So many people talk about mindset. Yet, few truly understand it. The truth is, the mindset has so many layers to it, each of which determines the degree to which it impacts your life. To truly understand the mindset, it is necessary to explore the different types of mindsets, and what affects each type. In doing so, you will gain greater insight into the true nature of mindset, and how it affects you.
A fixed mindset assumes that intelligence, character, and creativity are static factors that you can alter in some significant way, with little effort, and that success is simply the affirmation of these inherent qualities; hence, striving for excellence and avoiding failure at all cost becomes a mindset of… what? Psychology experts Dr. John Dweck and Dr. Carol Grabse have explored the three types of mindset: Dominance, Influence, and Growth. In their book, The Psychology of Self-Esteem, they explain the characteristics of each mindset, as well as why you might use one or the other in different situations.
The first mindset, dominance, is characterized by a person’s deep conviction that he or she is right, and everyone else is wrong. In fact, there is little room for argument. This type of mindset promotes a kind of blind faith, in which nothing can go wrong, no matter what those other people may think. Consequently, this mindset causes people to be short-sighted and reluctant to take risks, often viewing everything through a rather narrow self-defined lens. Those who possess this mindset are called “self-consumers,” and typically do not consider themselves overly motivated. Those who enjoy a challenge and who seek out opportunities that will enhance their personal and professional lives are referred to as “growth mindset” individuals.
Those who embrace the second mindset, growth mindset, possess an openness to change that often does not wilt under pressure. These individuals frequently possess the intelligence, but also possess a willingness to adjust to circumstances that may prove to be either highly challenging or highly satisfying. Intelligence and a readiness to learn are necessary qualities for this mindset, as both are necessary for effective management of one’s emotions and intelligence. Those who belong to the growth mindset are also likely to be highly ambitious, believing that success requires a constant focus on expanding both their personal and professional reach.
To identify your mindset, Dr. Dweck and Dr. Grabse recommend checking with both your inner intelligence and your outer intelligence. Examine what you know about yourself and others, what motivates you, and what types of relationships work best for you. Based on this information, you can begin to develop a mindset that will help you achieve your goals. When you know what your mindset is, you will be able to use the appropriate mindset strategy to make your efforts toward success more productive.
One major point to note about mindset-based management is that change is necessary for optimal performance. Having a fixed mindset means being stuck in one way over an extended period of time. In contrast, growth mindset motivates you to keep moving toward your next goal. Both types of mindsets will require you to examine your own behaviors and those of others to see how your actions affect the relationships around you and the ultimate results you seek.
When you are able to use these two mindsets effectively, you will be able to overcome obstacles and attain your goals. Working with a growth mindset allows you to use your natural ability to learn something new every day. You learn by doing, so if you don’t think you are capable of learning something new, you simply will not. With a fixed mindset, you cannot change what you don’t learn, therefore your performance will always be below your expectations.
You can use either of these styles in combination to become smarter and more capable. If you need a boost in your intelligence level, both of these styles can give you what you need. You can start using a growth mindset today by working on your strengths and enhancing your weaknesses. Over time, you will find your intelligence level grows as a result of combining them with a fixed mindset.