Disrupting Failure – Part Two
Today I want to focus on the teaching of Carol Dwerk around growth mindset. If you haven’t read about having a growth mindset – do it now as soon as you’ve read this blog. It had a huge impact on my thinking around leadership, mindset and learning hugely and it still does as I introduce it within my training and coaching programs here in China and globally. And we will only touch on it here – it could be a whole program in itself.
Carol Dwerk presents two different mindsets – fixed and growth.
Lets start with those with fixed mindsets. Those with fixed mindsets believe that who they are, what they do, their qualities, abilities, the way they do things is set in stone. They don’t believe they can improve on what they have been born with – that we have all just got to learn to live with the cards we are dealt. They avoid revealing their limits, don’t push the limits because they feel failure and looking bad. They believe talent is all they need to succeed. They like things to look effortless, often giving up rather than risk looking bad to those around them. They get stuck in their own small world, they don’t like the uncomfortable feeling of not being the best at something.
Fixed mindsets, while no one likes to admit to having them, show up so easily in every day life here in China. So many believe their path is set for them, that while they are learning for most of their life, it is mainly theoretical with minimal practical. With minimal integrated into their actual living.
Growth mindset on the other hand believes that talents are not fixed. The world of growth mindsets revolves around learning. There is nothing they enjoy more than learning and growing their skills. They feel they can master anything they put their mind to with enough time and practice. They are totally up to stretching themselves beyond their current capabilities and do not give up easily. Yes they have failures, yes they get down, its not all sunshine and roses and they know they can learn to overcome any setback. No situation is hopeless. They are always looking at ways to improve their skills, talents and abilities, even if just a little bit, confident they can overcome anything, they just need to learn how.
It’s global, no matter where you are, no matter where you look around you or what area of life you look into, the two different mindsets are clearly seen.
For me learning about the power of a growth mindset, I now understand that my passion for constant learning is one of the key secrets to leading a high quality life. I value what I for a long time took for granted which in turn had me accelerate my learning even further afield, leading ultimately to our move to China. It made me think of my own super powers and talents. So many things I assumed I was not good at for example art, creativity, even writing etc learning about this research had me question the clear limitations I was putting on myself by simply thinking it was just me. I’m now learning to express myself more creatively in so many different ways, especially here on line as I embrace writing, videos and even going live!
So here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your mindset and where it sits. In what way would you like to improve? How would you like to grow and change? What would the new you look like? Who would you like to be? What areas of your life have you decided you’re no good at? What would life or business be like if you were excellent in that area? Is it worth learning?
Powerful questions. I love to always be thinking of what my life can be if I keep moving forward, focusing on learning more, growing more and becoming more – it’s inspiring and exciting.
Studies show that people with a growth mindset are able to negotiate better with others because they’re able to push past obstacles and reach agreements that benefit both parties. It shows that those with a growth mindset are more willing coaches, who appreciate improvements others make in business and in life. Research clearly shows that those with a growth mindset tend to succeed more, enjoy happier relationships.
So take the four steps Carol Dwerk presents to turn your mindset around:
- Learn to hear your fixed mindset voice – what are those voices tell you when you approach a challenge or face criticism?
- Recognise you have a choice – how you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. A sign that your talents or abilities are lacking or a sign that you need to ramp up your effort and stretch yourself and your abilities. It’s up to you.
- Talk back to it with a growth mindset – are you willing to embrace the opportunity to learn, failure and all?
- Take growth mindset action – embrace the thinking, take the challenge wholeheartedly, do it, learn from setbacks, no longer fear falling short of perfection.
I believe the future for anyone with a growth mindset is huge. And while moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset may be a difficult one, it is totally worth it.
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