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Now that we understand the brain can build new pathways based on our behaviors, it is time to look at exciting things the mind can do. The mindset has proven to be the number one indicator of future success. Growth Mindset is the most critical concept in this series. Carol S. Dweck Ph.D. discovered the idea of mindset in the 1970s. Since the ’70s, Dr. Dweck’s research has proven that for those who aspire to become extraordinary, they must first look to their mindset.
What is the mindset? It is a perception that affects one’s behavior. Dr. Dweck found there to be two predominant mindsets. A fixed mindset and a growth mindset. The fixed mindset is the belief that a person’s potential is set and does not change. The growth mindset in the idea that a person’s potential is undetermined and changeable by hard work. What this means for us is by merely shifting your perceptions from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset you open up a world of possibilities for yourself where the sky is the limit. Click below to watch Dr. Dweck’s TED talk on Growth Mindset.
According to Dweck, we each have a combination of both fixed and growth mindsets. The goal is to identify where you have a fixed mindset, what triggers it and try to replace it with a growth mindset. If you subscribe below to our newsletter, we will send you a link to determine what kind of mindset you have. To learn more about mindset and the link to success, read Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
HOW TO ADOPT A GROWTH MINDSET
Once you understand the concept and its importance, how do you go about adopting a growth mindset?
- Listen to your internal dialogue. Write down your fixed mindset messages for a week.
- Determine when the fixed mindset creeps in.
- Write down a growth mindset response to each fixed mindset response you recorded.
- Determine where your fixed mindset is holding you back from your goals.
- Concentrate on catching those fixed mindset responses and replacing them with growth mindset responses.
- It will feel awkward at first but keep at it. The more you do, the easier it will become in the future.
Here is a personal example from my own life. I am currently writing my first fiction novel. I have always thought of writing as my “talent.” However feeling extremely protective of my work, I rarely shared it with anyone. It felt so personal. I did not want to find out that my writing was terrible, and I HAD no talent. I eventually signed up for a course in which an editor reviews the first ten pages of your manuscript, gives you feedback, give you a chance to make changes, and then you submit it for final review. If the editor liked your book enough, they could request more pages to read. I am petrified of criticism, so the whole process was honestly excruciating. To this point, very few people had read my work. It had been a labor of love for over a decade. However, I held on to the hope she would request more pages.
What I received was a lot of constructive criticism. I was initially horrified. I blamed myself for picking the wrong editor. I had chosen a young editor in my genre, and I should have picked an older, more experienced one. I blamed her for not understanding what I was trying to do. I blamed myself for submitting it in the first place. I had embarrassed myself. However, I did stop and take a deep breath. I threw myself into making the corrections. I eventually convinced myself that if this was all she was unhappy with, I could make the changes, and she would ask me for more. By the time I resubmitted the manuscript, I felt giddy. I had to get a request for more pages now!
It was not my moment. My final review did not arrive accompanied by request for more pages. It came with something even better. It came with an ah-ha moment. The editor told me what my writing was missing. It was something I had been unable to put my finger on for years. The book was off, and I knew it, but I had no idea why. It was freeing in one sense, but frustrating in another. I had no idea how to fix the problem. I made some initial attempts, but I couldn’t seem to crack it. So I eventually put my book back on the shelf.
I am realizing now that it is time to take that book off the shelf and start working on it. I have nothing to lose, and a whole lot to gain. I am not scared of hard work. My passion will get me through. I am afraid of looking back and realizing that I never took the chance.