Life Area: Personal
Topic: Growth Mindset
How To Cultivate A Growth Mindset
Download this FREE Resource on my Resources page – Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset – and you’ll learn the difference between the two mindsets. In this post I’ll take you inside my recently completed read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success authored by Stanford psychologist and researcher, Carol Dweck. Dweck’s book was published to much fanfare in 2006, yet it is only in recent years that it achieved mainstream adoption, and came to my attention.
Dweck’s research includes a landmark study which found that children who are praised for their intelligence are more likely to choose future tasks that validate their perceived intelligence and make them look smart. Conversely, children who are praised for their effort are more likely to choose tasks that help them learn new things.
The first group have what Dweck calls a ‘fixed mindset’: they avoid challenges because they don’t want to jeopardize their reputation and, thus, their intellectual development stalls. The second group have a ‘growth mindset’: they thrive on challenges and they aren’t afraid to fail because they know they can try again, fail again and fail better.
“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?” writes Dweck in Mindset. “Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you?”.
It’s easy to look at Dweck’s theory and conclude that you of course have a growth mindset. You have a five-year-plan, a gym membership and downloaded the first two chapters of my eBook Getting From Here To There. You’ve got this one. Yet dig a little deeper and you may discover that your mindset isn’t as dynamic as you previously thought. People with a growth mindset constantly challenge their self-limiting beliefs and personal bests. They take criticism without taking it person. They know when they’re in their comfort zone, just like they know that personal growth isn’t always comfortable.
People with a growth mindset constantly challenge their self-limiting beliefs and personal bests.
Dweck states that in business, fixed mindset managers never want to be seen lacking because they are in a position of authority. They don’t like to own up to mistakes or concede that they haven’t got the answer. This of course leads to groupthink and a corporate culture in which jurisdiction strangles innovation. Those with a growth mindset, Dweck says, are instead looking for someone who can contend with them – who is going to push them beyond what they already are and who is going to judge them for their limitations. “You don’t want someone who thinks you’re perfect in your current form – partly because why would you want to remain status quo.”
If you want to cultivate a growth mindset, start looking at areas where you habitually opt out. Ask yourself why you haven’t given yourself a chance to overcome these challenges, and start embracing what Dweck calls the “power of yet”. You haven’t mastered them … yet. Keep growing!
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I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.
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