Improving a startup requires challenging and fresh ideas. That responsibility, which falls completely on the entrepreneur, depends on his way of seeing things and facing his reality. In this article, I’m going to tell you what the growth mindset is all about so you can increase it and apply it immediately to your current or future business.
When Carol Dwek writes her famous book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” it is quite a novelty within the panorama of psychology, being strengthened in these months of pandemic.
I explain. According to this model, there are two ways of thinking. One responds to the so-called “Fixed Mindset” and the other, “Growth Mindset” with well differentiated characteristics.
The first is made up of people who believe that all their capacities, talents, abilities and above all, potentialities, are predefined and therefore, there is not much to do about it. They assume that they have a roof, and they argue that it is due to their family, father, mother, brother, teachers, genetic makeup, destiny, and so on, a long list of etceteras follows. Each one attributes a cause to this limitation.
In the growth mindset, the exact opposite occurs. The person is convinced that he can achieve goals if he sets out to do so, ignoring his limits. I suggest paying special attention to this point, since it is not about denying your own difficulties, like a maniac, but giving yourself the opportunity to trust that every day we can be better .
In another vein, the position in the face of problems is very different in both cases. It is impossible not to allude to the pandemic, which we are currently going through and clearly revealed both modalities. There are those who think of it as a disgrace on Earth, to which we are condemned and we must make it pass as quickly as possible. And there are others who took it as a challenge to rethink their life itself, including their job and even relationships with others.
Of course, this does not end in quarantine but rather, as we said, expresses a global way of thinking. Let us now see, for example, the different ways of facing learning. Those with a growth mindset will seek it incessantly, being open and willing to incorporate knowledge. On the other side there is a certain skepticism, mistrusting the value of training, with the excuse that “I already know that it does not give me much more than this .”
Ultimately there is a relationship between achievements and perceived ability.
I think that the growth mindset would say that their talent is superior to achievement and that of the fixed mindset assumes the opposite, leaving little room for improvement.
Is it understood that these ways of thinking about reality are translated into the daily life of each one, impacting all areas, such as family, friends, work …? Do you see the power of the concept now?
Now, once we understand this, it is necessary to move on to the next step.
It begins with self-diagnosis / self-awareness / self-analysis or whatever you prefer to call it. In this sense, a short and practical questionnaire designed by Dwek herself is available to find out which side we are on.
Then, if we find out that our mentality is fixed, and we want to modify it, there are concrete actions to achieve it.
- To find out more: Do you love that boss who treats you badly? How to detect organizational Stockholm syndrome early
1. Surround yourself with the right people
By tendency, our brain is self-confirming, which means that it is prone to perceive only what ensures its beliefs, disregarding everything that contradicts them. In that set we include facts and also people. Therefore, if I find that I have a fixed mindset and I constantly meet with others in the same condition, what I will achieve is a dilemmatic circle from which I will not be able to get out. Therefore, I am not saying avoid these contacts, since they may well be people we love, but I do recommend seeking relationships with those who have a growth mindset. That way, I will be able to listen to their views and understand that there are other healthy and optimistic ways of thinking about reality.
2. Take the courses you always wanted to do
By ax or b, we could have postponed them. For believing that they did not provide us with anything useful, for not having time, for the boys … Today, you have the chance to change that, and do something about it. My invitation is that, following your tastes, for example, cooking, see what is available in the market (with this quarantine, Internet courses have increased exponentially and the good news is that their costs have dropped a lot, there are even many free) and sign up for one or two, continuing it to the end.
3. Go ahead and try
I do not know if in any text Dwek relates fixed mentality with inhibitory mechanisms or with low tolerance to frustration.
Due to my psychoanalytic training, this relationship arises naturally and this is where I say that people with a great fear of failure, end up believing that they cannot, feeling very bad about themselves. There is a kind of spiral that sinks when we do not dare to do something for fear of getting frustrated, and we end up just where we did not want: in the feeling of failure.
Trying is to abandon for a while the compulsion to disabling analysis, populated with reasons “why you didn’t” and give yourself the opportunity to do something without knowing whether or not it will have the results we want. And know, at the same time, that if that happens and the goals are not achieved, nothing will be altered in its essence. Trying is trying new things, new friends, new activities, new hobbies, new routines, new foods, new leisure …
A digression at this point, which I think is relevant and is related to the upbringing of our boys. Dwek thinks that the perseverance of attempts must be encouraged in the child and with the same force the search for different strategies to achieve them. The interesting thing here is that, in the first place, it suggests separating the process from the result, making the child see that he must put his focus on the first component, since it is directly his responsibility and that success does not depend on the achievement of the goal but on the effort made . But it’s not just praising effort, either, because you could inadvertently develop a fixed-type mindset consisting of, “All I’m good for is trying.” It is very important that for a boy who has difficulties in mathematics, for example, in addition to acknowledging his sacrifice, he is applauded when he looks for other ways to reach the result such as meeting with classmates, asking another teacher, etc.
4. Focus on what you can improve yourself rather than see the bad in others
Envy is possibly one of the worst vices of humanity. It is not by chance that in all cultures there are folk remedies to prevent it from hurting us, from the red bracelet, a cloth band hanging in the car, cures for the evil eye …
Outside of folklore, I bring this up because it seems important to me not to lose the axis that will allow us to move forward.
It is quite common for people who have a fixed mindset to pay more attention to what the other has achieved in an “unfair” way than to understand what exactly they did to obtain it.
The suggestion is not to waste time in knowing how it really was, but in emphasizing those aspects of my own that I need to improve. The first could be to start thinking about things such as “The sun rises for everyone” rather than worrying about the neighbor bringing me customers (in the case of having businesses in the same neighborhood, for example).
5. I fled from the ghosts
In every family there are stories that it would be better not to repeat. A swindler uncle, a libertine cousin, an unfortunate serial entrepreneur, a prodigal son …
The point is that those ghosts do not make us believe that by belonging to that family tree we are condemned to experience similar things.
Pay attention to the anecdotes and stories at the family Sunday table. If many of them show failures, obstacles and complaints, even if they are in a tone of laughter, do not let them take you, making you believe that you are part of a clan of people who will never get anywhere.
6. Build Build Build
Even if it is small, it is always preferable to develop something rather than stay with the idea. A new method, a different way of reaching the client, new ways of communicating with your collaborators, generating new projects, doing …
Dwek says that there are no failures, only learnings. Those who understand it this way will be more active, healthier, and kinder builders of their own lives. That does not seem small …