Mindset Is Everything and Everything Is Mindset

There are many practical things you can do to position yourself for a new/better job or a new career—and when I work with clients as a career coach, we definitely explore those things. But I can cover the same ground with two different people, both equally talented and loaded with potential, and one will find great success while the other flounders. What’s the differentiator?

One word: Mindset.

Your mindset predicts achievement. It plays a pivotal role in what you want and whether you are able to achieve it. It is a powerful tool for success in every aspect of your life, including your business and your career. The right mindset will give you wings to soar; the wrong one will limit you and cause perpetual frustration. That’s why I devote a great deal of my practice to helping my clients develop a mindset for success, and why I’m devoting a significant chunk of my upcoming book to it. Mindset matters more than any of the other practical stuff I can teach.

Fixed Mindset versus Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist and the author of the insightful book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, really pioneered this understanding of the power of mindset. She discovered that the real question of success is whether you believe qualities like intelligence, talent and creativity are fixed or changeable traits. The answer determines whether you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Let’s talk about the differences between these mindsets so we can see how they affect our success.

People with a fixedmindset believe that intelligence, creativity and talent are inborn, fixed and unchangeable. They therefore tend to stick to activities and experiences where they believe they will be successful and avoid new experiences where they could fail. They don’t like change. This attitude limits their success and potential. 

Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believe that these qualities can be strengthened and expanded through experience, learning and challenge. A growth mindset makes you curious, resilient, and able to reach your goals and potential despite setbacks and disappointments.

Dweck believes that we all are capable of creating a growth mindset—and in today’s world where technology and business models are changing so rapidly, I believe embracing a growth mindset is vital for success.

Our mind is a powerful thing. The stories we tell ourselves, the things we believe about ourselves, can negatively or positively impact our potential for success. For example, if you think or say: “I am not good enough” or “I never could do that,” you probably won’t. If you think or say: “I got this,” “I can do this,” or “What is the worst thing that could happen?”, you will seek out new challenges and grow. It is entirely within our control to reframe stressful moments into positive ones. The power of positive thinking actually reduces stress and anxiety and boosts our can-do spirit.

Developing a Growth Mindset

If mindset determines our success level—and I believe it does—then mindset becomes our starting point. So how do you develop a growth mindset? Fellow career coach and Forbes writer Caroline Gastrillon offers some practical tips for doing so, which I’d like to pass along here:

  • Embrace failure. View failure as a positive rather than a negative. Every failure is a learning experience and an opportunity to grow.
  • Become a lifelong learner. Be curious about everything. Gastrillon points out that 85 percent of successful people read two or more educational/ business development or self improvement books a month.
  • Seek out challenge. Get outside your comfort zone; that’s where the magic happens.
  • Go beyond your perceived limits. We grow by pushing past what we think we can do.
  • Ask for feedback. Knowing you are responsible for you own growth, have the confidence to ask for feedback and learn from it. Creating a diversified network of contacts encourages and supports a growth mindset and is a great resource for feedback.

Don’t procrastinate. Explore the power and energy that a growth mindset can have on your career. If you want more details and assistance, I’m here to help. Shoot me an email at terrylynn@giraffesconsulting.com and let’s set up a free 30-minute consultation.