What Makes Someone Successful?

4 Feb

Carol S. Dweck, PhD, published 30 years of her research in 2006 answering the question: What makes someone successful? Her theory? People contain two mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Choosing one over the other alters the success you find in life.

5 ACTION AREAS OF THE MINDSETS

To explain further, Dweck identified five action areas in which the two mindsets diverge: challenges, criticism, success, effort and obstacles.

Here are examples of each mindset. Think of what sounds most like you. Are you someone who thinks with a fixed or growth mindset? If you are in a fixed mindset, it is time to start switching your thought process.

CHALLENGES
Fixed mindset – avoids failure: “I will not sign up for a full marathon because I don’t think I can do anything longer than a half-marathon.”
Growth mindset – sees failure as opportunity: “I did not finish the full marathon and had to stop. But I’ll try again because I love the idea of challenging my body and pushing it to its limits.”

CRITICISM      
Fixed mindset – rejects feedback: “My coach is wrong. I know what is best for me.”
Growth mindset – learns from feedback: “I will ask my coach questions during and after our training sessions and take notes to remember what I am told.”

SUCCESS OF OTHERS   
Fixed mindset – gets insecure: “I am jealous of my friend who qualified for the Boston Marathon.”
Growth mindset – gets motivated: “I need to spend time doing speed work to qualify for Boston like my friend did. To do this, I will hire coach who can help me get faster and stronger.”

EFFORT 
Fixed mindset – thinks trying means you are no good: “I am already a good cyclist. I don’t need anyone to help me get better.”
Growth mindset – puts in the work: “I’m up at 6 a.m. to train. I can always get a little stronger.”

OBSTACLES    
Fixed mindset – gives up: “I could never run a marathon. I am not a runner.”
Growth mindset – tries: “I think I could run a marathon. Today I will look up running groups in my area and join them for their next session.”

CONCLUSION

Fully switching from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset can take years, if not a lifetime. But you should practice training yourself to have a growth mindset every day, like you practice your sport every day — it will be worth it. You will view endurance sports not as something so data and results driven but instead as something in which you enjoy the journey.

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