Do you believe you’re good at something solely because of talent, invalidating all the work you’re putting in?
Or do you believe you can change the course of your life, and let your daily actions shape who you are?
The American psychologist and author of the book “Mindset” Carol Dweck describes how the way you think about your abilities can make or break your success in life:
- Entity (fixed) mindset: “I’m good at languages, I’m bad at math”
- Incremental (growth) mindset: “I worked hard on this, I’m learning, I’m discovering how to do this”
An entity mindset makes you run into a wall
When things get tough, people with an entity mindset often give up, because they don’t truly believe they can get much better.
After all,I if you believe it’s all about innate ability, then why make any effort to develop strengths or weaknesses?
An entity mindset also leads to fear of failure and perfectionism. If you’re believed to have an innate, fixed talent that’s set in stone, you’ll constantly need to live up to an unreasonably high standard for that particular talent.
An incremental mindset makes you thrive
People with an incremental mindset, on the other hand, thrive in tough situations: they know that through perseverance and a focus on daily practice and perseverance they can develop their skills and talents.
Even if predisposition plays an important role, switching to an incremental mindset will always make you feel better about yourself and your daily actions.
And while education and childhood experiences have a large impact on your mindset – you can always change your mind – by changing your actions.