After many decades of research into mindset, success, and achievement, Dr. Carol Dweck, a Stanford University Psychologist, determined that our mindset is a contributing factor to our success – or lack thereof.
Dr. Dweck determined that there are two main types of mindsets: fixed and growth.
A fixed mindset is when people believe their “talents” are innate – they either got it or don't. People with fixed mindsets believe that if they were able to find success in a particular area of life, they would be born with the knowledge of how to do so.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe they can achieve anything through education, determination, and hard work. These people usually have higher success rates because they don’t see themselves as lacking in “talent”. Instead – they know it's possible to develop the ability to do whatever they want if they are willing to learn and work to improve.
By adopting this stronger mindset, you're effectively waking up every day and telling yourself anything is possible – and then you set out to achieve it.
In adopting a growth mindset, there are a few categories of a growth mindset, that can help you turn your brain into a high performing machine:
It Starts With Awareness
I was talking with a new client, Maria, who hated her career. I asked Maria why she didn't take steps to make a change. She belted out a long series of reasons. They ranged from not being able to continue her education because she felt guilty for dropping out of college; to how her current work hours fit well in her husband's schedule.
Guilt and a scheduling conflict were stagnating her dreams! It was easy to see through her excuses, BUT she needed to recognize how she was sabotaging her future.
Finally, I broke down her statements, so Maria could identify her fixed mindset tendencies. Then, I took her through a mindset exercise that empowered her to see opportunities instead of just obstacles.
By the end of the conversation, she had a plan for how she would go back to school and get into the field she had always wanted to be in. Maria's words were, "it really isn't that hard! I can see myself easily doing this now."
Boom – it just took a simple mindset shift!
3 Categories of a Growth Mindset
1. A Courageous Mindset
Fixed mindsets are held back by fear – fear that we will not be good at something. This person buys into the thought that if you weren’t born with the 'talent' you'll never have it. People with a growth mindset aren’t necessarily unafraid, but they are courageous enough to say, “I’m going to do it anyway.”
Fear is a limiting belief that is created only in our minds – our fixed minds. One thing that’s cool about courage is that it gets stronger every time you use it!
Next time you notice a thought that's creeping in and based in fear, look it in the face and challenge it! Ask yourself what you're really afraid of, and what's the worst case scenario? Is the worst outcome something you can live with? How can you prevail over the mental obstacle?
2. A Positive Mindset
Choosing positivity every day can be difficult, but studies show those with a more positive outlook are more successful. It’s important to note that there is a distinction between positivity and happiness. Happiness comes from within and, when solidified, cannot be shaken by external factors. With a little mindset training, you will begin to see possibilities where others see roadblocks. The old, “when a door closes, a window opens” frame of mind.
3. A Self-Trust Mindset
Many people start to have Imposter Syndrome when they gain success. It’s a little voice in their heads saying, “eventually, they’re going to find out you’re not as qualified as you appear to be.”
Believe it or not, those at the top of their game struggle with Imposter Syndrome!
I have written 11 books, but each time I think, 'Uh oh, they’re going to find out now! I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.
- Maya Angelou, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, and a Tony Award
Practicing success mindset training is the very first step to living the life of your dreams. You have to believe you CAN do anything you want before you can start doing it. As soon as your mindset shifts, you may be shocked by the direction your life begins to take!