Stanford University researcher Carol Dweck argues there are two types of mindsets that shape our view of success: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Fixed-mindsetindividuals see the factors for success – e.g., intelligence, talents – as inherent traits with a fixed capacity. On the other side are growth-mindset individuals who view success linked with hard work, training, and development that grows over time.
Where a person falls on the continuum between the two mindsets impacts all aspects of a person’s life. Fixed-mindsetters tend to fear failure and handle it poorly, ultimately limiting their possibilities by avoiding new challenges (aka opportunities). Growth-mindsetters fare much better in picking themselves up after set-backs and don't shirk away from those opportunities that can ultimately translate into successes.
Millennials are known to be great at faking success but often are riddled with low self-esteem. Luckily enough, a person’s mindset is malleable and research shows we can be proactive in adopting a growth-mindset to combat self-doubts.
So maybe it’s not about BEING the best you can be but rather, BECOMING the best version of yourself. Here are a few tips on how best to practice a growth mindset.
Knowing your strengths is easy. It’s what comes most naturally to us. But it’s our weaknesses that bring out our anxieties and trigger stress – none of which is welcomed in the work place. Identifying your weaknesses is the first step in disarming them. Acknowledging and preempting the discomfort will empower you to get ahead and not fall behind them.
Venturing outside our comfort zone can be a terrifying place. But the sense of accomplishment from wrestling with new challenges will far exceed any satisfaction gained by churning out another task you know you can’t get wrong. Set the bar in a different place altogether and open yourself up to alternative experiences.
Don’t confuse accepting a challenge with engaging in competition. Friendly competition can be a great motivator and welcomed, but keeping a competitive mindset often reduces our way of thinking to a zero-sum approach, leading to negative comparisons and feelings of inferiority. Keep things simple. Focus on yourself and where you are today compared to yesterday.
Do a little investigating on where your weaknesses lie and find a fun way to practiceand improve upon them. . Figure out a method that suits you and keep at it.
In an era where having multiple careers is the norm, having an adaptable approach to skills development is highly advantageous. No one can be good at everything, but that shouldn’t rule out attempting different things. Thinking that we know ourselves and our capabilities often plays to our detriment and limits our prospects for success. In a world defined by change and growth, it is only logical to try to progress along side it.
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Remember when you were still in school and everyone’s giving you unsolicited career advice? How much of it end up actually being useful right now?