I recently read a great book called Mindset – Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck. The book is all about growth and fixed mindsets. A growth mindset is one where you believe you can become good at anything if you put effort in. A fixed mindset has a fixed opinion about how good you are at a certain thing.
If I don’t know how to do something or about something and I want to, I often read a book and I learn. So I definitely have a growth mindset some of the time. As Carol points out, and as I discovered through reading the book though, is that we all have a mixture of both.
The book is great and I recommend you read it, if you haven’t already. It has been one of those books for me that has changed the way I view the world and continues to do so.
I find if I getting stuck or frustrated, I have probably slipped into a fixed mindset. Sometimes I don’t know how to learn or grow in a particular way or I find myself slipping into a familiar pattern of thinking and or behavior that leads me to think, I am no good at this. If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself how can you can get better? Sometime you need to ask for help or find some new information or approach. Of course no one is good at everything. The point isn’t to be amazing at everything – the point is you could be.
In the age of social media other people’s highlights are visible to us daily. It’s easy to look at someone else’s strength and compare our own ability in this area and feel that we fall short. No-one is good at everything. We each develop in the areas we give focus and effort. Sometimes we think someone is naturally good at something without realizing how hard they have worked to get there. So if you find yourself comparing, instead ask yourself what it would take for you to have that in your life and if that cost of effort and time is worth it to you.
I have noticed that other people sometimes have fixed ideas of who I am. I have to be careful not to let that influence my view of myself and remember that nothing is fixed. If you were once good at something, you can become less good at it if life circumstances take you away from the activity. Focus on getting better than yesterday rather than comparing yourself to the best you have ever been, when your life circumstances may have been entirely different. To help other people to change and to grow, we each have to be aware that we are all capable of change.
Have you read the book Mindset? What are your thoughts and reflections?