What sets successful people apart from others who are frustrated in their attempts to improve?
According to pioneering Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s work documented in her book Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, the best predictor of success in life is your mindset.
Which mindset do you have? Here is a quick quiz to find out:
- You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.
- No matter how much intelligence you have, you can substantially change it.
Those who achieve great success generally believe they can improve and grow. This is called a “growth mindset.” Those who are frustrated in their attempts to succeed tend to believe their abilities and talents are static. They have a “fixed mindset.” The exciting part of Dr. Dweck’s research is that science proves that you can change your mindset. The saying that someone is too old to change their stripes isn’t true. This very idea could be the catalyst for many people to find more success in their lives.
The fixed mindset says, “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent or skills.”
The growth mindset answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”
Fixed mindset: “What if you fail–you’ll be a failure.”
Growth mindset: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”
Affirmations about what “you are” can actually prevent a growth mindset. They put you in a fixed state that keeps you from striving for change. Fixed-mindset entrepreneurs are rigidly self-defined by their accomplishments and titles. Growth-mindset entrepreneurs are never self-defining. Instead, they embrace the journey and trust learning, improvement and results will follow.
So how can you harness the power of a “growth mindset”? Here are 3 ideas to incorporate into your life:
- Change your inner voice
When you are approaching a challenge and your inner voice says to you, “Are you sure you can do it, or what if you fail, you will be a failure?”, recognize that this is the first step to growth and tell yourself, “I can face this challenge by my effort and perseverance, and if I fail I will have learned many things along the journey to make me stronger.
The next step beyond changing the script in your head is to act. Don’t procrastinate, but silence the negative voice in your mind by action, knowing that the most successful people in the world realize failure is part of success.
- Add yet
Adding the 3 letter word “yet” to your mindset can have a huge impact. “I’m not an expert–yet or I can’t do this–yet, but I will grow by making the effort.
Another powerful way to use this new mind shift is to train and influence your employees, teams and children to this way of thinking to help them achieve their dreams.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
-Norman Vincent Peale