Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where is your mind(set)?

Is your mind set in concrete ... or is it a well oiled machine?
Are you as smart as you will ever get ... or do you get better every day?

These questions reveal more about your chances for success than you might imagine.

This article about psychology professor Carol Dweck explains the impact of mindset and, in particular, the "Fixed mindset" and the "Growth mindset".

In a nutshell, a person with a fixed mindset feels that talents are a given so you will either succeed or fail based on your inate abilities. If someone with a fixed mindset encounters an obstacle or a failure, they are most likely to give up since "it is obvious that they don't have the ability".

On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset sees everything as a learning experience. If they fail, it only means that they have not yet learned the skills required to succeed. It is not about inate ability... it is about where you are on the road to success.

The article about Dweck has a bunch of excellent examples and you will see that many of them related to child development (but aren't we all children on the inside?). For a graphical diagram that explains the difference between Fixed vs. Growth mindset, click here.

How does this apply to Toastmasters?
Did you join Toastmasters because you were already an excellent speaker (fixed mindset) or because you wanted to improve your speaking skills (growth mindset)?

Have you hit a plateau in your speaking... perhaps after achieving your CC or CTM? Are you starting to think you are as good as you are going to get (fixed mindset)? Or are you still finding ways to improve (growth mindset)?

What if you are really bad at something?
What if you are currently really bad at something?

See the difference in mindset between those two sentences?

How do you change your mindset?

First, read the article on Dweck. For "extra credit", check out Carol Dweck's new book, "Mindset, The New Psychology of Success". (see link in the right margin).

Second, tune into this blog for the next post which will help you develop your Mindset Muscle by making small changes you can leverage into larger changes.

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