Can you change your abilities? Consider these questions:
- Can you change your intelligence?
- Can you change the kind of person you are (personality)?
- Can you change your talents?
Most of us have been taught to believe we cannot change our Intelligence, personality, or talents. As a result, we either:
- Live under the burden of proving our abilities. OR
- Give up before we ever try.
The book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D Professor of Psychology at Stanford University (formerly Colombia and Harvard—in other words, she knows her stuff!) challenges us to reconsider. Dweck’s research shows that our intelligence, personality, talents are not fixed; rather, we can grow our abilities. The issue is not ABILITY, but MINDSET. A friend of mine recommended this book to me this past year. As one of the most helpful books I’ve read this year, I wanted share it with you.
Mindset is our beliefs about our abilities. Dweck identifies two mindsets that we adopt.
People with a fixed mindset believe their basic qualities— intelligence, personality, talents —are fixed traits. They document their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They believe that talent alone creates success. They’re wrong.
People with a growth mindset believe their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Brains and talent are the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
The issue is the story we tell ourselves. The fixed mindset story focuses on judging. When faced with challenges and obstacles, the fixed mindset says, “This means I’m a loser,” or “This means I’m a bad husband.” or in the face of success it says, “This means I’m a better person than they are.” “This means my partner is selfish.” The result is either not to try at all (Don’t do it. Don’t take a risk), or only to try when you know you’ll win (You have to win. Prove yourself. Everything depends on it.).
The growth mindset story focuses on learning and constructive action. When faced with challenges and obstacles, or even successes, the growth mindset says, “What can I learn from this?” “How can I improve?” “How can I help my partner do this better?” (Go for it. Learn. Improve. Pursue your dream.)
For many of us, this is the time of year when we start thinking about next year and our hopes and dreams and goals. Your mindset will play a major role in the way you envision and plan for the year ahead.
After reading Mindset this year, I have decided to risk and grow in a few specific areas.
- I started a blog
- I have sought coaching in my leadership and life
- I am trying to grow as a write and speaker
I have decided to grow. I invite you to join me. Buy Mindset and read it this year. Then identify some areas of growth and risk for you!
What opportunities do you have for learning and growth this year? Share your thoughts and lets inspire one another!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”