Spark #

Standing In Your Own Way

In this Spark you’ll understand what it means to have a fixed mindset. "When do people with the fixed mindset thrive? When things are safely within their grasp. If things get too challenging - when they're not feeling smart or talented - they lose interest."

Spark #
Standing In Your Own Way
What We're Talking About

The principle we're discussing

Having a growth mindset sounds great, right? We think so, too, and things would be much easier if everyone operated from that mindset right off the bat. 

Of course, many of us still have what’s called a “fixed mindset.” People with this mindset believe their qualities are set in stone and feel compelled to prove themselves time and time again. 

If you only have a set amount of smarts, a specific personality, and an unchanging moral character—well, then, you’d better prove your worth! Otherwise, you might seem like you don’t have what it takes…

Why it Matters

Why this principle is important and matters to you

Do you remember learning how to ride a bike?

Maybe it came easily, and you soon took off riding with your friends. Or maybe it didn’t come so easily, and you became so frustrated (or embarrassed) that you gave up. 

The idea that riding a bike comes naturally to people (i.e. “It’s as easy as riding a bike!”) is a great example of a fixed mindset. Everyone can do it, you might think to yourself, so if I can’t do it, then I’m a failure. 

A fixed mindset prevents you from envisioning a future where you’re able to ride a bike like a pro. It keeps you stuck in place—and ultimately prevents you from being great at your job.

How You Can Use It

This provides practical ways to apply learnings from this Spark

Recall a time in your life when something was difficult for you—so difficult that you threw in the towel. Maybe it was a new sport or a creative project. Then think about the consequences you faced once you stopped trying. 

Now consider how that might play out in your workplace. There are repercussions for every decision, good and bad, so take a moment to brainstorm how a fixed mindset would impact your job and how you work with others.

Not sure how to get out of a fixed mindset? Try one of these:

  1. Take a moment to consider why you feel like you shouldn’t do something. Is it difficult? Do you not know where to start? Write down your concerns.
  2. Write down three things that could happen (good or bad) if you decide to pass a project on to someone else or stop working on it. How do those three things make you feel?
  3. If you’re struggling with a project that someone else asked you to work on, take a few minutes to ask them why they wanted you on the project. Hearing why they chose you and what they think you’re good at could help you see it for yourself (and push through what you’re struggling with).

An opportunity to reflect on yourself and/or your team and how you can apply these insights

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