The following statement sounds incredibly much like common sense. Persistence and effort only deliver returns when we truly believe that we can make change happen. You have to be in it to win it. Your own assumptions about what you can achieve, also called your mindset, have profound implications on how you navigate your path and as a result how much you will flourish in the future. At LGIT Smart Solutions, we believe that as the Fourth Industrial Revolution rolls on, the right mindset will be critical for not being left behind. Let’s look at this concept of mindset in a bit more detail.
According to Dr Carol Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, there are two types of mindset. Each has the power to light up or disable the dreams and goals we set in life and at work. The first type of mindset is the fixed mindset. As the title implies, this mindset is shored up by a core belief that our abilities are relatively static and stable, and will not change significantly over time, no matter what we do. Abilities, talents and intelligences are all seen much like a hand that is ‘dealt’ in life. Achievements or right answers are proof of your talents. Failures show you up for what you lack. Because you don’t believe that you can change your hand much, ‘failures’ can have a crippling effect on the positive sense of self. The core belief ‘I cannot change anything’ may lead to a fear or avoidance of new experiences and risky situations. People with a fixed mindset may feel as though they constantly need to prove themselves to others.
In contrast, those with a growth mindset hold the mantra: “I can or will learn to do”. They orientate towards challenge, to what they do not know or cannot do, because they pivot from a core belief of being able to learn to do most things. They believe in their own ability to improve. The future is within their control and they actively work to shape their future to their liking. Their propensity to seek out new experience for the growth opportunity offered makes them naturally more resilient. Failure is but another chance to learn how to do better, and learning presents itself everywhere and at all times. They are more likely to grow and to fulfill their true potential.
The extensive research conducted by Dr Carol Dweck shows us that applying fixed mindsets is dangerous for the future, because it may trap us into a nonlearning loop. If you are not sure that you will be right first time and you don’t believe you can change your ability much, you might want to play it safe and stick with what you know how to do well. Or, you might hide your failure and not open it up for sense-making. In this way opportunities to learn from new experiences are missed, and this learning is not available to apply to future scenarios. Operate too much in a fixed mindset mode, and you severely risk being left behind. What’s more, when things don’t turn out as hoped or planned, fixed mindset people may see themselves as failures, rather than seeing themselves at simply having failed at a task. These disabling feelings can be paralyzing.
A growth mindset is vital for building resilience and contributing to overall wellbeing. And the good news is that each one of us can build this mindset. Your mindset is not fixed, or at least it does not have to be!
So, in this first blog of 2019, I am throwing out a challenge to you. The challenge is to take 10 minutes to think about and answer these questions:
Ö What are your assumptions about your intelligence, your personality or social skills, your business skills, your sporting ability or your artistic ability?
Ö Do you believe you can improve them, and how much? Or is this simply ‘the hand that you have been dealt’?
Ö Do you believe that you have the ability to make things change?
We are interested in hearing your thoughts.
This is the first post in our new ALT (Adapt Learn Thrive) to Reboot Leadership Series.
At LGIT Smart Solutions we make meaning through delivering quality learning experiences that uplift and build profitable businesses and communities. Over the past 19 years we have earned our stripes as a Microsoft Silver Learning Partner and Microsoft Corporate Social Responsibility Award Winner. We are Seta Accredited and are BEE Level 2, 51% black-owned.
Coming in 2019 >>> a revolution in leadership offerings. Watch our social media spaces.