I am currently reading a amazing book called “Mindset” so I thought to share with you some of the things that I have learned and that I think can be relevant to all.
The above quote greatly summarizes the backbone philosophy of a GROWTH mindset type of person. If you were a FIXED mindset person, the same quote would be something like “Mistakes have the power to turn me down and prove that I am not good enough. Only perfection is acceptable”.
In this book, the author Dr. Carol Dweck explores different scenarios, with plenty of real life examples, of how the two different mindset think and behave.
A fixed mindset person thinks that one is born with a certain set of skills and aptitudes which cannot be changed or grown over time. They spend their whole life stressing about proving themselves to others, accepting only winning. Losing would be the end of the world and mistakes are definitely not acceptable and would take a huge toll on the ego of this type of personality. When confronted with a difficult opportunity, they prefer to stick to what they know they are good at, so that they can be sure to always be a top performer. Success is about proving you are smart and talented. Everything revolves around you and validating yourself. Failure is a set back.
On the other hand, the growth mindset person thinks that a person can grow, learn, develop, change and that any skill can be mastered with grit, dedication and practice. They love a challenge and they take defeat with a pinch of salt, and as an opportunity to improve, learn more and do a better job next time. They believe that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate, and they are masters at converting current failures in future opportunities. Everything is about stretching and developing yourself. Failure would mean not growing and staying still and bored. So failure is accepted and treated as a challenge and learning curve.
As I am sure you can make this out yourself, one type of selfish, self-centered and negative, while the other is positive, encouraging to himself and others, always driving forward.
As the author explains, these mindsets are just beliefs. And something that you can change. If you were brought up with a fixed mindset, no one tells you that you need to live your whole life the same way. Also, some people might have both mindsets, and apply them to different aspects of their lives differently. But as you go through the book, you will appreciate more and more how the growth mindset is so helpful in many ways, to get you through life.
As we all know, life is nothing like a fairy tale: it’s full of deceit, failures, heartbreaks, difficult work or family life, and the list goes on. With a growth mindset, you would be able to turn each situation around, find solutions, not giving up at the first problem that crosses your path.
If you are in leadership position, the growth mindset will naturally push you to be inclusive, seeking the opinion of others without being scared of losing your status, you would push forward no matter how hard the circumstances, you would drive your team and the company forward, challenging the status quo by being innovative. A fixed mindset person, on the contrary, would spend his time trying to prove that he is the boss and he is right, not listening to advice and continuously feeling threatened by others around him.
I encourage you to read the book for more insight, but in the meantime, I think there is food for thought here. What kind of mindset do you have? Do you recognize yourself in any of the above? Would you rather be someone who dwells on issues and stays stagnant, or someone that pushes the limits with positivity, never taking no for an answer?
Are you a fixed or growth mindset person? Doesn’t matter, because you are still on time to change.