Many people often ask me “What exactly is a growth mindset?” A growth mindset is an actual, demonstrable psychological phenomenon. It is based on the fact that many long-term successful individuals possess certain characteristics that they share with other long-term successful individuals. This set of characteristics has been termed a “growth mindset”. Now, some people, who tend to achieve less than their full potential, also possess a set of characteristics that they share with other under-achievers. This set of traits has been dubbed the “fixed mindset”. Most people, more or less, fall in one camp or the other.
Growth Mindset – Learning from Life
People with a growth mindset tend to have a desire to learn from life. This desire leads to the ability to embrace challenges, to overcome setbacks, to see effort as worth the results, to accept criticism and to admire and learn from the successes of others. These behaviors allow native intelligence to grow throughout a lifetime. (Hence, the name.) People with a growth mindset are believers in free will and this belief allows them to achieve their goals time and time again. They incorporate a desire to build and grow and looking for the lesson in everything they do.
Fixed Mindset – The Drifter
Generally, people with a fixed mindset have common traits. Often they tend to have a desire to appear smart, with a corresponding fear of looking foolish. Their desire leads them to avoid challenges, to give up easily, to see extra effort as wasted, to ignore or reject criticism and to envy and begrudge the success of others. These behaviors tend to limit native intelligence to a fixed amount. (Again, hence the name.) People with a fixed mindset often plateau early in life and fail to have, let alone reach, fixed goals. If you are a reader of Napoleon Hill, his concept of “the drifter” aligns strongly with the concept of a person with a fixed mindset.
Cultivating a Growth Mindset
The good news is that a growth mindset can be cultivated fairly easily by changing some critical behaviors. First of all, you have to decide to choose growth over stagnation. You also have to be willing to take positive action and begin to accept challenges and criticism and learning from both. An excellent way to begin is by developing the philosophy of “yet”. This simple step simple attaches the word “yet” to the end of every negative thought, as in “That will never work, yet…” or “It’s probably not worth going, yet…” This simple trick opens up the possibility for growth and that possibility leads to changed behavior that actually does cause the development of the growth mindset.
Delivering Your Potential
To deliver your potential, take steps today to cultivate and work on your growth mindset. Have an awareness of the situations when you may have a fixed mindset, and have the awareness to change your approach and to choose your response. Being the best leader you can be, should be part of the goals you set every year. We can support you in your growth journey, we can help make you the best. Contact us today to discover the best you.