This concept of a growth mindset is fairly new in the annals of psychology and performance but I believe it is like the technology revolution—we are just starting to understand the power in the concept that is available when taught and implemented broadly. The key trap to avoid is the belief that you are somehow special or inherently deserving (or not deserving!) of success. The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.
Carol Dweck was one of the pioneers in this field. She codified two types of mindsets—growth and fixed mindset. The performance over time of those who have a perspective that effort and learning and persistence can lead to positive results vs. those who believe that results are a product of talent and inherent ability is staggering. Those who have a growth mindset massively outperform those who have fixed mindset.
Therefore, as we try to develop grit and persistence in ourselves and others the start is in our mind. We are not chained to our current capabilities—we can change our mindset. When receiving information about performance, ask yourself “how can I do better?” vs. “how am I being judged?” And then, play a game of improvement against yourself—no one else. Love the process of working to get better tomorrow than you are today.
1. Focus on the process with an emphasis on effort.
2. Listen for fixed mindset thinking such as “I can’t” or “I always…” statements and tweak them to say, “I can’t…YET” or “I have in the past done FILL IN THE BLANK” leaving room for growth.
3. Look for opportunities to challenge yourself to learn and grow in new ways to help reinforce a growth mindset.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Feel free to text me a picture of your turkey day and/or a list of what you are grateful for…or anything else on your mind. (John’s cell 206-850-7592)
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