"No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment." - Carol Dweck
Mindset is simply a person's way of thinking & his/her opinions about self, people & life in general. According to world renowned Standford University psychologist Carol Dweck, there are basically two types of mindsets: FIXED MINDSET AND GROWTH MINDSET. Our mindset typically determines and shapes the life that we lead & the success that we achieve. We can live in the expression of our highest self only when we drop the fixed mindset & chose to cultivate the growth mindset. All those who attained mastery in their fields, interestingly had growth mindsets.
Let's check out the traits of both the mindsets to understand this better. A fixed mindset usually avoids challenges, likes being in the comfort zone, dislikes failure, feels threatened by others, adheres to past accomplishments & intelligence, is averse to learning new things, new perspectives, ideas. A growth mindset on the other hand is open to learning, embraces failure, imperfections, takes risks, draws inspiration from other's successes, enjoys putting in effort & developing.
It is very important to analyze one's mindset and check if it growth focused or fixed. Whatever it may be, there's always a scope to drop something that doesn't serve us and embrace the one that will not only help us grow but discover our own potential which we might not have even thought of. We can cultivate the growth mindset. We are all victims of the victim. When circumstances fixates our ability to think, create & see beyond, we become victims and thus low performer in every aspect of life. When we know how to deal with the demons, rise above the circumstances, we become fighters & thus high performers. We keep struggling to win, to rise up. The last stage is the stage of a peaceful warrior. A peaceful warrior has a growth mindset & thus is a super performer, the master. In this stage learning becomes the focus without caring for approvals, achievements, validations; without the need to prove anyone but to walk the path towards self-actualization. Our aim should be to walk the path of a peaceful warrior. Now the question is, how do you change from having a fixed mindset to growth mindset. Here are few ways to do that:
1. Make learning you goal & not achievement. Your energy flows in the direction of your focus. We are bound to fail at some point in life. When learning becomes our goal, we see the lessons in the failure & work towards improvement rather than breaking down & giving up.
2. Look at your inability to do something as your opportunity to grow. Efforts make you stronger and doesn't mean that you are not good enough. Life is a process of progress. We move from one level to another and it's a journey. We have the capacity to create with due efforts that what we want to no matter what the circumstances or stages of life are.
3. Challenge your thinking patterns & habits.
4. Acknowledge your weaknesses & look for ways to make a shift. Every gift has a shadow and every shadow can be turned into a gift with effort. You got to dig deep.
5. Change is mandatory. Accept this fact & look for your inner resistance to change. What could be the triggers inside you not allowing you to embrace the change?
6. Learn to accept & give constructive criticisms. There's no point taking anything personally. Constructive criticisms shows you your blind spots & acts as a catalyst for your growth.
7. Learn to unlearn.
8. Be gentle on yourself.
Last but not the least, remember that you are whole, complete, resourceful & a work in progress. You have to just pick up from where you left & keep walking the path. Cultivating a growth mindset will enable you to attain your highest potential. Remember, however successful you are today, this is not your highest expression because it's a journey & not a destination.
Life & Organizational Development Coach