Do you think that your intelligence and your talents are innate? Or do you think it is possible to improve and change through practice?
In her book Mindset: A New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, shows us that capacity and talent are not enough to achieve our goals, but that the state spirit plays an essential role in any desire to realize its full potential.
The most important to meet and succeed challenges is to approach them with a development mindset.
It is by confronting our attitudes that we can develop a growth mindset to find our fulfillment.
Our state of mind determines whether we believe we can evolve
Your birth, your parents, your sex, your first name, your nationality, your language, your family, your physique, the colour of your eyes.
Many elements are predetermined at birth. You were born, and since then, you improvise.
But when it comes to his intellectual and physical abilities, you have the power to excel, learn and progress.
It is not a question of heredity or genius, but of will and state of mind that shapes your beliefs in accomplishing something.
For Dweck, the world is divided into two categories. Those with a fixed mindset and those with a developmental mindset.
People with a fixed mindset believe that they are naturally good at doing things and incapable of others, while people with a developmental mindset think they can excel at what they want. Provided you work hard.
A mindset influenced from a young age
Mental development begins at birth. Babies have a natural development mindset because it is a survival mechanism.
They must learn and grow as much as possible every day.
Your parents have had a significant impact on your state of mind.
Have they stimulated your desire to learn by encouraging you or have they restrained you by judging you on what is right or wrong?
So small, between 1 and 3 years of age, you were one of those trying to help another crying baby, then you had a developmental mindset.
On the other hand, if you were indifferent, even annoyed, by the cries of others, then you had a fixed state of mind.
No matter what child you were, the good news is that you are not determined to stay the same and that it is always possible to change, learn, grow and evolve.
The characteristics that describe the Fixed Mindset
People with a fixed mindset believe that talents are innate at birth. A person is either talented or stupid and can only accept his fate.
They judge others and continuously seek the approval of others to protect their egos and avoid being in the box of incompetent people.
They attempt to flee from adversity, which can reveal a lack of competence. They tend to give up at the slightest effort that escapes them.
If they fail at something, they blame others or are continually looking for excuses. They accuse the pencil if they have poorly drawn.
They would accuse the race track if they did not run well.
They do not question their performance or try not to progress.
They do not believe that they can learn from their mistakes.
A single failure denies and devalues all past successes.
Everything is a question of results.
They hope for eternal love in their relationships without making any effort to maintain the interest that holds the couple together.
They are easily discouraged and often take things personally, which leads them to be on the defensive.
Getting rid of a fixed state of mind is laborious because it is an emotional crutch that, over time, protects from failure, creates recognition in the eyes of our parents/partners and boosts our self-confidence.
Think of those students who have completed good studies who find themselves in positions in a company.
They feel that they do not have to change because their academic excellence has often conditioned them to reproduce learning patterns that turn out to be obsolete in the market.
Characteristics of the Development Mindset
“I do not divide the world into weak and strong, or according to successes and failures. I split the world into learners and non-learners. – Benjamin Barber
For a long time, I thought I had problems with mathematics. I complexed, I made no effort, I felt like condemned by my bad grades.
The slightest math exercise was a profound source of anxiety and defeat. I even went so far as to think that I didn’t have the genes to understand mathematical logic (!).
One of my teachers had openly said that I would not get the baccalaureate if I continued like this.
Stung in my pride, I was tired of being intimidated by this matter.
I recognized that I had a problem and that it represented an opportunity to evolve.
So I asked for help, looked for support. At first, it was hard because I had a lot of gaps, and my foundations were fragile, but I was persistent.
The more I solve problems, the more I learn. I finally felt satisfaction in doing math because I was starting to understand its logic.
Gradually, I realized that I was not as “stupid,” as I thought. My notes told me that I was on the right track.
Whether in music, sports, writing or drawing, practicing tirelessly improve your skills and, at best, being a virtuoso.
Transform defeats into victories.
People with a development mindset enjoy any opportunity to learn from the best in a field because their success inspires them.
They question the strategies used in the past and always think about how they can eradicate their weaknesses.
They willingly put their energy into improving themselves and helping the world around them.
In their relationships, they encourage their partners to continue to learn and work on themselves.
They accept the problems and see them as challenges, not as insurmountable obstacles.
They know that occasional failure is a prerequisite for learning and represents an opportunity to do better.
Rather than feeling sorry for oneself, people with a developmental mindset take control of their situation to make the impossible possible.
Four questions to develop a development mindset
Before sleeping, I recommend that you ask yourself these questions and answer them at least with a sentence to measure your progress in a journal.
- What have you learned from your performance today?
- What steps have you taken to succeed today?
- What are the different strategies you might have used?
- How did you persevere when things turned out to be difficult?
Ten statements of a development mindset
Sometimes a new perspective in your beliefs is enough to approach your problems differently.
I’m not good at this. ≠ What do I not understand?
I’m giving up. ≠ I will use a different strategy.
It’s pretty good. ≠ Is this really all I can do?
I can not do it anymore. ≠ I can always improve.
It is too hard! ≠ It will take a little time.
I made a mistake. ≠ Mistakes help me learn and progress.
I can not do it. ≠ I’m going to train for this.
I would never be so smart! ≠ I will learn how to do this.
Plan A did not work… ≠ There is still a plan B.
My friend can do it ≠ I would learn from them.
“If you set the bar extremely high and fail, your failure will outweigh the successes of others. “ – James Cameron