Almost every single silver-bullet promise or secret ingredient to life and entrepreneurship are false hopes. Now that that’s out in the open, let me just say that a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset is one of those mermaid exceptions.
Having a growth mindset is essential for budding entrepreneurs. While building your business, it will seem like practically every day you are confronted with obstacles you never knew even existed. you can easily become discouraged.
There’s probably a voice somewhere whispering, “do successful entrepreneurs just have a certain something that I don’t?” Maybe they have a knack for it, are predisposed for success or are just lucky.
Let’s take a look at why the only right answer to these insecurities is a *resounding* no. But, don’t just believe me: science is on your side.
In this post, let’s examine the specific mindset you need to succeed at any of your long-term business goals. Plus, I even have some tips on how to work on getting there. Growth mindset, abundant success and fulfillment here we come!
Intro To Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset
According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, people tend to look at themselves in two very distinct ways. You either believe that your personality, intelligence and creativity are fixed or you believe that they can grow and be developed (thus fixed mindset vs growth mindset).
In her words, you either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset when it comes to the various aspects of your life. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success, she lays out that scientific research seems to support the latter one.
People with a fixed mindset see their intelligence and creativity as boundaries that decide what’s possible for them. They consider people’s success a result of their talent. Successful people are just better than most at a particular skill. In other words, you are either good at something or you’re not.
By contrast, people who have a growth mindset see these qualities as just the starting point. Talent is obviously important, but it’s no substitute for putting in the work. Most things are ultimately possible for anyone and simply require you to put int the effort.
It goes without saying that the way you see yourself has a huge impact on how you see the world. However, having the right mindset is vital for budding entrepreneurs.
A growth mindset not only helps you think in possibilities, it actually has a lot more to offer.
And honestly, you might not make it without it.
3 Ways A Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset Is Your Make Or Break As A New Entrepreneur
1. A Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset Will Completely Alter How You Handle Failure
Your mindset determines how you deal with failure. There are two ways of reacting to things not working out the way you want them to.
When you see yourself as being limited by your intelligence or personality, failure becomes a very scary thing. Failing at something becomes a reflection of you as a person. In other words, you failed because you were clearly not good enough.
People with a fixed midset tend to struggle with failure. Faced with an obstacle they cannot immediately overcome, these people tend to give up. After all, if they had what it takes, they would be able to solve the problem.
Instead of that fixed approach, thinking of your intelligence or personality as a starting points turns failure into something that is acceptable. Failure is just a reflection of where you are in your development at this moment.
It’s not absolute. It doesn’t’ say anything about who you are or who you’ll become. Much more manageable, huh?
When faced with the same obstacle, people with a growth mindset turn to new and often creative solutions. In the end, a growth mindset declares that any problem can be tackled as long as you put in the time and effort.
You might not be able to solve it now but with time and effort, you will be.
You might even go one step further and say that with a growth mindset, failure becomes something to be welcomed. The idea that you can’t do something yet means that every failure comes with a lesson that will ultimately allow you to succeed.
By taking away the fear of failure, or even better, by recognizing failure as a stepping stone, you automatically encourage experimentation and innovation.
2. A Fixed Mindset Will Hold You Back From Challenging Yourself
Since failure is something that will get you further in the long run, a growth mindset is the only thing that makes you ambitious. You need to think a certain way if you want to try things that are outside of your comfort zone.
The most important one is understanding that in the beginning the process, not the outcome, is the one thing to focus on. It is all about learning and honing your skills as an entrepreneur.
As long as there is room to fail, it is OK to try out new ways of dealing with the inevitable obstacles that come with starting a business.
Approaching an obstacle as something you can’t get past yet makes you want to try out different possible solutions, building tenacity in the process. After all, failing is perfectly fine as long as you at least fail better next time.
Besides trying something new, having a growth mindset also enables you to set more ambitious goals. Why spend your days doing something a certain amount of work when you might be able to do more!
Analyzing the process separate from the outcome encourages creativity and innovation. As long as we concern ourselves with the outcome instead of the process, we tend to stick to what we know.
