Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Professor Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. Finding ways to build your "growth mindset" makes you more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks, and more likely to succeed. The good news is that you can change your Mindset!
Find out about more about the science of mindset by watching this Ted Talk:
Dr Carol Dweck has identified four steps to help you develop a growth mindset.
It’s that little voice in your head that says things like “Are you sure you can do it?” or “People will laugh at you for thinking you had talent.”
How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. It’s up to you.
So as you face challenges, setbacks, and criticism, listen to the fixed mindset voice and...
THE FIXED-MINDSET says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”
THE GROWTH-MINDSET answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”
FIXED MINDSET: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure”
GROWTH MINDSET: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”
FIXED MINDSET: “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”
GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t try, I automatically fail. Where’s the dignity in that?”
FIXED MINDSET: “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”
GROWTH MINDSET: “That is so wrong. Basketball wasn’t easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn’t easy for Thomas Edison. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.
FIXED MINDSET: “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.”
GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is– and learn whatever I can.”
Over time, which voice you heed becomes pretty much your choice. Whether you take on the challenge wholeheartedly, learn from your setbacks and try again hear the criticism and act on it is now in your hands.
Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on the growth mindset. See how you can make it work for you.
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