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Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

07 June 2016

Carol Dweck is a professor at Stanford University and author of the book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”. Carol has studied why some people reach their full potential while other people who are just as talented don't. She talks about the difference between having a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. She says “A fixed mindset is when people believe that their basic qualities - their intelligence, their talents, their abilities - are just fixed traits”. In other words, they are parts of you that can’t be changed.

People with a growth mindset (and I quote) “believe that even basic talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience, mentorship, and so on. And these are the people who go for it. They're not always worried about how smart they are, how they'll look, what a mistake will mean. They challenge themselves and grow.”

People with a growth mindset have a tendency to:

       Embrace challenges

       Persist in the face of set backs

       See effort as a path to mastery

       Learn from criticism

       Find lessons and inspiration from the success of others

As you can see, these are all traits of a very nimble mindset – one that serves you to achieve greater success.

The key to success is having a growth mindset – in other words, our success is not predetermined. Our potential is there to be fulfilled. We can change our own abilities. In other words, we ARE able to achieve that which we haven’t yet achieved. People with fixed mindsets care about how they’ll be judged, therefore become afraid of challenges and putting themselves out there. With a growth mindset, people value how they are learning. This is resourceful thinking.

The beauty of this realisation that we can change our thinking to a growth mindset. Our success is not dependent on our intelligence or our experience. It is dependent on what we do with that intelligence and experience. When we work to improve ourselves, our brain functions better. It’s a muscle – it likes to be exercised.

So in order to have a winning mindset for success, look at your thought processes around your ability to succeed. Where is your thinking fixed and how can you change that to a growth mindset which will serve you?