Adopting what Stanford Professor Carol Dweck* has termed the ‘fixed mindset’ could be fastest way to stunt your growth and ensure wasted potential.

Her book ‘Mindset; The New Psychology of Success’ outlines two ways of thinking and viewing yourself and the world:

Fixed Mindset – The belief that skills, talents, and capabilities are predetermined, finite and therefore cannot be developed. You either have a talent, or you don’t, and the same applies to other people.

Growth Mindset – The belief that talents and abilities can be developed over time, that there is a potential to foster new skills in yourself and others.

Leaders who have adopted a growth mindset believe that they can and will get better at what they do, with learning and experience over time. They see failure as an opportunity that could lead to mastery, and take full responsibility for their own learning.

In contrast, leaders with a fixed mindset experience an urgency to prove themselves.  They avoid situations with a high likelihood of failure because success depends upon protecting and their fixed qualities and concealing their deficiencies. When failure does occur, the focus is on rationalizing the failure rather than learning from it.

What is your prevailing mindset?

These mindsets apply to how you think about yourself, and also how you think about others, and they shape how you respond to the world. Adopting a growth mindset and believing that your skills, talents, and capabilities can be cultivated and developed will not only fast-track your growth and potential, it will also develop those around you.

As Dweck says, ‘Mindset are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but there just something on your mind, and you can change your mind.’

What mindset are you operating from today? What would be the most useful mindset to adopt?


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