There is one thing that can make or break your success – it’s your mindset. If you want success, you’ve got to have a growth mindset. That means you embrace change, failure, and setbacks as a natural part of the path to success. And it can make a HUGE difference as you pursue your goals in life and business.
First things first, what is a growth mindset? According to Carol Dweck, who synthesized this in her remarkably insightful book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, this is the belief that humans can develop and improve even the most basic of skills through hard work and commitment.
It’s the idea that intelligence and talent can be developed with the right frame of mind.
This is exactly the OPPOSITE of the old idea that people are born with a certain level of intelligence or a particular set of talents, and that’s the best they’ll ever be.
(For the record, this is called a fixed mindset. You can find lots of research on the differences between the two!)
Think about this example:
When was the last time you described someone as a “natural athlete” or a “born leader”? You probably thought you were paying the person the ultimate compliment, right?
BUT … It’s actually a bit of a backhanded compliment.
It suggests that the person’s skills resulted from an accident of genetics at birth—rather than the years of dedication and hard work they put in!
Do you see how this type of thinking can get in the way of reaching your goals?
When things get tough, it can be all too easy to think you don’t “have it in you” … that it’s for “other” people who are born with certain gifts or traits that you don’t have … and that makes it easier to give up.
A fixed mindset can also spill over to many areas in your life…
You might find it hard to make changes in your relationships, your career, your health, or even your willingness to try new things.
So how can you develop more of a growth mindset? Here are three strategies to try, for starters.
1. Challenge your inner voice!
When that little voice chants “I can’t,” turn it right around! Replace it with “I can figure it out,” or “I don’t know how…yet!” This helps you to see where the issue really lies. Then you can adjust the course, ask for help or and solve your dilemma by joining toastmasters as needed.
2. Embrace your imperfections.
Recognize that it’s not about being perfect — it’s about progress! And while you’re at it, you can let go of any pressure you feel to BE perfect. What a relief it is to say goodbye to that!
3. Remember, there are no failures – only learning opportunities!
If you try something and you don’t get the results you were hoping for, it’s not a failure. It’s just a chance to learn what doesn’t work. Change your approach a little, and give it another try!
Most of the time, the best lessons in life come from your challenges, not from your wins.
I hope these ideas are helpful!