“I still believe I can improve my game.
I think you have to try to reinvent yourself.
Tennis is actually one of those sports where I feel like you can always do better.”
Perhaps these comments explain the genius of sportspeople like Roger Federer.
At 33 years of age and 17 majors he still believes that he can improve.
This is a lovely example of what psychologist Carol S. Dweck calls a growth mindset.
According to Dweck a growth mindset is one where:
- everyone can change and grow through application and experience
- there is a passion for stretching yourself, learning & growth
- mistakes are just setbacks that can be overcome.
– most challenges can be overcome through effort
Dweck by contrast highlights what she calls the Fixed Mindset.
A fixed mindset is one where:
– you believe your qualities are carved in stone (e.g. intelligence, creativity, personality etc)
- there is a need to prove yourself over and over — validating yourself
- there is a great sensitivity about being wrong or making mistakes
The reason why this is important is that mindsets are just beliefs albeit powerful ones.
But they can influence your decisions, actions, accomplishments and whether in fact you can reach your full potential.
The good news according to Dweck is that a fixed mindset can be changed.
You have a choice!
“These beliefs are just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.”
Lessons for leaders & managers:
I have met so many managers and leaders who spend an awful lot of time proving how smart they are.
Often at the expense of others.
Perhaps we could all adopt more of a growth mindset and seek to continually improve.
Perhaps one small win at a time!