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Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: Which One Do You Have?

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I recently finished Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” which motivated me to deeply ponder her thesis on the Growth Mindset versus the Fixed Mindset, and how we, as individuals, employ them in life every day. Mindset (or attitude, as I prefer to call it) is critical because in order to be successful, one must be self-aware of the mindset to which they subscribe.

For example, are you challenging yourself? Are you giving up in the face of adversity or potential failure? Are you putting in deliberate, conscious effort? Are you afraid to take on challenges because of the fear of making a mistake?

According to Dweck, these are the questions one must ask. If you want to be truly successful and achieve mastery, new psychological evidence suggests that hard work, effort, perseverance, and grit are the keys to get you there.

A similar case study was exposed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers: The Story of Success.” Gladwell’s assertion is that 10,000 hours of hard work, struggle, and deliberate practice are needed before one is considered an expert and holds mastery over their field. These notions resonated with me, because I’m sure everyone remembers their father’s, grandfather’s, or a mentor’s advice when they were young and thought they knew it all: “Look son, there are no get-rich-quick schemes in life, if there were, we’d all be rich” or “The road to success is built upon blood, sweat, and tears” (i.e., sweat equity); you get the gist.

I am a true believer that talent, ability, and intellect can only get you so far. One must also possess a strong desire and insatiable hunger to learn and develop by taking challenges head-on and cultivating and advancing skills.

Moreover, new research has challenged conventions in that the brain does in fact continue to develop into your early thirties. Advanced neuroscience indicates that the brain is malleable, and you can influence neurons that can change with experience, either positive or negatively. 

When constant positive neural growth takes place, you change your baseline thinking and re-wire thought patterns, which in turn will change your overall behavior in small increments. If you think about it using common sense, it clicks. The brain, like any other body part needs to be challenged, stretched, and used to become strong. If you don’t go to the gym and exert force on your muscles and challenge your body, you will become decrepit. So it goes with your noggin.

Growth Mindset

As I mentioned previously, think of the Growth Mindset as an attitude, a way of life. One who employs the Growth Mindset, believes that life requires continuous learning and that failure is a critical and necessary component of that learning and self-development. It is the deep belief that no single individual is born with innate talent and ability. Rather, mastery, talent, and ability, is developed over time through perseverance, grit, and hard work.

There is great debate as to whether or not Larry Bird is the best basketball player of all time. People constantly mention his talent and ability and grace. What people don’t talk about though, is, as a poor kid growing up in French Lick, Indiana, before school and after school, how Larry would methodically practice his jump-shot every day for hours on end. In the rain, in the sleet, in the hot sun in the early morning hours and well into the evening – it didn’t matter. That drive combined with his competitive nature and willingness to take challenges head-on (i.e., Magic Johnson) is what made Larry Bird arguably the best player in the NBA.

Dweck states that a Growth Mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure, “Not as evidence of unintelligence, but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

Traits of the Growth Mindset

Intellect can be developed over time and leads to a desire to learn and grow which results in:

  • Embracing challenges head-on
  • Perseverance (i.e., not giving up) in the face of setbacks, defeat, or failure
  • Seeing effort and hard work as a path to mastery
  • Using criticism and negative feedback as a form of learning and self-development
  • Finding lessons and inspiration in the success of others

Fixed Mindset

A Fixed Mindset, is an attitude that assumes character, creativity, intellect, and ability are static, and endowed to us upon birth (i.e., he’s a natural, a born genius, etc.). What is often overlooked with those who employ the Fixed Mindset, is that if you look at history, there are many examples of people who came from backgrounds of deep poverty and working class, but through resilience, determination, and hard work, made positive impacts on the world.

Take Thomas Edison for example, after thousands of tireless nights and failures, he created the modern light bulb. Through those failures, he learned and grew as a result. He employed the Growth Mindset. 

A Fixed Mindset view would have given up with their justification being that scientific traits weren’t carved in stone at birth. Remember, a Fixed Mindset, can negatively affect all aspects of your life ranging from education, career, and personal relationships.

Traits of the Fixed Mindset

Intelligence is static and leads to a desire to look smart which results in:

  • Prefer to avoid challenges
  • Giving up easily to obstacles or challenges
  • Seeing effort as fruitless or a waste of energy
  • Ignoring useful negative feedback or criticism, and taking it personally (i.e., ego)
  • Feeling threatened by the success of others
  • Not learning from or acknowledging their mistakes because of arrogance or ego

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw 

Employ a Growth Mindset

Relatives, friends, and colleagues young and old, I implore you to read Mindset, you will not be disappointed. Even if you are retired from the “working” world, there is so much to be gained that can be applied to other aspects of your life. 

You can take a skills inventory and challenge yourself daily to employ a Growth Mindset. Ask yourself whether you are shying away from challenges out of fear. Remember, challenge and failure are necessary to learning, self-development, and growing as an individual.

I’ll leave you with this quote: 

“In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort (Fixed Mindset). In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented (Growth Mindset).” – Carol Dweck

Keep on challenging and believing in yourself and you will achieve greatly.

What’s one new thing you’re learning this year that you didn’t know last year? Share your stories with us below!

Brendan M. Coyne loves to read, write, and practice self-development and bettering himself. His goal is to share what he learns with others, in the hope that through that learning, they will achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. You can connect with Brendan through his website theselfdevelopmentlife.com or on LinkedIn.

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How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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