Our mindset can have a huge influence on how we approach and deal with the challenges that life can throw at us. It’s the lens through which we view the world and it reflects our beliefs about our capabilities, limitations and what we might be able to achieve.
Dr, Carol Dweck is a professor of psychology at Stanford University. After more than a decade of research, she has identified that adopting what she terms a “growth mindset” is one of the keys to achieving success. It is an idea that anyone involved in education, sport or business should explore.
With a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are fixed traits. They believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. Consequently, when they try something new and it doesn’t work out – they are more likely to simply give up. They walk away searching for something that will be more compatible with their “innate talents”.
With a growth mindset, people believe that their abilities can be further developed through dedication and hard work—brains and “natural talent” are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. It is an outlook that helps to fuel perseverance ….. just because something doesn’t “click” for them straight away, doesn’t then mean these people will give up on learning the new skill or mastering a difficult task.
In other words, if the underlying belief of a person is they can learn to become smarter or they can learn to become more skillful, then they will invest the effort to get stronger. They will not allow early experiences of “errors” , “mistakes” or so-called “failures” to discourage them from becoming more competent and capable with their new endeavor.
Neuroscience has shown that the brain is malleable. New experiences, practice, asking questions, having discussions in a safe learning environment can actually change neural activity within the brain – new neural pathways are established. In other words, science has shown WE CAN GROW OUR BRAINS! You can change your mindset.
Here’s a short video clip that explores this idea around mindset and how it can influence our motivation, our performance and ultimately, what we become capable of achieving –
In summary, whether you are a coach, teacher, or anyone in a leadership role that is aiming to help people learn how to perform to their best – then seek ways of encouraging a growth mindset in people. Introduce them to the evidence-based principle that their brain is malleable – and encourage a belief that perseverance and effort can make a real difference to what they are capable of achieving with their life.