The mind is a powerful thing. It can be the source of your motivation or the source of you being stuck in a rut. The stories that you tell yourself, the things you believe about yourself can either prevent change from happening or allow you to develop new skills. How does this happen? Why is this different for different individuals? Why brains and talent don’t bring success? Why are some people reluctant to change whereas some people believe in constantly shaking things up? It all boils down to one thing: Mindset. It’s a very simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck after decades of research. And this simple idea makes all the difference.
There are two different mindsets – Fixed and Growth.
In a fixed mindset, people believe that their basic qualities and any skills that they have are given and cannot be further developed. This mindset is the most common and the most harmful. One of the harmful beliefs of people of this mindset is that talent alone creates success, without effort. This is where they are wrong.
In a growth mindset, the mindset that CEOs, successful athletes and the like have, people believe that whatever skills they have can be developed through hard-work and dedication. This mindset creates a love for learning and a resilience of nature that is essential to success in this fast moving world.
So which mindset is right? Experts today believe that this isn’t an either/or, nature vs. nurture discussion. From the moment of conception, there’s a tug of war between the two mindsets. According to Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist, environment and genes go hand in hand as we develop and genes require input from the environment in order to develop and work properly.
Scientists are also learning that human beings have a capacity for life-long learning that is greater than originally believed. People do have their specific genetic endowments, they do have their own temperaments and aptitudes to start with. But with consistent personal effort and training and with experience, they can go a long way.