The Necessity for Having a Growth Mindset Instead of Fixed

It’s fascinating how dramatically life can change the moment you see things differently – and the qualitative and quantitative amount of difference doesn’t have to be staggering, it could be very, very small.

But the difference and the result could be life-altering and can keep you from heading in the right direction. I think about the fine art of perspective management every single day and ask myself this simple question anytime I encounter a challenge or a decision that I would consider significant:

Perhaps there’s another way.

What this does is help me make the conscious effort of allowing the possibility that there is, in fact, alternative perspectives and other ways of doing things. But more importantly it keeps me humble and helps me admit that I may not have all the right answers and that there are, indeed, smarter people out there who know a heck of a lot more than I do about a lot of things.

One thing that significantly benefits from this position are my relationships as it simply allows me to be more relational with people. I’m sure you know that one (or two?) people in your circle of friends or peer group that simply cannot ever be wrong. For whatever reason it’s their way or nothing and they area always right (at least in their own head).

And for whatever reason you still keep them around or are able to look beyond their challenge and see them as flawed as you are – but that doesn’t diminish the fact that they are hard to be around!

What they need is a healthy dose of reality. What they need is the ability to see alternative perspectives and respect them like they do their own.

Grow or Die

Since I’ve been spending a lot of my time pitching to angel investors and helping others see the potential in the products that I build and the businesses that I run I find myself often attempting to convince people that I manage companies that grow. This sounds obvious but it’s not often understood that way and it’s interpretation is lost in the clutter of a billion other conversations that are happening.

The two competing perspectives at play are ones of being “Fixed” and one of “Growth” and the difference is incredibly important.

Fixed:

  • Intelligence is static which leads to a desire to look smart and therefore a tendency to…
  • Avoid challenges
  • Give up easily when facing obstacles
  • See effort as fruitless or worse
  • Ignore useful negative feedback
  • Feel threatened by the success of others
  • And as a result they may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential.
  • All this confirms a deterministic view (perspective) of the world.

Growth:

  • Intelligence can be developed which leads to a desire to learn and therefor a tendency to…
  • Embrace challenges
  • Persist in the face of setbacks and obstacles
  • See the effort as a path to mastery
  • Learn from criticism
  • Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others
  • And as a result they reach ever-higher levels of achievement.
  • All this gives them a greater sense (perspective) of free will.

Incredible difference, right? This weekend one of my startups celebrated completing our first official year as a business. I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’ve kept the ship together and have continued strongly in the right direction.

Why? Because we have a perspective and attitude that shouts growth. We embrace all of the challenges we face and continue to keep our heads down and do great work. We fight through our tendency to feel hurt by our competitors, each other, and our own thoughts by becoming masters over them and continue to reach bigger and better milestones every single month.

We’re not static. We’re not fixed. We’re moving. We’re surviving. We happen to really enjoy ourselves at the same time.

I wonder how many of us (bloggers) feel the same way about our blogs. Are you going to quit this year because you’re not seeing the growth? Or is it because you actually have a “fixed” mindset instead of one that should clearly show “growth”?

Published by

John

Hacker. Human.