Your mindset predisposes you to failure or success. That’s the bad news AND the good news. Your mindset dictates how you approach anything.
Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University explains that in a fixed mindset your talents, intelligence and abilities are cast in stone. They are set and finite. No matter what you do, nothing changes. Not only is this true for you but you see the abilities of others as finite as well.
Contrast that to a growth mindset, which holds that your innate abilities are merely a starting point. With effort, experience, persistence and learning, you can be successful. If you can be successful, others can be, too.
A growth mindset is the foundation for running a successful company. If you are unwittingly operating from a fixed mindset, the good news is that you can change. Use the following four steps to get you started:
- Become aware of your assumptions. Listen for that inner dialogue that says, “You might not be able to do that.” What will others say about you when this doesn’t work?” “If you were smart enough, this would have been a piece of cake.” “How dare they criticize your report?”
- Remember that you can choose what you think and how you respond. Make a different choice to view your setbacks, obstacles, criticisms, and challenges through the lens of a growth mindset, a mindset that shifts from finite to infinite.
- Stand your ground and challenge your inner dialogue. Use these responses “I may not be able to do it now but with the right instruction and hard work, I can learn.” “Failure does not mean that I am a failure. It means something I tried did not succeed.” “Smart people put in lots of practice and effort to become a master at something.” “I can use the feedback to improve my report.”
- Take the first step. Strengthen your growth mindset muscles. With consistent action, it becomes a part of your default setting. Over time, you can embrace challenges, use failures as stepping-stones, recognize hard work as par for the course, and appreciate constructive feedback.
Personally speaking I acknowledge that I have a fixed mindset about my musical ability. As far as I can see, I am limited to making a joyful noise, not carrying a tune. I am on high alert to discover where other fixed mindsets could be lurking and what I am willing to do about them.
The ability to choose your mindset puts you in a powerful position. It also gives you the responsibility for making a different choice.
What unexamined beliefs do you have about the world that reflects in your decisions? Change your mindset and everything changes. Success is an inside job.
© 2014 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved