Have you ever heard the phrase ‘They thought they could so they did’? Half of doing something is the approach, and it all starts in your head. When you have a new task to do, how do you approach it? Do you have a growth mindset?
Psychologist Carol Dweck theorised a new take on the ‘one track mind’, popularising the term ‘growth mindset’. She observed that there are often two ways we, as humans, think when it comes to our attitudes to learning and development; fixed or growth. Someone who adopts a growth mindset is someone who is persistent, embraces change and listens to constructive criticism, willingly learning from it. They keep going when the going gets tough, and they find their inspiration in the success of others.
The adversary to a growth mindset is a fixed mindset, which tends to be the mindset of those who ignore feedback, give up easily and avoid challenges. The difference is that with a fixed mindset you are limited in your own head, whereas with growth, you are set free, and your head is the best place to be set free! You can see why a growth mindset is more desirable, especially when starting a business.
Our minds eye is where it all starts; it’s where we can begin to envision how we mean to grow, what we want our future to look like and how we want to get there. If we limit ourselves from the very conception of thoughts, how are we expected to progress? It would be nearly impossible to move forward with businesses or new hobbies, if we shut down every time there’s something new to learn. However, if we start with a growth mindset, and a free mind, we begin to embrace new challenges and move forward.
Another thing Carol Dweck discovered was that people are motivated by praise for effort, over praise for talent. Which makes sense, right? We all like to be rewarded for hard work, and hard work reaps rewards. The effort you put in to a project, directly affects the value of the reward you get from its completion, and so being willing to push yourself towards more effort, will in turn gain you higher value rewards to celebrate!
How do you approach learning? It’s a useful skill to be able to assess your way of thinking, especially if you can adapt it for the better. What changes to your mindset can you make to move away from a fixed mindset, towards growth?