In 2006, psychologist, Carol Dweck, wrote a book titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In that work, she developed two phrases that I have written about before - Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset. In at least 4 different conversations this past week these ideas came up again, so I thought it might be good to revisit them.
In their most basic form, a person with a growth mindset believes they haven't learned everything yet and there is still opportunity and room to grow and expand their knowledge and skills. In contrast, a person with a fixed mindset believes they have reached their capacity for growth, and that there really isn't any more room to grow and expand in their knowledge or skills. It can look something like this: Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset - I want to avoid mistakes - Mistakes help me learn - I know best - Feedback is valuable - I'll never be that smart - I improve with practice - This is good enough - Is this my best work? - I give up - I won't give up Of course, most of us don't function from an absolute place where we are either all growth mindset or all fixed mindset, but operate from some part of both. However, there are some important questions we can ask to help us honestly assess ourselves. Do I usually shut down when I'm faced with a challenge, or do I want to lean into it and see if I can figure it out? At this point in my life have I already learned almost everything I am going to learn, or is there still opportunity for me to continue to learn and grow in my knowledge? When feedback or criticism comes my way, do I automatically dismiss it and/or take it personally, or do I look for what might be true in it so I can continue to learn and become a more whole person from it? Are there certain areas where I know I tend to have more of a fixed mindset, and what could I do to begin to shift that perspective? These questions lead us to the final thought of the day, which I think is good news! We don't have to be stuck with a fixed mindset but can begin making shifts within ourselves to gradually embrace more of a growth mindset - no matter where we may be on our journey of life! I wonder what we might learn this week?! Be Well, Stephen Center was created to support individuals and teams so they can live from their Purposeful Center. We specialize in executive coaching and leadership development and we’d love to support you! Click on our Services page to book a free consultation.