48: Dr. Carol Dweck: Mindset, The New Psychology of Success

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Her research has focused on why people succeed and how to foster success. She has held professorships at Columbia and Harvard Universities, has lectured all over the world, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She is the author of Mindset: A New Psychology of Success and Her scholarly book Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development was named Book of the Year by the World Education Federation. Her work has been featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and she has appeared on Today and 20/20.

Favorite Success Quote

“Fail early, fail often in order to succeed sooner.” – Tom Kelley

Key Points

1. Learn to Relish Challenges

Challenges are not just a part of life, they are life.

If you are not constantly being pushed and challenges to do, achieve, and become more, then you are dying.

When you come to a point in your life where you have no challenges, this is known as death.

So you must learn to relish the challenges that you are facing in your life.

See them as your proving grounds, as your time to shine, your chance to take action and rise above the herd.

You are never going to run out of challenges, but if you can learn to embrace trying times, risk, and adverse situations, you will be able to improve the quality of your challenges and by extension, the quality of your life.

2. You Need to Embrace the Growth Mindset 

Nothing holds people back more than operating under a fixed mindset.

When you believe that everything in life is fixed, that your talents, abilities, and habits are “Just the way they are” then you stop pushing yourself to become more.

If you want to achieve success, you must breakthrough your fixed mindset and focus on expanding your growth mindset.

Believe that you can change, believe that you can overcome your bad habits, believe that you have the power to shape your destiny… even when it may not be true.

By embracing a growth mindset, you will see your flaws and shortcomings as opportunities instead of challenges, and you will be able to rise to the occasion whenever others shrink back in fear.

You have the potential to be so much more than you are today…

You just have to believe in that potential.

3. Just Take the First Step 

If you are scared, if you are worried, if you are afraid that things might not work out, that’s fine.

Just take the first step.

If you don’t know what to do, just take the first step.

No matter what it is.

If you are trying to revolutionize your health and fitness, don’t try and create a comprehensive workout and diet plan, just do your first pushup or throw that one item out of your pantry.

If you are wanting to take control of your finances, don’t create some sort of crazy budget and a complicated automated system, just pay that first bill or set aside that first $100 for savings.

When you take the first step, the following steps will start to become obvious.

But you have to take that first step before you will know what to do on the rest of the journey.

So whatever it is that you have been putting off or are scared to do, commit today to take the first step.

Always remember

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~Lao Tzu

4. Recognize and Dispute Your Fixed Mindsets

Even once you have made a conscious decision to embrace a growth mindset and take control of your life, you will still find yourself succumbing to fixed mindsets and false beliefs.

That’s ok.

We are all human, and even the most prolific and impeccable achievers fall prey to fixed mindests from time to time.

The key is to simply recognize that you are operating from a fixed mindset and then dispute it.

If you notice yourself saying “It can’t be done” immediately interject and pose the question “How can it be done?”

If you hear a little voice saying “I can’t do that”, then interupt it and ask the question “How could I do that?”

When you make a habit of noticing and disputing fixed mindsets in your life, you will find that doors open up and success will start flowing into your life.

But you must first make the conscious decision to notice and eradicate fixed mindset patterns in all areas of life.

5. You Have a Choice 

Every day, life is going to give you obstacles and roadblocks designed to stop you from achieving your dreams and succeeding in life.

And when these things occur (as they inevitably do) you are left with a simple choice.

In each moment can either choose growth or comfort.

You can choose to do what is easy and allow limiting beliefs and b.s. narratives rule your life.

Or you can choose to adopt a growth mindset, take responsibility for your circumstances and choose the meanings that you attach to the problems you are facing.

I challenge you to choose growth.

Connect with Dr. Carol Dweck


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