I realized recently that while I’m pretty consistently operating out of Growth Mindset, there’s another mindset shift that I’m often missing.
I was reading an insightful book called Influencer. One of the sections of the book describes a man with a love of chocolate, who wants to lose weight and tries to replace his chocolate-snacking habit with a carrot-snacking habit. I know the feel—chocolate is very compelling to me. From that book:
“Initially, failure signals the need for greater effort or persistence. Sometimes failure signals the need to change strategies or tactics. But failure should rarely signal that we’ll never be able to succeed and drive us to pray for serenity. For instance, you find yourself staring at a half-eaten ice cream cone in your hand. Should you conclude that you’re unable to stick with your eating plan so you might as well give up? Or should you conclude that since it’s hard to resist when you walk past the ice cream parlor on your way home from work, you should change your route? The first conclusion serves as discouraging brake on performance, whereas the second provides a corrective guide that helps refine your strategy.
The book describes the first response—concluding you can’t do it and giving up—as Fixed Mindset, and the second as Growth Mindset. They depict an overdramatic Fixed Mindset internal monologue:
“Henry wonders if he can overcome the genetic hand that he’s been dealt… has [no] self-discipline… surely he’s doomed… believes he hadn’t been born with ‘the right stuff.'” …etc.
I basically never have thoughts like that.
Which led me into the puzzle of why, if I’m consistently operating out of Growth Mindset, do I not consistently respond in that second way? That is, using each failure as a corrective guide, tweaking my path so I don’t encounter future temptations. » read the rest of this entry »