Mindset extends beyond optimism and pessimism; the way you view yourself and the world can actually predict your success in all areas of life. Such is the premise of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck's best-selling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, which she penned after decades of research on the topic. Dweck ultimately found that how we view what we consider to be our personality can make all the difference, reports Brain Pickings. This all boils down to two main ways of thinking:
Fixed mindset: Those with a fixed mindset view their character, creativity, and intelligence as static traits they're given at birth. While they don't believe they can change these traits, they seek success by looking for affirmation of their inherent success, talent, or intelligence. As Dweck puts it, a fixed perspective is "believing that your qualities are carved in stone," which "creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over."
Growth mindset: Those with a growth mindset believe that new experiences, challenges, and even failure can shape their intelligence, character, and creativity in meaningful ways. It's the belief that "your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts," she explains. This mindset "allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives."
In other words, "In one world—the world of fixed traits—success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself," she explains. "In the other—the world of changing qualities—it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself." She believes that we develop these mindsets at a young age and that they influence our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in professional and personal endeavors, and our capacity for happiness.
Unsurprisingly, those with a growth mindset prioritize learning, value effort over inherent ability, and are more open to feedback or criticism that can help them improve. This encompasses everything from business to love; those with a growth mindset view success as working your hardest to become your personal best, and even seek partners that help them grow and evolve as a person. For them, everything in life, love, and business is a beautiful work in progress that is capable of growth and change; the sky is truly the limit.
Pick up a copy of Mindset for more on the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset, and share your thoughts on the two below.