Psychologist Carol Dweck’s research suggests that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ. The question is, do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?
In other words, are you a non-learner or are you a learner? If you have a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. If you have a growth mindset you believe that you can change – you can improve with effort.
In fact, a person with a lower IQ with a growth mindset will outperform someone with a fixed mindset because the growth mindset individual embraces challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.
Success in life, says Dweck, is all about how you deal with failure. If you have a growth mindset, you approach failure this way: “Failure is information—you label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’” (1)
Just think for a moment about how many times Edison failed to get the lightbulb to work. As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. … Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” “Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophe.”
Edison was a learner. He had a growth mindset. Because he was a learner, his attitude and drive set him apart from others.
Your attitude determines how you approach life events. When it comes to auto repair, I am a non-learner. My fixed mindset is, “I don’t know and I don’t want to know.” My son Josh, has a growth mindset and looks on You Tube and figures out how to repair his car. I marvel at his ability for auto repair and yet I still don’t want to know how to repair my car. And, I’m OK with that. We all make choices as to what our priorities are and where we choose to put our energy.
Attitude becomes a problem when you are playing victim to circumstances in your life. If you have the fixed mindset that your thoughts, emotions, behaviors and circumstances are out of your control and you are miserable, that is your choice. But, is that really how you want to live your life?
I know that I choose to be a non-learner when it comes to auto repair – but my life isn’t miserable because of that. I do not think of myself and my life as “less than” because I choose to take my car to the dealership. There are other areas of my life that interest and excite me. It is these areas where I am an avid learner and where I choose a growth mindset. While I probably will moan and groan about the repair bill, I won’t play victim to it because I clearly know I choose not to open the hood.
Opportunity for learning
So, where do you choose to put your energy? Do you have a learner’s growth mindset? Do you choose to move your life forward, to be the Greatest Expression of You? Or, have you chosen in the past to have a fixed mindset and live your life as a victim to circumstances? If the later describes you, guess what? You can now choose differently. The Greatest Expression of You process is all about you choosing to have a growth mindset attitude – to be a learner in life. Like Edison, failure becomes an opportunity for learning.
Becoming the Greatest Expression
Becoming the Greatest Expression of You is a series of posts that I began on March 20, 2016. One day I hope to turn them into a book.
I love receiving your feedback. Please let me know your own thoughts on the Greatest Expression of You and how you have benefited using this process.
You can find the previous posts by clicking on the button above.
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I embrace challenges and I treat them as opportunities to learn something new.
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