It affects everything you think and see. What you create and achieve in your life depends on it. It determines who you are and who you are becoming. Your entire life is controlled and driven by it. What could be so all-encompassing? Read on to find out!
It's all in our mind
"Mind is never a problem. Mindset is." Narendra Modi (1950-present)
If you are to achieve much in life, this simple yet profound idea can help you find and get on the right path. But don't let its simplicity fool you. Let me introduce you to a concept that can help you see yourself and your goals more accurately. This is not just another psychobabble article. It is about something real and easily understandable. I hope what you learn about this topic will help you in your life and help all of those around you, especially your loved ones.
You may have guessed it by now. This article is about what is known as our frame of mind or Mindset.
The concept of Mindset, used by everyone in practically every situation, is too important to pass up. If you want to take a closer and deeper look at this model, check out Carol Dweck's excellent book entitled Mindset. I highly recommend you add it to your reading list. To quote this well-known psychologist, author, and professor of psychology at Stanford University:
"For thirty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life." Carol Dweck (1946-present)
The two mindsets
In Dweck's work, she discovered there are essentially two mindsets in everything we do. One is the fixed Mindset, which creates urgency in us to prove ourselves repeatedly. The second, a growth mindset, happens when you don't place restrictions on yourself regarding your ability to learn and cultivate the qualities you want through your efforts.
We all approach practically everything in life from one of these two mindsets. Recognizing which Mindset you are using can dramatically affect your life and the course you are on.
A fixed mindset is self-limiting, meaning you will hold back from moving toward something new, something that will stretch you. It focuses on what you cannot do and the abilities and capabilities you don't think you have. You will steer clear of failure. The results received from this Mindset are undoubtedly few.
A growth mindset removes the self-induced restrictions of the fixed mindset. Those with a growth mindset believe they can learn and grow almost any ability or capability. This mindset believes you are not stuck with what you currently have. You will take on a challenge, even if it might mean failing, because you know that failing does not make you a failure. You realize that every experience can become part of learning and growth and know you can do more and have more when you do not place limits or restrictions on yourself.
In essence, a fixed mindset restricts, while a growth mindset expands.
A fixed mindset says if I try it, I may fail; therefore, I will avoid it.
A growth mindset says I'm going to try regardless. If I fail, I will learn from it and continue to move forward.
Years ago, I learned you don't lose until you give up. Little did I realize this was a growth mindset. Don't let something like the occasional failure paralyze you in life. Use the failure to learn and grow. Pick yourself up and take action. Every successful person learns this lesson and continues to move forward.
"If you have a different mindset, you will have a different outcome: if you make different choices from your peers, your life will then be different from your peers." Jack Ma (1964-present)
Ask yourself regularly in your work and life which of the two mindsets you are using. Following are a few things to consider regarding which mindset you have. Feel free to add as many others as you wish.
- When your boss asks you to do something, do you approach it with a fixed or growth mindset?
- With what kind of mindset do you typically approach a new task?
- When you begin forming a new relationship with someone, are you in a fixed or growth mindset?
- Are you interacting with those you are close to, such as your family, with a fixed or growth mindset?
There are countless things you can look at in life through the lens of your mindset. Why not start paying attention to which mindset you are using every day and gain the insight and benefits of shifting to a growth mindset whenever possible?
"By changing our mindset and habits, we can actually dramatically change the course of life, improve intelligence, productivity, improve the quality of our lives, and improve every single education and business outcome." Shawn Achor (1978-present)
This brief article has only touched on the surface of Dweck's two mindsets. If this subject interests you, pick up a copy of Dr. Dweck's book. You can also read more about it in the book, Uncommon Sense.
Change your Mindset, change your life! You will not regret it!
"…anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in." Roger Clemens (1962-present)