I have never really understood the word “can’t”. Sure, whatever I want might be hard to get, it might take years, I might end up changing my mind about what I want after exerting a significant amount of effort, but “can’t” seems like a useless and untrue word.
My aversion to the word “can’t” goes back to my childhood. Neither my mother nor my father ever let me think for one second that I couldn’t reach my goals. It’s not like they were rooting for me, exactly, saying things like, “You can do whatever you want in life.” No. My parents worked their butts off. They constantly showed me how hard it is to reach your goals. But they never gave up and, as a result, they made amazing progress in spite of gigantic odds. My parents showed me that if you really put effort into something, you can accomplish more than you ever thought was possible.
"you can accomplish more than you ever thought was possible."
To put in that kind of effort, to persevere even when times are rough, they had to first believe that success was possible. This is the magic of mindset. It is the idea that believing in something actually makes it more likely to be true. A large amount of research has been conducted showing that believing in the ability to grow and improve and succeed really does have positive effects on just about everything. Want to be more successful? Want to get better grades? Want to live a happier, more fulfilling life? Change your mindset to one of growth, progress, and expansion.
Growth mindset - a term coined by researcher Carol Dweck - is a widely used and accepted approach to increasing success in multiple life domains. Many of the world’s largest companies have already adopted the idea that Growth Mindset will result in improved curiosity, performance, and ultimately, revenue for the company. We can just switch out mindsets and suddenly we will all be able to do anything we believe in, right? The magic of mindset is starting to sound an awful lot like a magic bullet.
"The magic of mindset is starting to sound an awful lot like a magic bullet."
It is human nature to search for, and believe in, magic bullets - or quick easy solutions to difficult problems. The idea that something so simple could guarantee riches, and happiness, and success is so appealing to us that we can not help but believe it. Unfortunately, the moment when we start to believe mindset is a magic bullet, the real magic disappears. Difficult problems rarely have simple solutions. When we believe the solutions will be simple, we set ourselves up for failure. Suddenly, the magic of mindset blows up in our face. Don’t forget, believing that success is possible is only the first step in accomplishing more than we ever thought was possible. There are many, many, many more steps to follow.
For these reasons, I advise my clients be careful about how they think about and use growth mindset. I view mindset as a limiting factor - or a psychological process that prevents you from reaching your goals. It makes sense that if you don’t believe success is possible, you are unlikely to ever work towards it. Without a growth mindset, you are doomed to failure. But I warn people that just because you have a growth mindset this does not mean that, POOF, now you are on the road to success. You have to take action. You have exert effort. In fact, acting on a growth mindset means you will work harder and exert more effort than you ever have in your life.
"acting on a growth mindset means you will work harder and exert more effort than you ever have in your life."
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