My professional background is early years education, and one of the many, many authors and theorists who influenced my thinking about learning and transformation was Carol Dweck. Funny that even now, although I am involved in a very different industry (property), I still refer in my mind to many of those people I have read and the theories of learning they described. Carol Dweck has become known for her expertise in the area of mindset and especially the difference between a growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset.
At the heart of what makes the “growth mindset” so powerful, Dweck has found, is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Its hallmark is the conviction that human qualities like intelligence and creativity, and even relational capacities like love and friendship, can be cultivated through effort and deliberate practice. Not only are people with this mindset not discouraged by failure, but they don’t actually see themselves as failing in those situations — they see themselves as learning. Dweck writes:
“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives”.
Are you cultivating a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval? This week try and stay actively conscious of when you are doing the latter rather than the former and see how it starts to transform how you think about yourself and the results you achieve!
To your growth,