Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Everyone wants to succeed, but nobody wants to struggle, nobody wants to do what it takes to succeed. How can we expect to win the prize without fighting for it? In this article, we’ll look at one of the most important concepts when it comes to success in any way you can think of. We will talk about your mindset. Why is our mindset so important for success? If we ignore the fact that your mindset is the first thing that affects whether you even want to succeed, it is also the first thing standing in your way when you decide to make the first step. Your mindset can be your greatest ally, or your greatest enemy. The decision is yours.
To start with, it is a good idea to do some housekeeping in order to make things easier to understand. There are generally two groups of mindsets you should focus on when it comes to progress and development. The first group is referred to as “the fixed mindset”, while the other group is “the growth mindset”. Many of us can probably estimate what each of these groups includes. But even though we understand it, most of us still don’t seem to apply what we know about these groups.
Let’s look at the reason why these two mindset groups are so different and why each of them influences your decisions in a very different way. The people who have the fixed mindset (or lean more towards this side) tend to believe that their characteristics are fixed. What does that mean? This basically means that once you fail a math test or someone else tells you that you’re naturally bad in math, you will believe that math indeed is not for you. This also works the other way around. If you win a math contest, you will strongly believe that math is what you can do the best. What’s the problem then? Well, once you figure out that math isn’t your thing, you will suddenly stop making any kind of progress, because you will instantly stop seeing any kind of purpose in improving your math. In the other scenario, you will believe that math is your ultimate talent ant that progressing even further is not necessary for you.
Another issue with the fixed mindset is the fact that even though you think you don’t need to progress further, you are still incredibly anxious. As Ph.D. Carol S. Dweck says in her book Mindset,
“When you’re hit with negative label, you’re afraid of deserving it and when you’re hit with a positive label, you’re afraid of losing it”.
Why is this important? Considering the amount of kids and even adults who stress about “not being good enough”, this issue is pretty central to the whole anxiety problem of the society. In short, the amount of pressure you feel from other people’s opinions with your fixed mindset is unbearable. What is worse is that, like I mentioned a few lines above, people with the fixed mindset believe that setbacks label them. When you fail a math exam, you’re a failure, period.
In contrast, the people who have the growth mindset firmly believe that our characteristics are dynamic. What this means is that you can strengthen your weaknesses, but you can also lose your strengths. Both sides are important, as growth mindset people realise that you not only need to progress, but you need to progress continuously. In this perspective, failure is rather a wake up call. When a person with a growth mindset fails her math exam, she doesn’t give up on math. Quite the opposite, she stands strong and looks for new ways to improve to make sure that she will definitely succeed next time. If she wins a math competition, she doesn’t stop progressing. Why? Because she understand that winning is not about one time trophy, it’s about consistent improvement and growth. Furthermore, people with the growth mindset do not allow others label them in any way. They realise that the opinions of others are useless as long as they don’t provide them with any kind of feedback they could use to grow. This might seem like an obvious thing, but you have no idea about how many people still care about what others think about them even though it is so overstated that the most important opinion there is, is our own.
To sum up the basic difference you need to understand to be able to take action and develop a growth mindset, if you have a growth mindset you’re not afraid of a challenge and you see failures as opportunities to learn, while if you have a fixed mindset you’re done when you encounter the first obstacle. Growth mindset is neccessary to be able to develop as a person. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to have the growth mindset. But it is indeed one of the greatest strengths of entrepreneurs.
I wanted to keep this short so that you will enjoy the quick read and learn something new and very useful. If you want to learn more about your mindset and about the reason why it is a good idea to focus on developing the growth mindset and spending time with the people who have the growth mindset, I strongly urge you to read the following book.
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