When I was learning to play the guitar, there were many days I just wanted to quit. “It’s too hard. I’ll never be able to do this,” I told myself.
So I’d put the guitar down and go do something else. Something easier. Something I was good at. Something I could accomplish.
In those moments of frustration I suffered from something that keeps so many of us from achievement. A fixed mindset.
In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck explains how achievement hinges on whether we approach something with a fixed or growth mindset. Simply put, growth-minded people welcome opportunities to learn, while people with fixed mindsets focus on talent and accomplishing the task flawlessly right now.
Those with a fixed mindset also shy away from situations in which they see a risk of failure or judgment.
That’s exactly what I was doing with the guitar. Rather than see it as a learning opportunity and something I had to work at, I was committing self-sabotage by focusing on my failure to get the song right, right then. In my mind, I was a failure and not talented enough.
The truth of the matter is that was bogus. The truth was I just needed to remind myself that I was learning, needed to practice more, and over time I would get it. End of story.
The same is true for you.
You have a choice in whether or not you accomplish whatever it is you set out to do. It’s all about the mindset you employ along the way.
Question: How has a fixed mindset held you back or a growth mindset helped you achieve?