In 2006, Carol Dweck published a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. You may have seen her TED Talk on the subject. Carol S. Dweck is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. The theory behind her book rests on the power of two mindsets:
Fixed Mindset: The belief that we’re born with a fixed amount of intelligence and ability. People who operate in this mindset are prone to avoid challenges, avoid situations in which they might fail and thereby rob themselves of a rich life filled with experiences and learning.
Growth Mindset: The belief that, with practice, persistence and effort, people have limitless potential to learn and gain a growth mindset. Individuals operating in this mindset are willing to tackle challenges. They do so often with vigor and are unconcerned with making mistakes. They don’t fear embarrassment, instead they focus on the process of growth.
It doesn’t take long to comprehend which mindset is ideal. However, the fact remains that both mindsets exist in us all. Our success or failure relies heavily on which mindset we employ the most.
If what I’ve shared so far interests you, I highly recommend you watch Carol Dweck’s TED Talk and consider purchasing her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This particular book is geared toward teachers who want to apply and embody the Growth Mindset theory in their classrooms. However, this book would also be great for coaches, mentors and parents as well as anyone who wants to integrate Growth Mindset activities into their work or way of life.
Besides a number of practical exercises, this book offers these three great reminders taken from Dweck’s original research and writing:
- Equity is a greater force than Equality. Especially when we define Equity as “the quality of being fair” and we define Equality as having all things equal.
- There’s a huge difference in “Not Knowing” and “Not Knowing Yet.” The latter is the more powerful way to live.
- A better way to grade ourselves and others might be as follows:
Green—I’ve got it! Now I can teach it.
Yellow—I get some of this, but I need more practice.
Red—Stop! I don’t understand this yet.
While this book won’t appeal to everyone, there is definitely a select group of people who will want to take the Growth Mindset theory into action. If you’re one of them, consider looking at this book as an option to that end.