'I divide the world into learners and non-learners...': The Mindset of a Champion
February 16, 2015
Ever since I can remember Carol Dweck has been writing about mindset. Dweck states there are two mindsets and these are evident in every culture that we come across. The fixed mindset and the growth mindset. The fixed mindset is the belief that your qualities are carved in stone and it creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. This is the thought that a person only has a certain amount of intelligence, a certain amount of personality or a certain moral character and if you only have a certain amount of all of this stuff then you better well prove to everyone you've got a healthy amount of it. The second mindset is a growth mindset and is based on the belief that you basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort. This is the belief that everyone can change, everyone can grow and this can be done through application of ones self and engaging in a wi
de range of experiences.
Not all people are created equal when it comes to mindset. There are those who are born with heightened ability and through practice become incredably accomplished. These are the prodigies. What feeds these type of people is the endless curiosity and challenge seeking and not the innate ability which many people often assume when someone is excellent at something. I'm going to take this mindset idea further and discuss character, define success, define failure and attempt to give some suggestions to develop a growth mindset.
Character grows out of mindset, mindset helps people deal with setbacks, points them to good strategies, and leads them to act in their best interests. Character, heart or will it is all the same thing, it's what makes your practice and try hard every time. Having good character is the way those that are less talented beat those who are naturally far better. Good character is the mindset of a chamption. Character is what keeps you at the top. Take Mike Tyson for example he was talanted, he was able to get to the top but he jsut didn't have the character or will to stay there.
So what is success? Those with a growth mindset would suggest that success is doing your best , learning and improving. The idea is that personal success is when you work hard to become your best. Champions love to win but what seperates them from others is that the effort they put in is what counts the most. Champions are proud of their effort. For those with a fixed mindset though success is about superiority and being better than everyone else. Some people don't want to rehearse, they just want to perform. People growth mindsets take charge of their successes.
So what is failure? Those with a growth mindset would suggest that failure is motivating, setbacks are informative and are a wake-up call to action. In the fixed mindset failure is what defines you.
The growth mindset is based on the belief in change. Whether people know it or not, everyone keeps a running account of what happens to them, what it means to them, and what they should do. Our minds keep track of what is going on and it is how our mind regulate and stay on track. Lets take an example of how a growth mindset will rebound from a setback.
You've put all of your effort into trianing for a competition, everything comes down to this and you are certain you will win. However you lose. You now have two options you can take a fixed mindset step; in which you tell yourself it was a competitve race, it doesnt reflect upon you, then your mind steps in and says that you weren't good enough, or you can take a growth mindset step: you think about your goals, and make plans about what you can do to stay on track. You can take other steps to ensure that you succeed and gather more information to help you next time.
In summary those witha growth mindset are champions, there is a desire to learn and a tendency to embrace challenge, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as a path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others and as a result these people reach higher levels of acheivement and success.
For more information on growth mindset and developing psychological success as an athlete or business person, please feel free to get in touch with questions and requests for consultancy.