Why your Mindset Matters

What’s your mindset?

Is it fixed?

Is it growth?


Why your Mindset Matters

Everyone has a mindset. That’s a given. However, not everyone’s mindset helps them achieve, strive and accomplish all that they are capable of on a regular basis.

I recently finished Carol S. Dweck’s book “Mindset” – In her book she covers a lot of ground related to success and failure in relation to sports, business and personal relationships.

Below is an image I found after I had written a blog post on Carol S. Dweck’s book “Mindset” ...

which coincidentally is on Bill Gate’s

list of favorite books of 2015

... it is a fantastic summary in one place of what it means to have a Fixed vs. a Growth mindset. Read my original post. This image captures the essence of the difference and the points can be recognized and put to use immediately.

The image is from Reid Wilson, @wayfaringpath a PYP teacher with a fantastic grasp on how and what Growth and Fixed Mindsets mean to school age children and to adults.

This image is shared under Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs - CC BY-NC-ND. Source: Reid Wilson

Effectively there are two mindsets to be considered. In the Fixed Mindset people take on a “woe is me” and “blame everyone and everything else … except me” mentality. In the Growth Mindset people take on a more Zen mentality where everything happens for a reason and can be a learning lesson.

As you can guess the Growth Mindset is much more conducive to success and being able to push on even when it seems all forces are against you. By adopting and embracing a Growth Mindset you can stand out in your career.

Fixed Mindset Traits:

  • Feeling labeled a failure
  • Getting discouraged when something doesn’t play out the way you expected
  • Passing on a chance to learn

Do you retreat when a challenge seems daunting?
If yes, you might have a Fixed Mindset.

Growth Mindset Traits:

  • Takes on a challenge
  • Learns from mistakes and failures
  • Continues on … perseveres

Do you take failures as an opportunity learn?
If yes, you might have a Growth Mindset.

There are a few more aspects to each mindset, but these are some of the key traits. Obviously, the idea is to embrace a Growth Mindset in order to keep moving forward.

Is is always possible to have a growth mindset? I’m not 100% sure. Being human will have down days, but people with a growth mindset will seek to turn those down days into learning experiments.

I think there will always be optimists. Call them dreamers if you like. Optimists are those people that sometimes drive us crazy because they can’t realize that what they are proposing will NEVER work. Then they go off and do the impossible.

Which reminds me of what Eleanor Roosevelt said …

The future belongs to those who believe
in the beauty of their dreams.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Seek a Growth Mindset

When you can take on a growth mindset mode of thinking you will be able to see things in a new light and be able to approach problems from a new perspective.

A few things you can do today to begin developing your Growth Mindset:

  • Look for the issues and dig into them
  • Break them down
  • Seek to understand what you can learn, take away and improve upon

This does not mean you will always be successful at every endeavor. This is not a case for advocating “participation ribbons” rather it is a chance to take control of your experiences. Take control of the way you react to conditions and actions that may have been thrust upon you.

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.
~ Brian Tracy

Failure is an Action

When you can fully accept that Failure is an Action … NOT an Identity you will be at least one step ahead of the game.

The point of this statement is that Failures Happen.

They do not define you. They are not your identity.

An Action Does Not Equal Your Identity

A few things you can do today to begin breaking away from a Fixed Mindset:

  • Instead of seeking to blame someone or something … look for the underlying issues
  • Before giving up take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture.
  • Work Harder. Yes, this might seem counter-intuitive and may fly in your face as an insult. It’s not. That’s your Fixed Mindset thinking.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times … And that is why I succeed.
~ Michael Jordan

Fixed or Growth?

There sort of is a wrong answer here. A fixed mindset will only serve to drag you down and to reconfirm your fixed mindset convictions that you aren’t good enough, fast enough, smart enough. Don’t let that mindset control you.

Take control of your situation. Take control of the way you react & respond to the things that impact your life and I can assure you that your results will continue to improve.

imageWill it happen overnight? Not likely. However, in a step by step fashion you will start to see changes in the way you perceive and react to situations. As you being to do this and find initial successes your peers will also likely begin to take notice. As this happens more and more you will Stand Out in Your Career.

Remember …

”Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein

Want more?

On the Radio

I also did a radio show on this same topic. Listen in for the BBSRADIO show I did with Michele Price on Dec 7th. Here is the link. Take a listen and if you like what you hear please tell a friend. 

What Would Make You Drastically Change Your Leadership Journey?
I filled in for Don Cooper this month - where I talk about:
Is your Mindset Killing Your Sales Effort?

My section starts at about the 4 minute mark. (Link to the audio show)

One way think about Growth Mindset thinking and compliments.

Reward the Effort ... Not the Result

For example, if you say:

That's great you got an A on that report card

Instead say:

You must have worked really hard to earn that grade.

It's commenting on the same thing, but one Rewards the Effort ... and the other Rewards the Result. This is not to say that results are unimportant. They are critical and Results Matter!

However, there is often a significant amount of time and work that goes into the effort. Where the effort is an often overlooked part of the journey.

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
~ Colin Powell

A Growth Mindset will put in the work ... AND get the results. In the real world the results will vary. A Growth Mindset will take the negatives and explore them for what can be learned and taken away. So, that they can seek the results they desire.

Thanks for the inspiration …

Thanks an Kudos to Microsoft’s Kati Quiqley and Dean Armintrout for introducing me (and the whole PEB) to this insightful book. And, to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, for continuing his push to continuously breath new thinking into the Microsoft organization AND to the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem. Also, congrats to Satya for celebrating his 3rd year as CEO.

That Was a Lot of Info

Thanks for reading along. What to you have? A Fixed or Growth Mindset?

If you found this insightful, helpful and think it might help people you know please share this post. I would appreciate that and I hope whoever you send it to will as well. Thanks for reading!

A subset of this post is on LinkedIn and another is on the Personal Branding Blog (The #1 Career Site for Millennials)

Image Credits: Reid Wilson, @wayfaringpath 

clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

Connect with me on Twitter @jshuey

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I am a a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog