How To Develop A Growth Mindset:
Now that it’s clear which mindset you should be striving to cultivate, here’s how to develop a growth mindset:
- Ignore the voice. – A fixed mindset will often take the form of that little negative voice in your head. If you listen to that voice you can become filled with feelings of self-doubt and other negative feelings.
- Focus on the process. – In life, people always reward the outcome. You rarely see anybody rewarding the work they did to get to that outcome. So, instead of only rewarding yourself after you’ve completed whatever it is you’re working on, reward yourself as you progress. This will allow you to cultivate a positive attitude towards effort and work.
- Embrace the criticism. – Many of us struggle to receive criticism and feedback positively. Often we feel discouraged by what others have to say about our hard work. Instead, realise that people are giving you feedback and criticising you because they believe you can do better. Use this as a driving force in your journey to becoming greater.
- Accept that failure leads to success. – People with a fixed mindset believe that failure is the end of a process or idea. However, if you have a growth mindset you think about failure in an entirely new way. Welcome failure, because ultimately failure is temporary, if you believe you can achieve greater things you will never be stuck in one place.
When you develop a growth mindset you will never doubt your abilities because you know everything can be learned. Not only will cultivating a growth mindset help you in aspects of your work life but also dramatically improve your personal life. Just remember: Failure is temporary. Everything is achievable with a little hard work and devotion.
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Here are some links you might want to check out relating to Dr Carol Dweck and growth/fixed mindsets: