You know the best conversations, those you have with yourself, are the most important. Here’s something to inform that scintillating VIP talk.
If there’s one concept that is a huge game changer in everyday life, it’s the Growth versus the Fixed Mindset. Have many times have you heard, “Your attitude counts more than your aptitude“? Guess what, decades of research supports this completely. Your level of achievement matches the level that you really think you will achieve. (Note, if you doubt yourself, fortunately you can build your faith/confidence in your abilities — it’s not something set in stone.)
To set the foundation for the 4 tools I often share about increasing your level of realistic positivity and profitability, here is a quick overview of important work by 3 super hot psychologists.
1. The most often-cited psychologist today is Dr. Albert Bandura (I always want to say his name is Antonio Banderas.) He contributed the concept of “self-efficacy” which essentially is a person’s confidence in his or her own competence. (This is part of social cognitive theory….NOT be on the test!)
If your sense of self-efficacy is high:
– You take more risks.
– You persist for more time when things turn out to be more challenging.
– You sometimes overestimate your ability to achieve a goal.
– You are more likely to attribute failure to factors outside yourself. (The boss doesn’t like me.)
If you have low self-efficacy:
– You are less likely to try something you haven’t done before.
– You often think things are more difficult than they really are.
– You are more likely to research something before taking on a new challenge.
– You are more likely to attribute failure to your own lack of knowledge or abilities.
The best news is that you can grow your sense of self-efficacy and there are many ways to do this.
2. After decades of developing and working with the construct of mindset, Carol Deck published Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Dweck posits that people relate to 1 of 2 possible mindsets: a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. (Note: companies follow the same pattern of believing more in the pedigree than the potential of their employees. It’s sometimes called the Talent Trap.)
If you have a growth mindset, you are more likely to persist because you believe that if you keep trying, you can, in a sense, grow and improve your own abilities.
Remember Einstein himself said that he wasn’t smarter than other people, he simply stayed with problems longer.
If you have fixed mindset, you believe that what you have is what you have. Consequently, if you can’t figure out something in a “reasonable” amount of time (as you define “reasonable”) then you believe that this problem is beyond your ability and you will stop working on it.
Companies that emphasize hiring based on pedigree or proven talent, are of a fixed mindset. Companies that focus on growing their own people have a growth mindset.
3. Researcher Heidi Grant-Halvorson worked with Carol Dweck and further refined the science of goal setting. She recently published 9 Things Successful People Do Differently (only $3 something Kindle version.) She has worked extensively on defining what makes goals achievable or not, and I incorporated her research on the Goals 2012 Workshop.
I don’t have space here to go into the whole thing, but one of Grant-Halvorson’s findings is that setting the goal to get better at something is more effective than setting the goal to Be the Maximum Achiever at that thing.
For example, if you’re new to the entrepreneurial business, you may have the goal of being a successful entrepreneur. The first thing you want to do is to define what “successful entrepreneur” (or whatever it is you want to be) really is for you.
Then you decide what that person does everyday, what actions need to be taken.
Then you focus on getting better each day, even if you’re not getting the results you would like. By directing your energy toward getting better, rather than an absolute being, for example, “the Martha Stewart of real-estate,” you are more likely not to get discouraged.
All of these researchers, and others, point out that brain power and will power are (kinda like Play d’oh). You can grow and strengthen both of these if you want to and learn how to. It all starts with your desire to live a remarkable life.