Sunday, March 29, 2009

What is Fixed Mindset?

Fixed mindset is something that many many people have and is the leading cause of people quitting when the going gets tough.

Modern times asks that people be able to have natural talent. Now what does this mean? Natural talent means that you are good at something immediately, with no training. It's effortless. You sit down at a piano and you're pumping out Chopin. You grab a golf club and you're Tiger Woods. You go into a Calculus class and it's no problem. You don't need to rehearse or study. If it's not easy, then you're not good at it. If you have to work for it, you don't have natural talent. 

People like the story of the kid who sat down with the guitar and was composing tunes at the age of 3. No one likes the tale of the guy who practiced for 5 hours a day and became pretty damn good at tennis. That's boring. And obviously he wasn't cut out for tennis if he had to work that hard for it.

This is the problem. People with fixed mindset feel if it's not easy then they weren't cut out for it. They go into Chemistry, get the C- on the test and they're done. They say "I failed...I'm not good enough." They don't analyze what they did wrong. They don't see that perhaps the way they studied wasn't sufficient. They "suck at Chemistry" and it's over. 

Because of this mindset there is tremendous anxiety when it comes to a new activity. You go to your first day on the job and you mess something have failed. You try a surfing or take up painting and get the first whiff of rejection and poof it's over. You don't see that maybe you need to take a painting class or take a few more surfing classes to get better. The simple act of not succeeding immediately means that it's not worth your time. To be seen as a failure is much more embarrassing and devastating than acknowledging your weaknesses and working at them.  

1 comment:

  1. Having a fixed mindset is another way of saying you're limiting yourself. Unfix the mindset and watch as the limitations lift and unlimited possibilities come to life.