In my work, I am constantly studying the power of mindset. Though, we typically associate top talent and intelligence with success, our level of success is more related to what we believe about failure and learning! Talent and intelligence can be developed! (Quite frankly, this is a huge relief to me personally!)
What we call the IQ (Intelligent Quotient) test was commissioned by the French government in 1905 to help identify children needing more help in school. Even Alfred Binet, who developed the test, “stressed the limitations of the test, suggesting that intelligence is far too broad a concept to quantify with a single number.” (History of Intelligence Testing)
[Binet] believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence. ~Carol S. Dweck, author of Mindset
Belief that you cannot learn or improve your skill is part of a fixed mindset. Dweck suggests individuals with a fixed mindset see each interaction as an opportunity evaluate and confirm their intelligence, personality, or character. Unfortunately, this attitude leads to: avoiding challenges, getting defensive, giving up, ignoring constructive criticism, feeling threatened by others’ success, and achieving less than full potential.
Those with a Fixed Mindset wonder:
- Will I succeed or fail?
- Will I look smart or dumb?
- Will I be accepted or rejected?
- Will I feel like a winner or a loser?
But, there is another mindset: growth mindset. “This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” (Dweck)
Those with a Growth Mindset think:
- I learn by taking risks and exerting effort
- I embrace challenges even after setbacks
- I can use constructive criticism to improve
- I find others’ success is inspiring
Which attitude do you have? You may have a combination of the two. But, those with an attitude focused on learning through risks, challenge, and feedback are those who find more success, faster! With effort, you can develop your knowledge and talent!
Check out a very cool table comparing Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset! and Test Your OWN Mindset, Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. (Stanford)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She founded Synergy Groups, virtual masterminds connecting Christians in leadership around the globe for the purpose of Community, Accountability, and Transformation. She also partners with high-performers and heirs-apparent especially in the STEM industries. Michelle’s formal background in technology, franchise, and project management gives her an edge on implementing best practices and scaling towards sustainable success. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 22 years.