In the past few weeks, as I have been preparing for the launch of this website, I realized how open I was to new ways of doing things. I had suggestions and ideas coming at me from a variety of qualified people and I found myself explaining what I was planning, listening to their responses and then making decisions that ultimately helped me make better decisions. So much for knowing what I wanted!
I recognized that my success was more important to me than pushing aside the ideas from others so I made sure I kept my mind open to everything that was offered – whether or not I finally implemented the suggestions. This situation reminded me of an old blog post which I thought I would share with you again.
How many times have you met someone who was so set in their thinking that they miss out on new and unique opportunities or get left behind in their field? In contrast, what about the person who is always open to learning new things, willing to try, rides the tides of change and manoeuvres the bumps in the road? Most of us have a mindset that is probably somewhere in between. Our mindset is developed over time and is fostered through our values and the messages we receive from our environment. Our ability to adapt to change is also significantly impacted by our mindset.
Dr. Carol Dweck, Ph.D., at Stanford University has researched and written on how a person’s mindset impacts their ability to learn and change. Dr. Dweck has identified two types of mindset: fixed and growth. A person with a fixed mindset tends to be more resistant to change and defensive in the face of setbacks. Fixed mindsets are set in their approach and less motivated to put in the effort to learn or change and will lose confidence when faced with setbacks. They like to remain in their comfort zone and they respond best to ‘person-focused’ encouragement.
In contrast, a person with a growth mindset is more resilient and open to change. They understand they must assert effort to learn and make change happen and they welcome instruction. They also want to learn from their mistakes. People with growth mindsets tend to respond best with process focused encouragement which recognizes their strategies, effort and persistence.
If you are faced with change, how do you respond?
Do you focus on learning from your mistakes?
Do you recognize the effort you have applied to make changes, stretch and learn new things?
Alternatively, do you resist changes, shift the blame for your situation to circumstances beyond your control and prefer the status quo?