Growth Mindset: How to Change How You Think to Achieve Your Dreams

Did you ever really want to try something, but then not because you worried you’d look dumb? Maybe your friends are great at salsa dancing and you want to join them, but think, “They’re so much better than me. I could never dance like them, so I won't go.” Most of us think like this! We’re plagued by what psychologist Carol Dweck calls a 'fixed mindset.' The great news is, we can change how we think, and, with a 'growth mindset,' get over our fears and finally start pursuing what we want in life. 


Which personality type do you have?

In her transformational book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol poses a few questions to test your mindset. The following excerpt comes from the first chapter of the book: 


Read each statement and decide whether you mostly agree with it or disagree with it.

1. Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.

2. You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.

3. No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit.

4. You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.


Questions 1 and 2 are the fixed-mindset questions. Questions 3 and 4 reflect the growth mindset. Which mindset did you agree with more? You can be a mixture, but most people lean toward one or the other.

You also have beliefs about other abilities. You could substitute “artistic talent,” “sports ability,” or “business skill” for “intelligence.” Try it. It’s not only your abilities; it’s your personal qualities too.


Carol Dweck 2014 Ted Talk:  The Power of Believing that You Can Improve


The power of 'yet'

Carol says we’re raising kids for ‘now’ instead of ‘yet.’ Meaning, kids expect they’ll be perfect at something on the first try, and if not, they collapse with anxiety and feel of failure. They have a ‘fixed mindset’ and believe ‘if not now, not ever.’ Most of us have this mindset. However, kids with a ‘growth mindset’ go through life thinking, ‘I love a challenge! I’ve never done this, so of course I won’t be good, but I can get better.’ 


Shifting to a growth mindset is shockingly simple. It’s all in the ‘power of yet.’ “This is my first time skiing. I might not go down the biggest slope today — not yet — but I’ll get there. This is going to be fun!”


Growth mindset people aren’t preoccupied with what other people think of them, which is great, because other people aren’t thinking about us. I love this quote attributed to Winston Churchill: “When you’re 20, you care what everyone thinks. When you’re 40, you stop caring what everyone thinks. When you’re 60, you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.” 




Learn more

You can download the first chapter of Mindset for free on Amazon Kindle. Mindset is also available as an Audible audio book. If you buy either by clicking the affiliate links on this website, you’ll be helping to support the Postcard Academy podcast. Thank you!




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