When was the last time you invited someone to point out your flaws? I mean, when have you showed someone your hard work and asked them to tear it apart? Honestly, without hoping they wouldn’t be too harsh. Maybe the bigger question is, why would you do such a thing?
Carol Dweck talks about Fixed Mindset versus Growth Mindset in several of her essays and her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Basically, those with a Fixed Mindset believe that innate ability or ingrown talent determines our success and that these features can’t be changed. A Growth Mindset, on the other hand, believes that our actions determine our success. So we can learn how to succeed. The Fixed Mindset judges situations. “I am such a terrible person,” “I am really bad at that,” or “This means I am better than her.” A Growth Mindset learns from a situation in order to constantly improve.
Remember my New Year’s intention about having a Child-like or Beginner’s Mind? Which mindset do you think that falls under?
False Growth Mindset
Then there is False Growth Mindset, in which you believe you can grow through making changes in your life, but by ignoring where you are making mistakes you are not seeing where you could grow further or potentially fail. You have a false idea of how well you are doing. I was just introduced to this concept last week.
False growth mindset leads us to believe that we are super terrific and doing great but fails to recognize where we are lacking. You can’t learn what you think you already know. In order to grow, we need to be fairly intimate with that which is limiting, or has the potential to limit our growth. If we adopt a fixed mindset around our talents and desirable attributes, it can actually hold us back from becoming the best version of ourselves.
So, by paying attention to where you could be improving, rather than thinking that things are hunky-dory or believing that you are already doing your best, you, my friend, are going to become a rockstar. First, you have to find out where you are lacking, or where you have flaws in your plans. Then, make improvements in these areas. Rinse and repeat. Et voila! Success!
Hire a Coach
Now, how do you discover where you aren’t performing to your potential? You can hire someone, which is probably the most effective, although also most expensive, way to go about it. You could ask a friend or colleague to point out your faults, which would be cheaper in dollars, but perhaps not as objective and possibly more expensive in friendships. Merely focusing inward and getting deep with yourself is not recommended in this case because you can’t know what you don’t know. You’re looking for a fresh perspective and that can only come from the outside.
Recruit someone whose opinion you trust. Someone who will be brutally honest and not hold back to save your feelings. This is for your own good, after all. You will be all the better for it.
Evict Your Ego
You are going to have to check your ego at the door. Your ego is not your amigo where discovering and dealing with shortcomings is concerned. You will have to get over yourself if you are going to grow. It is going to be painful and gut-wrenching to hear all the things you’re doing wrong and why you are going to fail. Remember that it is only through being aware of what is broken can you truly grow. Also, how would you like to spend a ton of money and effort going in one direction when you really should be going in another?
“Most people don’t play to win. They play only so others will cheer, but in truth, the whole exercise is about just filling time.” -Tom Bilyeu
Do you really want to improve? Or do you want to look good for others? If you simply want to appear successful and not actually do the work or face your fears to actually be successful, perhaps your ego has gotten the best of you.
If you’re playing to win, you’re going to want to know where your possible pitfalls are. Where can you potentially fail? Where can you improve? On paper, these seem like obvious questions someone playing to win would ask themselves. But putting them into action is a little harder. We don’t like to look bad. Even to ourselves. We would like to pretend that we are doing great, and will fight to preserve this belief, even to the detriment of our success. We may even justify this Fixed Mindset by chalking it up to having a positive attitude. Don’t we talk about that a lot around here?
Positivity, not Rose-Colored Glasses
The power of positivity should not overshadow the need for objectivity. Having a positive mindset merely means that you hear, or even invite, criticism and make the necessary adjustments to grow without letting negativity (caused by ego) bring you down. You allow, and even invite negative comments if they help you succeed. You are happy to have the direction constructive criticism provides. This is a Growth Mindset. With a Growth Mindset, we are excited for the opportunity to hear about where we aren’t performing to our potential so we can grow in these areas.
Remember that Fixed Mindset is judgemental and gets discouraged because, “well she said I am terrible at finance, so I can’t do it.” Fixed Mindset gives up in the face of critical advice. This isn’t a very positive approach. Do you see how positivity isn’t ignoring your faults, but facing them with a more open mind? Ego melts away when growth (or winning) is truly the priority. Pretty positive, right?
So, get out of your own way. Think of criticism as a roadmap to success rather than a personal attack on your character. Be open to all of the ways you can succeed, not just the ones that are comfortable. Be thankful for lessons that show you the way, even if they are painful. Above all, let go of your ego so you can objectively soak the information in without judgment. How is your ego holding you back from realizing your true potential?
If you find this useful, there’s a good chance your friends will, too. Share this with your friends right away while you are thinking of it. Thanks for reading!