Have you read this book – Mindset, by Carol Dweck – before? I’ve heard of it for years but decided to plunge in and read it this month. I gained many insights from it and have really tried to think about my own mindsets – especially around money, growth, and success.
I am someone that cares greatly about the “full development of human potential.” When I read that in the description of my Meyers-Briggs personality test (INFJ), I cracked up laughing because it was spot on. I LOVE watching people step into who they were made to be and go after big things. I totally enjoy being a part of the growth process with them, cheering them on and supporting them personally and professionally. I understand that the process is often “messy,” working through challenges and obstacles and not always “getting it right.”
So, I was pretty shocked when reading this book and had to admit that I had more of a fixed mindset than a growth mindset for my own self! What?! I’ve been gypping myself of the gift I was giving others. Obstacles were normal for others, but for myself, for some reason, they were a “sign” to note or steer clear from. I’ve decided that’s not acceptable. Time to step into those challenges for myself again and not just cheer others on from the sidelines.
The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to already be.
The book goes into great detail of the consequences in business and personal life when you adhere to these certain mindsets. There’s obviously great evidence in favor of the benefits of being “growth-minded.” You offer yourself and others more freedom, hence enjoying life more and achieving greater success. You embrace challenges and learn from them instead of “gaming” life towards safer ends. You seek out feedback in order to grow and tend to be more coachable and optimistic. Isn’t that a great way to live?
I’m looking forward to the journey, but understand it can often be easier said than done. For many, it requires a vigilance of becoming aware of the triggers that get you stuck – pulling back from a failure, retreating after identifying an obstacle, talking negatively to yourself – and then choosing to reframe the situation to be seen as one to learn and grow from. Sometimes, it’s being honest about where the fixed mindset may have begun – do you feel like you have to hold onto some image of “smart” or “talented” or “capable” and don’t want to attempt anything that could taint that perception. Sometimes there are even deeper beliefs that need to be aligned in order to free ourselves from the fears or judgments we let our brain dwell on.
Whatever it takes, though, seems like it would be worth the effort and the switch. As the book notes, we are all a mixture of the growth and fixed mindsets in the various areas of our lives. Celebrate those areas where you lean towards the growth mindset and decide if you’d like to move away from any with the fixed mindset beliefs. Who knows the possibilities and new opportunities that await for you in business, health, relationships, and life overall!