Fixed Mindsets and bad habits
Being able to acknowledge that we are not perfect but a constant work in progress (keyword: constant) is an important step toward the adoption of a growth mindset. A friend linked me to a blog by the Harvard Business Review on a couple of ways that people react negatively toward rejection: Entitlement and Resignation. I will discuss how both of these reactions are two different but equally destructive forms of the fixed mindset. The fixed mindset, if you recall, is the belief that one is incapable of changing and growing in accordance to life’s demands.
Entitlement is the (arrogant) belief that one deserves a reward for a job well done. For example: a person works really hard to get an important project off the ground; they then feel entitled to a promotion. When the promotion does not arrive, or someone else gets promoted in lieu of them, they feel resentment. Even a growth mindset person can feel these sentiments; however a fixed mindset person will fixate on gap between their expectations and the reality of the situation. Their mental schema involves them being awesome, and they simply cannot understand why they would not be recognized for being awesome, whereas a growth mindset person would accept what has happened and treat the work on the project as a learning experience.
The resignation reaction is very similar to entitlement, though behaviorally seems different; it still is a symptom of a fixed mindset. Resignation people believe that they have brilliant ideas, but don’t tell them to anyone for fear of rejection. Many perfectionists are guilty of this one for fear of churning out a less than perfect product. Resignation prevents us from achieving our full potential because we don’t put ourselves out there to make mistakes and learn from them.
People who recognize areas in their lives where they are exhibiting either Entitlement or Resignation thought processes should consider practicing Rejection Therapy and allow themselves to adopt the growth mindset.
People can have both fixed and growth mindsets about different areas in their lives. You might have a growth mindset when it comes to your athleticism, but fixed for your math skills. Really try and explore the areas where you feel you have a fixed mindset and consider putting yourself out there. Who knows? You may surprise yourself!
In my last blog I mentioned professor Carol Dweck’s book Mindset which talks about people’s reactions toward setbacks falling under two camps: fixed mindset and growth mindset. The book is a quick, easy, and fascinating read, chock-full of researchy goodness. Here is an interview she done with the podcast cast I Like You (enjoy!)