“I’ll never be an artist.” “I’ve no clue what I’m doing.” “I’m a bad parent.” “I’m not made to be an entrepreneur. That’s why the investors aren’t calling back.” Does this sound familiar? Though we all have our moments of fear and doubt, neuroscience shows that success in almost all areas of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. In this chapter of the #ChosenInsightSeries, Chōsen Co-founder John Stanton dives into how deepening our understanding of and practicing a growth mindset can help us fulfill our potential.
After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. Having the right mindset strongly influences your quality of life and is critical to gaining a sense of happiness and fulfillment.
“As an entrepreneur, I am in control of how I overcome ever present, ever-changing challenges. By embracing a ‘growth mindset’ instead of getting stuck in a ‘fixed mindset,’ you choose to see failures as opportunities to develop new skills to help you succeed in the future,” says John.
People with a growth mindset believe that their skills can be developed by putting in hard work and being open to input from others. These individuals tend to worry less about looking smart and put more energy into learning. This means that they tend to improve and achieve more than those with a fixed mindset - those who believe that their talents are innate. These individuals reinforce the idea that they are stuck in whatever ability they currently have, thus have a tendency to stagnate.
“This is exciting because it means that we can choose to improve our intellectual ability, we can choose to see challenges as opportunities, simply by deciding to have a growth mindset and to practice it consistently,” adds John.
These concepts tie into three timely topics we’ve discussed recently at Chōsen: neuroplasticity, negativity bias, and hope.
Neuroplasticity: Our brains have the ability to rewire itself by us choosing to do so. This means that our ability to learn is impacted by our own will rather than just innate ability. If you have a growth mindset, you are never too old to learn something new.
Negativity Bias: We all have an inherent bias toward negativity. For thousands of years, we had to be vigilant for our survival and pay special attention to threats. Our brains are still wired to look for these life-threatening events so that we can survive them. We also tend to be impacted more by negative events than positive ones.
Hope: Hope is a dynamic cognitive motivational system that leads to learning goals, which are conducive to growth and improvement. People with learning goals are actively engaged in their learning, constantly planning strategies to meet their goals, and monitoring their progress to stay on track.
So how can you optimize your life by having the right mindset? In the following three-step process, John outlines how to shift from a fixed mindset and being stuck in our engrained negativity bias into a more hopeful growth mindset:
Awareness: Be aware of negativity bias and make your peace with it.
Shift: Shift into a place of gratitude by outlining things you are grateful about, despite your fears and doubts regarding your situation.
Rewire: Devise a plan on how you want to react, show up or respond to the situation.
To remain in a growth zone takes awareness, effort and practice. Understanding and implementing a growth mindset gives us a richer sense of who we are, what we stand for, and how we want to move forward. For more information on how we can help guide you to design your lifestyle based on a growth mindset, click here.
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