Oprah Winfrey has it, Marissa Mayer has it and Sheryl Sandberg has it.
What is it these successful and profitable people have that has helped them achieve their dreams and live a life that they value and are passionate about?
There are far more people who have worked for the great things they have achieved in life, than those who have been handed success on a silver platter. There are two mindsets in life that drive the way we view success, define success and achieve success. These are a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset is one where the person believes that their ability to succeed is based on what they feel they already have – their intelligence and aptitude and ability today. They believe that it is talent alone that creates success and not hard work or effort. For those with a fixed mindset, they feel they are defined and classed by who and what they are capable of now, not by their potential.
Winning is very important to someone with a fixed mindset and they often prefer to bow out, or not partake in something that they may not succeed at (despite them having an itch to do it), because the idea of not coming out on top is something that is too hard for their ego to take.
To those with a fixed mindset, being perceived as ‘losing’ is a blow to their image. They see the opposite of winning as losing so they will choose to sit on the sidelines rather than risk the alternative.
Those with a fixed mindset judge themselves by being concerned with how others perceive them.
On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset does not believe that they are the sum of their current state or that success depends on luck, intelligence or winning. They believe that with dedication, effort, constant self-improvement and education they will be able to create success by improving how they approach something.
They will not view setbacks as failures, rather as learning experiences. You will find that nearly every great business-person, athlete or entrepreneur harbours a growth mindset.
The fixed mindset thinks ‘I shouldn’t even bother going for the management position, I won’t get it because I don’t have the right experience’. The growth mindset thinks ‘What can I do today to learn more about management and create opportunity for myself either now or in the future?’
The fixed mindset looks at someone doing something cool and thinks ‘I wish I could do that’ and judges themselves poorly as someone lacking in a certain area of their lives. The person with the growth mindset asks ‘How do you do that, can you teach me?’ and then they practice.
Both of these mindsets are beliefs in action.
The mindset that you cultivate profoundly affects the way you live your life, so it’s critical that we take note of how we view opportunities, for potential is all based on the perception we have of an opportunity.
Though we can get stuck in a fixed mindset while it feels that our peers excel, we can make a conscious choice to move towards a growth mindset and see ourselves grow exponentially.
Creating change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset involves conscious thought, however the first step is to recognise which mindset you approach your life with. With all of the doors you have closed because you ‘can’t do it’ look at ways that you can approach them with a positive view. Assess ways you can learn from potential opportunities you have now and increase your knowledge for future opportunities.
The next time we have a desire for something we need to check the mindset that shows up. Are we holding ourselves back or are we ready to grow? When we can begin to focus on our lives with a growth mindset and see unlimited potential within ourselves, only success can follow.
Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.