Does your mindset directly affect your success in life? Lately, I have been digging deeper to try and find the answer to this question.

I started competing in sports early in life, but it wasn’t until high school that I really started to notice how much my mindset affected my performance. I specifically remember having a really rough season and going into a game finally thinking to myself, “I am good at this. I have been playing this sport for most of my life, and I am more than capable of doing well.” I remember being confident in myself the entire time, and whenever I made a mistake I brushed it off and tried again. I played the best I had all year that night, and looking back, I am 100% confident it was because I completely changed my mindset and didn’t give up.

Fast forward to today. I have become really intrigued with this concept, and in an attempt to learn more, I started researching. I came across scientific research by Dr. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In an interview she said, “For decades I’ve been studying why some people succeed while people, who are equally talented, do not. And over the years I’ve discovered that people’s mindsets play a crucial role in this process.” According to Dweck, a person’s mindset will set the stage for performance goals or learning goals. Dweck’s findings reveal that people fall into one of two categories: Fixed Mindset or Growth Mindset.

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

Fixed Mindset: believes that skills and intelligence are set and you have them or you don’t – you think some people are just naturally good at things, while others are not. People with this mindset:

  • Avoid Challenges
  • Give up Easily
  • See Effort as Fruitless
  • Ignore Useful Feedback
  • Feel Threatened by the Success of Others
  • Care More about Performance & Not Looking Bad

Growth Mindset: believes that skill and intelligence are grown and developed – you think people who are good at something are good because they built the ability and people who aren’t are not good because they haven’t done the work. People with this mindset:

  • Embrace Challenge
  • Persist in the Face of Setbacks
  • See Effort as a Way to Grow
  • Learns from Criticism
  • Finds Lessons and Inspiration in the Success of Others

Building Skills

I have found this research to be so interesting and have started to evaluate my own mindset and goals. Do I believe I can learn and grow? Am I challenged by the success of others? Our actions start with our mindset. What we believe will directly affect the steps we take to achieve our goals.

What do you believe? I hope you know you are capable of anything. Skills are built, so remind yourself of that the next time you’re faced with a challenge!

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