A mindset is a person’s established set of attitudes that are based on their assumption. These assumptions predetermine a person’s reactions to and interpretations of any event, environment or situation.
Whether positive or negative, a person’s mindset is engrained and habitual. It affects all aspects of his or her professional and personal life.
Is Your Mindset Working to Your Advantage or Holding You Back?
When facing a new challenge, do you react with confidence, knowing that with time, effort and practice you can succeed? Or do you find yourself feeling inadequate, apprehensive, or overwhelmed by fear?
Do you view failure as simply part of the process and a rich opportunity for growth? Or do you avoid challenges in order to preserve your pride and minimize risk?
When you encounter setbacks and criticism, do you reflect, review and revise your approach or do blame and avoid accountability?
How you answer those questions can give you insight into what type of mindset you have. In her book, Mindset, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck identifies two general mindsets: fixed and growth.
Fixed Mindset – If you have a fixed mindset, you might:
- Experience static talent and intelligence
- Believe that it is better to avoid challenges
- Prefer quitting before you experience a failure
- Believe effort is pointless
- Ignore or downplay constructive criticism and feedback
- View the success of others as a threat
Growth Mindset - If you have a growth mindset, you might:
- Believe that talent and intelligence can be developed
- Embrace challenges to grow
- See failure as an opportunity for learning
- Believe that effort leads to mastery and success
- Use criticism and feedback to improve
- Find inspiration and learning from the success of others
It is easy to tell someone to develop a growth mindset, but, if mindset is so deeply engrained, how do you change it? Here are six ways to begin:
Six Simple Mindset Shifts to Improve Success
1. Embrace failure instead of avoiding it. The faster the failure, the quicker the learning. Before starting his auto manufacturing company, Henry Ford failed at his first several businesses. What would the industrial landscape look like had he given up after his first try? Remember, when failure closes a door, it opens up the door for more opportunities.
2. Think abundance instead of scarcity. When it comes to spending money on self-improvement, many people resist due to cost. But clients and customers are attracted to people who believe in and value themselves. Instead of thinking of personal growth as an expense, think of it as an investment in your future. When you come from a place of lack, you will attract people and circumstances that bring more scarcity. When you believe that your needs will be supplied and come from a place of abundance, that is what you will attract.
3. Embrace challenges. People who have a mindset of “growth” realize that challenges are just opportunities in disguise, and they choose to actively seek them out. Everyone looks good when things are going well. A true test of character and leadership is when there is a challenge or obstacle to overcome.
4. Use setbacks as learning opportunities. No matter how thorough the plan, no matter how well you executed the details, obstacles will surface. Do you have the ability to predict with any real certainty what setbacks will occur? Instead of wasting energy trying to prevent the unknown, why not just face obstacles as they come?
5. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes the best opportunities for personal and professional growth come from leveraging constructive criticism and negative feedback. How well do you listen to your customers’ and clients’ complaints? Do you fully embrace feedback? Consider feedback as a gift and a tool for your development.
6. Change your attitude. Instead of resenting successful people for what they have accomplished, look to them to learn how they did it and turn that to your advantage.
By incorporating these simple mindset shifts, you give yourself the opportunity to experience not only tangible results but you could increase your self-confidence, productivity and fulfillment.
Author’s content used under license, (c) Claire Communications