Roadblocks To Success: Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

By Suzanne Corliss – Senior Transformation Consultant

A very good friend reminded me the other day that we lie to ourselves far more than we ever lie to anyone else.  Self-deception can be a hard habit to break.

You’ve probably experienced the feeling of things moving in the right direction, you’re feeling positive about certain triumphs, then suddenly – BAM! Up comes one roadblock after another. You hear your inner voice saying to yourself, “not again.” Or, “why does this always happen to me…?”

Sound familiar?

It’s not you

The truth is, it doesn’t just happen to you. It happens to everyone at various times.  The difference is in how you approach it.

With some people, you don’t notice that they’re working through roadblocks, because they seem as enthusiastic and determined as ever. Others are feeling deflated and flicking it into the “too hard” basket.

Maybe it’s time to look inside and see what’s going on in your mind. What deceptive little tricks is your mind playing on you?

Everything starts with a thought

Thought –> Action –> Outcome

When taken a little deeper, this says our reality is determined by Be –> Do –> Have. The results and outcomes we reap begin with the thoughts and energy we sew.

So, how do we become aware of what our thought process is? How do we know what Mindset we’re in?

Let’s look at a simple example to assess your mindset.

Imagine you see someone exhibiting behaviours you consider unacceptable. They may be overbearing, loud and dominating. Or maybe they hold a belief or value system that differs greatly from your own. Does your inner judge quietly condemn the person? Does your facial expression hold signs of dismay or disgust?

Fixed vs. growth mindset

Perhaps you try and put yourself in that person’s shoes and offer explanations for their behaviour. That’s what’s called a fixed mindset. A person whose beliefs tell them, “they are the way they are,” and there’s precious little they can do to change it.

So, how would someone with a growth mindset approach this situation? Well, they’d probably just talk to the person about their behaviour! From their point of view, that person presents an opportunity to learn something.

Someone with a growth mindset will confront a challenging person or challenging behaviours/views with the following approach: “I may not understand this person’s motivations or actions right now but I’m going to find out what this person has to offer and try to understand their perspective.”

That inner voice is a great opportunity to understand where your mindset sits regarding certain situations.

If your mindset is focused on failure (even if it is avoidance) you are already on the path to it. Listen to whether your inner voice is telling you, “this is the way things are/aren’t.” Or whether it’s exploring new possibilities. Challenge your inner voice to see whether it’s trying to keep you in your comfort zone, away from potential failure.

Where’s your head at?

When we embrace challenges, new ideas and other people’s perspectives we allow ourselves to grow. What was once seen as a roadblock is now an opportunity to do something even better, create something that may make a difference.

So here’s an exercise for today. Ask yourself, where is your head at? Is it helping or hindering your growth and ultimate success?