3 Big Takeaways from Mindset by Carol Dweck

The most critical difference between success and failure has always been (and always will be) mindset. That is why we recommend the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.

The reason mindset is so important is that it is the only thing that you have total control over. Long-term success has never been about luck, it’s been about how well you can overcome obstacles.

If you do not have the right mindset, then obstacles can seem insurmountable. With the right mindset, they are simply challenges to be faced and worked through.

So how do you cultivate a mindset that will set you up for success?

Let’s take a look at three key ideas Carol Dweck discusses that can help move us in the right direction.


How to Create a Winning Mindset

1) Recognize where you have a “fixed” mindset

The foundational concept of the book is that we all have two mindsets: fixed and growth.

A fixed mindset is one in which you believe your abilities, personality, life situation, etc. are all fixed and cannot be changed. A growth mindset recognizes that everything can change.

Your job, then, is to recognize in which parts of your life you have a fixed mindset and start working toward a growth mindset.

How do you know if you have a fixed mindset about something? It usually is accompanied by thoughts like this:

“I’m just not good at that.”

“I’ll never…”

“I’m XYZ type of person.”

The truth is, you can do and be whatever you want. The reason anyone is good at anything is because of practice.

Let’s take personality as an example. This is something that many people would say is a fixed trait. But have you ever noticed how people’s personalities change as they get older?

For better or for worse, as we age, we learn more, have new experiences, and value different things. These all can play into how we show up in the world.

So, even something that seems as fixed as your personality can and does change. The question then becomes, do you like how you are? Do you feel like you are showing up as your best self?

If not, then you can work on it! And while this may not be an easy thing to do, and certainly is not a quick process, just know that if you put in the work, then you can and will change.

And this goes for just about anything in your life.

Relationships are a skill. Fitness is a skill. Happiness is a skill.

These are all things that can be improved, so long as you believe that they can. And that is what having a growth mindset is all about.

It’s about knowing that you are not destined to be or do anything because of your past. And that if you want change in your life, only you can make that happen.


2) Seek development, not approval

To develop a growth mindset, you must get into the habit of seeking out and utilizing feedback.

This can be challenging because to do this effectively, you not only have to accept that you are not perfect, but also have to be willing to listen to what other people have to say.

If you can’t stand hearing anything but positive feedback from people, you will never grow. This is where having a coach can be so useful when it comes to developing yourself.

A coach is there to not only teach you new skills, but to also give you feedback on where you most need to focus your efforts. We all have blind spots and may not even realize what is holding us back.

More often than not, the biggest barrier to our success is our beliefs. One such belief…that you are the way you are! So just learning about having a growth mindset could be a step in the right direction.

Other beliefs that can hold us back are things like:

“People don’t respect me.”

“XYZ will take too long.”

“Life is hard/not fair.”

“People should think like me.”

“I can’t figure this out.”

The reason these are limiting is because they impact how we engage with the world in a way that restricts what actions we will take.

If you think people do not respect you, then you will engage with other people defensively. You are already on the attack because you think that they have something against you.

This, in turn, makes them less open to working with you or engaging with you, which then reinforces your belief.

And this is where having a coach or counselor can come in handy. It can be hard to spot our own limiting beliefs because they are often so ingrained in the way we think.

We don’t even realize that they might be wrong. Usually these beliefs were instilled at a young age and have been reinforced ever since, so the fastest way to recognize and dissolve them is with help.

This is just one example of how getting feedback can help you grow, but you can get feedback on anything that you are working on.

Trying to improve your writing? Ask an expert to review your work.

Working on your golf swing? Have a pro take a look.

Want to become a better boss/leader? Work with a business coach.

You don’t know what you don’t know, and the best way to grow quickly is to get the feedback you need to grow in the right areas.


3) Take advantage of your failures

To establish a growth mindset, you must start seeing failures and setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve. Failure, as it turns out, is a requirement for success.

Just think about how many times children fall when learning to walk. If they saw falling as something to avoid, then they would never learn the valuable lessons that each fall gave them and would be stuck crawling their whole lives!

Other endeavors are no different. It doesn’t matter how much you read or learn about something before you start, you are bound to not get it 100% right the first (or fifth) time.

The human brain requires failure to learn. Thomas Edison said it best when he proclaimed:

“I haven’t failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

This is truly the secret to success. Fail fast, fail early, and just keep trying. But this brings us to the hardest part about developing a growth mindset.

You have to believe that you can and will find a way.

Without that belief, you will fall back into your limiting beliefs, start avoiding failure, and will not put in the time or effort needed to get where you want to be.

The good news from all of this is that no one is destined to anything. We all have the power to choose what we want for our lives and can move toward those goals knowing that we can get there.

Growth and development is available to all of us, and as long as we can hold the belief front and center, the more fun life becomes. It can be about learning and growing. It can be about experimenting to see what works without fear of failure. It can be a journey in which we choose the path and can change course at any time we like.

This is what having a growth mindset is all about.

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Mindset is everything when it comes to success. No matter what area of your life you want to change or improve, it starts with having the right mindset.

One of the ways you can set yourself up for success is to develop a growth mindset: the belief that you can change and improve anything about yourself.

In Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, she dives into this topic, but in this article, I highlighted three key points that you can start using today:

1) Recognize when you have a “fixed” mindset: lookout for areas of your life you see as permanent or unchangeable and challenge those beliefs.

2) Seek development, not approval: find people that can give you helpful critical feedback as you work to improve.

3) Take advantage of your failures: see failure as a learning tool and know that it is a prerequisite to success.

These steps will allow you to start taking more control of your life today, so pick one and see how you can incorporate it on a daily basis.

If health and fitness is an area of your life that you are looking to improve, that is where we can help.

As I said, having a coach to teach you the right way to do things and the right way to think about your goals and your progress is a critical part of success.

So many people spend years in the start/stop cycle when it comes to fitness because they don’t know what to do and get discouraged or hurt themselves.

Having a coach is the best way you can make sure you are doing the right things and that you stay on track to reach your goals.

If that is what you are looking for, I invite you to check out our 28-Day Kickstart Program. In this program, you will get the exact exercises you need while having a coach to show you how to do them correctly and keep you accountable to your plan.

Here is what you will get:

  • Full fitness and goals assessment
  • Personalized fitness coaching to teach you the exact exercises you need to safely and effectively move better and build stamina
  • A simple meal plan to help you decrease inflammation
  • 1-on-1 success coaching to help guide you as you work to change your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits

You can get the results you are looking for, you just need a program that can show you what is right for you.

Click here to learn more and take back control of your health and fitness today!

Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.