Let’s talk about mindset.
When we’re going through a difficult time or facing big challenges, we often hear things like: “try and be positive,” “look at the bright side,” “have a more positive mindset,” which sounds a whole lot easier than it is.
It’s not easy to change our mindset, or is it? That’s the question.
I first came across Dr. Dweck’s work when I watched a Ted Talk of hers and I was just fascinated. I studied neuro-leadership and neuroscience and so I knew that we do have the ability to control our mindset and to alter our perspective on things as we learn more.
Her research is amazing and so is her book, she goes into mindsets in a way that shows you exactly how not just that we should be more positive, but she actually shows you how we can shift our mindset.
Her work is just fantastic, I highly recommend you go watch the Ted Talk. Dr. Dweck really focuses in on the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset. She may well have coined the actual term. She’s researched this for decades, so it’s scientifically based and very well researched.
She goes into how we can shift our mindset from being really fixed and that we actually do have the power to change it. It is a choice, so very briefly, people with a fixed mindset, they believe that intelligence is fixed, that success is fixed.
If they’ve been told that they’re really smart or they’re really successful, they become quite hemmed into that, and so they fear that it’s going to be a challenge, so they don’t tend to take risks because it’s like, “Hey look I’m successful and if I take that risk and it doesn’t work then I’m not going to look successful or I’m not going to look smart.”
People tend to be extremely limited in risk taking, they don’t like learning new things, they don’t take criticism very well because they have that fixed perspective of intelligence, for example, or success, so they don’t see feedback and criticism as something we can learn from and grow from.
They see it as something that challenges their intelligence or their success, whereas people with a growth mindset on the other hand, they see everything as a way to grow.
Which is really interesting because it changes failure, if you look at things that don’t work as a way to grow, and if you view it that we’re all growing all of the time, then it removes all that fear and the risk.
There are so many chances we take. We’re always testing, pivoting, testing, pivoting. If you don’t have fear that your success is limited then you’re going to be more inclined to take those risks.
The other thing that’s remarkably interesting is that people with a really fixed mindset resent the success of others they don’t celebrate it. It’s very easy to honestly observe ourselves and our feelings.
If somebody else has a huge win, do you feel really resentful that they’ve won? Or do you think, “Wow that’s so good they’ve reached that step, I can see it can be done. They’ve inspired me, now I need to work out how I can do it.”
That’s a really good way to judge where your mindset sits on the growth-fixed spectrum. This is one of the life-altering things that has stuck with me since the minute I read it, I was like, “Wow it’s real.”
I often shared this in my membership, the Thrive! Business Community. If you take something that you’re finding really difficult, you can turn it into a real growth experience.
Let me give you an example.
10 years ago, I started marketing, and my background was teaching and science, so marketing was a whole new language and I would say things like: “I don’t get it, I’m no good at marketing, I can’t do this.”
It’s one of those limiting statements and when you look around and you look at yourself, we all make them to some degree. “I don’t have any money, I don’t have enough money, I’m not getting any clients, this isn’t working.”
If you attach one teeny, tiny little word called “yet” to that statement, look how the meaning has just been completely and utterly shifted. I would say the word “yet” was my biggest takeaway from Dr. Carol Dweck’s book.
Then she talks about potential but just anything that you find challenging anytime you hear yourself saying: “I don’t have enough clients YET, I don’t have enough money YET, I’m not great at marketing YET.”
I don’t use limiting statements like that anymore. I love marketing now, so we also learn to love things that we find a real struggle with.
I think back in 2011, when I was doing my first marketing course, had I known the word YET, I’d have learned to understand marketing and then learned to love it so much faster! Now I absolutely love it. There are many other things that I find if I put the word YET at the end it changes the meaning completely.
What do you have that you could attach the word YET to?