What is the difference between failure and success? In her remarkably insightful book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, American psychologist Carol Dweck reveals that the answer is your mindset – more specifically, whether you adopt a Fixed Mindset or a Growth Mindset.
What Is A Fixed Mindset?
A Fixed Mindset is the belief that our personality and success is inborn and cannot be cultivated with time, effort and practice.
Characteristics of people with a Fixed Mindset include:
- Talents, abilities and intelligence are fixed.
- Run from mistakes with a desire to look smart.
- Avoid challenges.
- Give up easily in the face of failures and setbacks.
- Threatened by the success of others.
- Ignore critical feedback even though it may be highly relevant and useful.
- Avoid new experiences because of a fear of failure.
- Look for people who reinforce their self esteem.
- Focus on the outcome since they consider results as their identity.
- Leads to cheating and deception.
What Is A Growth Mindset?
A Growth Mindset is the belief that our personality and success are not inborn and can be cultivated with time, effort and practice.
Characteristics of people with a Growth Mindset include:
- Talents, abilities and intelligence can be developed through time, effort and practice.
- Engage deeply and process mistakes with a desire to correct them.
- Embrace challenges.
- Persevere in the face of failures and setbacks.
- Inspired by the success of others.
- Accept and use critical feedback as a way to learn.
- Embrace new experiences with a desire to master new skills.
- Look for people who challenge them to grow.
- Focus on the process and learning.
- Leads to collaboration and innovation.
The Power Of Having A Growth Mindset
Studies show that people with a Growth Mindset consistently outperform people with a Fixed Mindset.
We are either growing or we’re dying – it’s a basic fundamental Law Of The Universe. Growth is also one of the 6 Human Needs. Growth is not possible without having a Growth Mindset.
When we shift from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset, we shift our perspective. We see the world through a different lens, one that allows us to thrive in times of challenge. One that allows us to see “problems” as opportunities for learning and growth.
While a Fixed Mindset contracts us, a Growth Mindset expands us. The most successful people in any area of life have an insatiable desire to be, do and have more. They are always looking for ways to improve and stretch themselves and constantly striving to reach new heights. It is a Growth Mindset that allows us to achieve our full potential.
Adopting a Growth Mindset also improves relationships. Unlike a Fixed Mindset that says relationships are either ‘meant to be’ or not meant to be, a Growth Mindset says that you, your partner and the relationship itself are capable of growth and change.
The Growth Mindset also applies to – and can be developed in – organisations. Adopting a Growth Mindset within an organisation leads to innovation and increased productivity. People who work in Growth Mindset organisations have significantly more trust in their company and a significantly greater sense empowerment, ownership and commitment. People who work in a Fixed-Mindset organisations express a significantly greater interest in leaving.
How To Shift From A Fixed To A Growth Mindset
Both a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset profoundly impact our thoughts, decisions, actions and ultimately our destiny.
A Fixed Mindset is a matter of belief. Therefore, we can shift from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset by adopting new beliefs that empower and support us in achieving our goals and the life we desire.
Here are 4 ways you can cultivate a Growth Mindset:
- Change Your Belief – Create a new compelling belief that your personality and success can be honed and developed with time, effort and practice.
- Visualise Success – What we think, we become. The more you see yourself achieving your goals, the more confident and motivated you’ll be in achieving them and the more you will achieve them, creating a positive self-reinforcing cycle.
- See Problems As Opportunities – There are no such thing as problems – there are only opportunities. Reframing problems as opportunities provides us with ways to learn and grow.
- Become Curious – Quality questions create a quality life. When we approach life from a place of curiosity, we ask questions that put us in a position to learn and grow.
A Fixed Mindset is the belief that our personality is innate and therefore cannot be changed and developed. A Growth Mindset is the belief that our personality is malleable and therefore can be changed and developed.
A Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset is the difference between failure and success. It is the difference between whether we don’t or do have the opportunity to strive to achieve our full potential.
By shifting from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset, we empower ourselves with the beliefs, skills and tools necessary for us to achieve our goals and the life we desire.