In organizational psychology and human resource management theory, a growth mindset is an array of attitudes, processes, or ideas held by a single individual or group of individuals. The individual holds the attitude, “I can,” and that others can help me do it. A growth mindset can also be viewed as originating from a person’s view of life or his/her world view or philosophy of living. The person who possesses a growth mindset believes that, if I use enough effort, I can achieve my goals and become successful.
If you are working in an organization, your beliefs about yourself and your talents could be holding you back. Often, leaders believe that their unique skills, experience, and talents are holding them back because they “don’t measure up,” or they “aren’t good enough.” Such a belief can keep an individual from seeing his/her potential to make a significant impact in the organization. Leaders with growth mindset believe that they possess the tools, skills, and personal attributes to be effective leaders. They view their talents and abilities as a means to achieve meaningful results in the workplace.
To develop a growth mindset, an individual needs to get better feedback about his/her behaviors and performance. This occurs most prominently when an individual wants to get better at something. When I am working on a problem, it is very easy to say that I will try to be better at it. That usually does the trick. However, if I don’t hear positive feedback from other people, I wonder what could be going wrong.
To understand the concepts of the growth mindset, we must have a clear understanding of what happens when we fail to use our talents and abilities in a meaningful way. According to Coaching for Life author Donna Fenn, failure causes “an enormous self-doubt that feeds on itself until you are so aware of your inability to do what you think you can that you begin to doubt whether you even can.” In addition to self-doubt, Fenn notes that failure also causes the individual to perceive that he/she lacks the proper capabilities to do the job. Individuals lacking in growth mindset believe they lack the ability to do what they think they can, when really what they believe they cannot do is the very thing they most desire to do-achieve greatness.
The purpose of this article is to help you gain an understanding of how the challenges you face in your day-to-day functioning arise from a limited ability to perceive and respond to intelligence, creativity, and talent. The good news is that you do not have to be a genius to succeed. Even a child with an average intelligence level can achieve greatness in anything he/she sets his/her mind to. What is important is for you to recognize your unique gifts and abilities. If you do this, you will gain a growth mindset that will enable you to use your talents and abilities to achieve unlimited success.
To obtain a growth mindset, you must work on consistently identifying and mastering the qualities of your mind. Begin each day with a positive mindset: “I am going to start today by thinking positively about everything that comes into my life.” Think about or list the things that you did well the day before. Think about the things you need to learn or continue to work on that day.
Many people with an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) below average can fall into a low-performing, fixed mindset, because their intelligence is not their best asset or talent. For example, working at the same hard work for many years does not make one an excellent cook, gardener, or teacher. Similarly, intelligence is not your greatest strength, if you want to be an outstanding salesperson, great writer, or great teacher, then do what it takes to get there. It’s important to have a growth mindset so that you are able to continually exceed at whatever it is you set out to do. The bottom line is: hard work is great but if you don’t continually challenge yourself, you will most likely be stuck in a low performing, fixed mindset.
One of the keys to personal success is having a growth mindset and investing in your personal growth by finding your unique abilities and talents and continuously using them to improve and grow personally and professionally. The majority of people who possess the resources to be successful are talented but they lack growth mindset, so they will never achieve their full potential. When they discover their hidden talents and passions and set themselves free to use those gifts and talents, they are able to set incredible personal and professional goals.