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Why you need to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset-learning from your failures and changing how you see your abilities.
No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit. Intelligence and success can be developed through effort, and brains and talent are just the starting point.
If you agree with the above statement, congratulations! You have a growth mindset. Researcher Carol Dweck, a leading expert in the field of motivation and a psychology professor at Stanford University, uses two simple statements to begin assessing our mindset. The statement above is related to a growth mindset, while the following statement is related to a fixed mindset:
You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are. Intelligence and talent are things you either have or you don’t, and they indicate how successful you’ll be.
As the statements indicate, people with a growth mindset believe that with hard work, anything is possible. They appreciate challenges and see failure as an opportunity to learn. They believe they’re only limited by the effort they’re willing to make. People with a fixed mindset feel that they’re either good at a given skillset or they’re not; they find failure frustrating and don’t want to be challenged because it’s uncomfortable. They think the outcome is forgone based on our natural abilities and talents.
Maybe you initially leaned toward the fixed mindset but are now trying to tell yourself you can change. Or maybe you agreed with both statements. That’s entirely possible because most of us move between a fixed and a growth mindset. There may be some areas where you see endless possibility, and others where you think no amount of work will matter. Perhaps you are a whiz in the kitchen and feel that you’ll just keep getting better, but don’t think any amount of effort or lessons will turn you into a star singer.
Can you guess which mindset is better for innovation?
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If you guessed growth, you’re right. Growth mindset is essential for innovation because innovation means taking risks and failing, and then learning from the experience and doing it all over again. Thankfully, mindset is something you can train and reset with a few key exercises.
Michelle Histand is director of innovation at Independence Blue Cross.