I recently attended a conference where they talked about a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset. It’s an interesting concept about how we can approach our personal & professional lives and I thought it was worth sharing.
Here’s a little background (from Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success):
In a fixed mindset, one believes their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.
In a growth mindset, one understands that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.
I know there have been times in my life when I have definitely come from a fixed mindset. And sometimes, I know that it was because I didn’t want to look dumb. Oftentimes, I would look at things as if they were a success or a failure. But as I get older, I realize that it’s not the case. It’s more about the journey. It’s important to try new things (and stub your toe sometimes) because that’s where growth occurs. And I know when I’ve had those so-called setbacks, it’s where I have personally grown the most.
This quote from Carol Dweck is fitting, “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.”
Isn’t that such an awesome thought? We are so fortunate to live & work in a world where information is literally at our fingertips. If you don’t know something, Google it. Chances are, there is a video tutorial or blog about how to do it. So if you are thinking about trying something new, do a little research and then go for it! Don’t forget to celebrate that you tried something different and that you likely learned a new skill!
My challenge for you as we head into the final month of 2018:
- Enjoy the journey & celebrate your experiences.
- Put yourself out there and try something new.
- Live this life that God has blessed you with.
- When times get tough, step back and brainstorm an alternate approach.
- Approach life with a growth mindset and see where the possibilities take you.
Remember: You are capable of GREAT things.