Your beliefs can hurt or help…it’s your choice

Have you ever wondered why some people just reach milestone after milestone in their careers – and others seem to be perpetually stuck? That’s how powerful the mind is. With the wrong mindset, you can’t learn, grow or develop new skills. But with the right mindset, the sky is the limit!

Carol Dweck, a Stanford University professor, says there are two main ways people think about their abilities: through a ‘fixed’ mindset and a ‘growth’ mindset.

According to Dweck, people with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities, intelligence, and talents are carved in stone. They also believe that talent alone, without any effort, guarantees success. Conversely, people with a growth mindset believe that brains and talent are just the beginning. They know that if they put in the hard work, their intelligence and abilities can grow through application and experience. This mindset creates a lifelong appetite for learning.

How do the two mindsets manifest in the workplace? Let’s take, for example, two employees of a design agency. Jane follows instructions to the letter and sticks to basic design principles. Mary, on the other hand, is always excited about new ideas, pushing the boundaries of design, and bulking up her portfolio with workshops and certifications.

Jane, who relies solely on what she has learned from design school, is disengaged and uninspired. She does her job, but does the bare minimum. Her skills quickly become obsolete in the industry’s fast-changing landscape. Mary’s work, on the other hand, consistently exceeds expectations. She reads books and magazines about design, studies the work of other creatives, attends workshops – and she applies what she learns. This is the growth mindset in action.

Skill is not something you’re born with; it’s something you can develop over time. You can reach new heights in your career by focusing on the process, not the outcome. You’re also less likely to fall apart when you experience setbacks – because you know there will always be room for improvement.

About the author of this article

Eleanor Shakiba is passionate about helping talented professionals to break through barriers to success. She coaches and trains high performers who want to excel in business. Her core expertise is in positive psychology – otherwise known as the ‘science of flourishing’ Eleanor is qualified in Social Anthropology, Applied Psychology, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming. Find out how Eleanor can help you and your team.