3. A Growth Mindset Makes You More Critical
Finally, one of the most important benefits of adopting a growth mindset is that it automatically makes you more critical of your own performance.
According to Dweck, people with a fixed mindset interpret failure as them not being good enough. Looking critically at their business failing, and especially looking critically at the role they themselves might have played in it, becomes a very intimidating thing. As a result, they tend to mainly focus on external factors beyond their control as reasons why their business failed.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset view failure as a reflection of how far they’ve come in their learning process. At the beginning, failure is something to be expected and to be learned from. Therefore, they tend to look inward first.
Starting a business requires a very critical attitude. Obviously, there are lots of factors that cannot be controlled or changed but they do not exclusively determine the success of your business. Learning how to adapt and overcome them, instead of allowing yourself to be frustrated by them, will get you a lot further in the long run.
4 Tips For Adopting A Growth Mindset
Although the benefits of having a growth mindset are clear, knowing how to change from one to the other might not be. Here are a few tips on how to develop a growth mindset.
However, before we go any further, it would be good to get a few common misconceptions out of the way. On his site, mindset coach James Anderson has a beautiful graphic in which he lays out common misunderstandings about mindsets. Let’s look at two of these.
First of all, people have different mindsets for different parts of their lives. Nobody’s mindset is completely fixed or completely growth, we all have a mixture of the two.
Therefore, changing from one to the other is not so much a matter of adopting something new, rather, it is a matter of replacing it with something we already have.
Furthermore, your mindset is largely based on your past experiences. The messages we receive from other people also matters a lot. This is one of the reasons why so few child prodigies actually amount to anything.
The way we see the world evolves over time. Since our mindset is not something you are born with, it is something you can actually change.
1. Focus On Learning More Than Anything.
In order to cultivate a growth mindset, it is important to understand that learning is the most important thing. I mean, lessons learned will ultimately allow your business to grow bigger. Although you might fail at first, what you are basically doing is widening the base of the pyramid. In the end, you will end up higher.
Any obstacle that you will encounter should be seen as both a lesson and a stepping stone. I know, it sounds a little like one of those hackneyed quotes from a self help book but according to Carol Dweck there is a lot of truth in it.
Keep in mind, focusing on the process is more important than results because it is the one thing you can improve. The trick is to approach everything with one question in mind: ‘What can I learn from this?’
2. Learn From Other People’s Mistakes.
Obviously, reading about other people’s mistakes allows you to learn from them without having to make the mistakes yourself. This is only one of the obvious benefits though.
Actively reading and listening to what other people say about their startups is one of the best things you can do. Of course this is good advice in a general sense but it is also incredibly important for working on the right mindset.
Looking at what other people are doing can help you reflect on the way you work. In learning, moments of self-reflection are of critical importance and there is no such thing as too many of them.
Comparing what you see other people do automatically makes you look more critically at what you’re doing. The big thing is to critically reflect on their performance and see if there are any things that you would have done differently.
In the end, self-reflection enables to you to consciously alter your course a bit which is the essence of learning.
3. Set Ambitious But Clear Goals
At the beginning of your day you probably have a clear idea of what you want to work on. In order to accurately measure you performance however, you also need to decide what it will look like when you’re done.
Setting very clear goals can be helpful when assessing the way you work. This whole thing is about looking at what you’re doing and finding things that you can do different next time. The better you can define what you are supposed to get done, the better you can determine whether your approach is working.
Goals need to be very specific but ambitious at the same time. Since learning something new requires doing something new, you are going to have to push yourself in order to grow.
Sadly, in your quest to improve yourself there is no escaping stepping out of your comfort zone.
4. Give Yourself Time And Room To Fail
Mastering a new skill is not something that just happens over night. Starting a business is something that will almost inevitably come with a lot of unforeseen challenges and obstacles.
Be realistic and give yourself time to learn. Rome was not built in one day and neither was *any* business. This blog and biz certainly weren’t (but more on that here).
Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset Final Thoughts
This is a lot of talk about fixed mindset vs growth mindset, but it all comes down to this: will you believe the research?
Truly accepting what research of fixed mindset vs growth mindset will bring so much peace, learning and abundance into your business.