Your Mindset Is Everything If You Want to Achieve Success
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Does your success or failure depend on what you believe about yourself? Well, according to Carol Dweck, Stanford University professor of psychology, it does. In her research, Dweck explained that a person’s beliefs can impact their motivation and determine whether they’ll achieve their goals. Dweck added that having a growth mindset is key to reaching personal success. If having the right mindset is everything, then it’s only fitting for us to learn more about it.
What Exactly Is a Mindset?
Your mindset will depend on whether you consider your qualities unmovable or changeable. In her research, Dweck explored how children would respond if they were given a difficult problem to solve. Some of the kids considered the problem a learning experience that would challenge them. However, other children felt that they did not have the capacity to solve the problem. Moreover, they felt that they were being scrutinized and judged.
The difference between the two groups is their mindsets. The first group had a growth mindset, which meant that they always believed that difficult situations could help them acquire and develop problem-solving skills. Meanwhile, the other group had a fixed mindset. Those children believed that they couldn’t do anything to resolve the problem. They considered it beyond their abilities and knowledge.
Forming the Right Mindset for Success
In the same research, it was revealed that early in their lives, a lot of people develop one of the two types of mindsets. Most of the time, they acquire the mindset through their experiences in school or through their upbringing. The study assigned certain characteristics to the fixed and growth mindsets.
Kids who are not encouraged to find enjoyment in learning tend to develop a fixed mindset. Most of the time, these children are more concerned about living up to expectations and how they are being judged. On the other hand, kids who are encouraged to embrace new experiences, explore things, and enjoy challenges tend to develop a growth mindset. These children don’t consider failure as a setback. Instead, they are eager to learn from their mistakes and try new things as long as they grow.
It’s worth noting that having a growth mindset does not mean that with enough effort and education, you can become anything you want. Just because you’re trying so hard, it doesn’t mean that you can be the next Beethoven or Stephen Hawking. If you have a growth mindset, it means that you are making an effort to reach your true potential. Indeed, people with a growth mindset focus on improving their talents and deepening their understanding. For them, trouble and toil are key ingredients in achieving a rewarding experience.
Neuroplasticity: You Can Rewire Your Brain to Develop a Growth Mindset
The potential of a computer is limited to its software and hardware specifications. Thankfully, our brains are nothing like that. Whenever a person learns something new, their brain creates new connections between their neurons. This is an ability known as neuroplasticity, which all humans have. Even as adults, our brains can change and develop. Basically, you can rewire your brain to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances.
With new experiences and activities, your brain forms new neural pathways. Now, as you repeatedly do or say something, it becomes hard-wired into your brain. In simpler terms, it turns into a habit. Your brain forms routes that are easier to use, making some activities seem natural to you.
However, you can still change these ‘brain routes’. Of course, you must realize the necessity for a change. Then, you rewire your brain by training it. When you want to develop a growth mindset, you must remember the following:
- Having a growth mindset is beneficial for anyone. What’s more, it is backed by science. However, before you can develop it, you need to commit to it.
- Adopting a growth mindset will enable you to teach others to develop their abilities. In a way, you are elevating other people’s lives too, which can be empowering.
- Sometimes, your fixed mindset voice will whisper doubts into your mind. When it tells you that you are limited, you respond using a growth mindset approach. Tell that little critical voice that you can learn.
Before Achieving Success, You Need to Define It Personally
When asked to define success, famous NCAA basketball head coach John Robert Wooden said:
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
The first step to achieving success is knowing what it means in your life. The truth is its definition goes way beyond fame and money. If you think it is measured by these factors, then why are the rich and famous battling addiction, fending off scandals, and committing suicide? Moreover, it is important to remember that what success is for one person may be different for another.
Society may dictate that living a successful life means collecting trophies and tangible assets. However, only you can determine what success means in your life. You may find it in the pursuit of knowledge or making the world a better place. Perhaps, success for you may lie in the meaningful connections you make on a day-to-day basis.
How Do You Develop a Growth Mindset?
Appreciating what you do – Recognizing effort can have a long-lasting effect on a person. For instance, a study conducted by the University of Chicago revealed the significance of praise. Children aged 2 to 3 who were recognized for their effort were more likely to develop a growth mindset. Now, as an adult, you can apply this to your life through self-acceptance. Acknowledge that the effort you make is already a feat.
Facing challenges – It’s only natural to feel threatened by an unfamiliar situation or new problem. However, when you’re facing a serious challenge, it’s best that you look at it differently in your mind. Instead of considering it a problem, view it as an opportunity. It will be easier for you to engage if you shift your perspective.
Taking on difficult tasks – With a fixed mindset, a person may consider failure as a result of incompetence. Because they’re concerned about other people’s judgement, they tend to play it safe and avoid difficult tasks. Eventually, this can worsen a person’s performance. After all, mistakes are inevitable—no matter how easy your job is. Remember that learning will always be messy and there is no straight path to it. Expand your horizons and choose activities or projects that will challenge you.
Listening to your thoughts – If your thoughts are low and dark, the results will show in your life. You should always listen to what you’re thinking and saying. You can build a growth mindset by replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of judging and criticizing yourself, learn to accept your flaws. Turn hate into compassion and never disrespect yourself by lowering your ethical standards.
Aiming high – People are usually bad at predicting their best efforts, as illustrated in a research conducted by the School of Life Sciences at Northumbria University. The participants cycled as fast as they could for 4,000m. On the second trial, they had to race against an avatar that represented their previous performance. They were not informed that their avatars were generating power output that was higher by 2%. As a result, they rode 4,000m in a shorter time than what their previous maximal efforts showed. When pushed, people surpass their expectations.
A Tool That Can Help You Develop a Growth Mindset
What if we tell you that there is an app that can help you develop a growth mindset? As we’ve discussed, the process is all about making the effort and challenging yourself. Well, with a time tracking app like Traqq, you can identify productivity leaks and condition yourself for maximum efficiency. You can use this tool to measure how much time you spend on a task or project. Consequently, you’ll discover where you’re struggling and learn how you can make improvements to your work habits.