Inconveniences of Growth Mindset

Inconveniences of Growth Mindset

Nowadays we hear more and more about the importance and impact of mindsets. The conclusions of the scientists are pretty clear: “the total effect of anything is a combines product of what you are actually doing and what you think about what you are doing” (Dr. Alia Crum). While this is a fantastic news, allowing us to improve our performance and reach our goals way easier, many of us seem to be struggling with adopting this great discovery.

The amazing conclusions from Carol Dweck (Why Mindset Matters), Alia Crum in Stanford Mind and Body Lab and many others makes it really difficult to deny the mind’s impact to performance, health and fitness. There is plenty of information how to enhance performance and learning by applying growth mindset that enables us to expand our own capabilities, develop our talents and remove the limits that we thought existed.  Hence why some of us are so resistant to it?

Growth mindset means that intelligence and talent can be developed. They are not pre-defined or innate. In other words, success = attitude + effort + strategy + persistence, which means that we might have unlimited power to succeed! How come this is not attractive and what are the reasons that many of us are so resistant to it?

Farewell excuses

Spiderman once said that “with great power comes great responsibility”. While Growth mindset awakes the great power within ourselves to succeed, it also puts responsibility in our own hands. Sound pretty cool, right? Except that many of us are not so enthusiastic about the responsibility part. The gain on one side means quite a few losses on the other side.

Firstly, we lose a possibility to make excuses. All those justifications that some of us used for many years, (e.g. “oh, I am no talented enough”, “oh, I am not gifted enough”, “oh, I was not born for this”) suddenly do not make any sense at all. We are left to face reality and admit to ourselves that “oh, I did not put enough effort”, “oh, I gave up after too soon”, “oh, I was… lazy” and so on. With Growth mindset we are enabled to take ownership or our actions (or the lack of them) and it is scary, inconvenient, unpleasant…. Some of us are not used to that.

Goodbye “blame game”

Secondly, the opportunity to blame other for whatever things happening in our lives also disappears. Let’s face it: it’s so convenient to put things in the hands of our employers, managers, colleagues, cab drivers, you name it. It’s nearly always “them” not “us” let it be employer not giving sufficient options for promotion or manager being “too needy” or a colleague “never delivering on time”. Looking at all those situations from another angle we could always find that our own execution on persistence, effort or planning was not 100%.

Having the opportunity to “blame” someone else makes us feel better, allow us to think there are limits for our responsibility and redirects our attention from such questions as “did I put sufficient effort?”, “was I persistent enough?”, “did I execute my plans (or did I have plans at all)?” While answers to those questions would steer us to the right direction, they also reveal the “ugly truth” which we’ve been hiding from ourselves (very successfully) for a very long time – it’s all mainly on us! Losing the opportunity to blame others is one of the worst things, according to many people and that’s why they’d rather refuse to believe they have all they need to succeed than take ownership of their own reality.

From Dr. A.Crum presentation

Hello new thinking

Lastly, adopting growth mindset means that it’s time to start thinking differently. Remember Dr. Alia Crum: “it is equally important what you think about what you are doing”. Believing that thoughts count big time and subsequently adjusting our words and actions to reflect that is a simple yet an effective way to create different reality. It sounds so easy but appears too difficult to many of us due to underlying limiting believes, habits and behavioral patterns that are engraved in us. It is unpleasant, threatening and inconvenient.

Embracing new mindset often equals challenging the current status quo. It also means questioning our behaviors, decisions and results – we do not particularly like that. We’d like to believe that we did all we could on our side but something (or someone) from outside prevented us from developing further. Often, we’d rather invest our time and effort in proving why “it’s someone else’s fault” or “it’s impossible” than looking in the mirror and stating that I myself could think and behave differently.

I bet many of you know the saying “success is achieved through hard work”. Many success stories are really built on that, and we admire those heroes who through “blood and tears” removed all the obstacles from their way. As if hard work was one of the highest virtues. Luckily nowadays the focus more and more shifts to stories demonstrating sounding like miracles while “simply” showing changed mindset.

I am grateful to all scientists and professors who bring us more and more information about the capacity of our brain. It makes me wonder – does our brain have any limits? While no one has answered this question (yet) I’m choosing to believe that my brain is unlimited and that I can achieve everything that my mind can conceive as long as I’m committed to execute on my attitude, effort, strategy and persistence.

What script will you choose for your success stories?

"Being your true self is the highway to success".

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