The Only Thing You Need to Possess to Reach Your Full Potential
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
― Charles Bukowski
Mr. Bukowski aptly summarizes what most of us have observed. Gifted individuals are more prone to vulnerability and insecurity than their less skilled friends. The reason behind this is explained thoroughly by Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Children with a fixed mindset tend to believe that failing at a task means they are stupid or unintelligent. Dr. Dweck and her student Claudia Mueller did an experiment where a group of children was praised for their smartness while another group was praised for their efforts. The study showed that children who were praised for being smart easily lost their confidence and doubted their ability after failing a test while those who were praised for their hard work believed that their failure was due to the fact that they did not try hard enough. They therefore worked harder on the final test.
This experiment tells us two things:
1. The kind of feedback that children get from their mentors has a huge impact on their confidence.
2. We need to have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset in order to reach our full potential.
If you have a growth mindset, you choose to focus on honing your ability or learning new skills rather. You direct your efforts to getting smarter over showing that you are already smart. On the other hand, if you have a fixed mindset you believe that you already know enough and that you are born with a natural ability to do a certain task.
Now, if you think that you have been approaching life with a fixed mindset, what you need to do is shift to a growth mindset so you can reach your full potential. How can you do this?
- Analyze your attitude. Do you believe that improvement is impossible? Do you believe that effort matters? Remember that if you don’t firmly believe that improvement is attainable, you will fail to see that your skills are actually improving.
- Be accepting of failure. Whenever you are about to start a project remind yourself that you might fail and that is okay. You are going to make mistakes along the way. Embrace those mistakes. This will actually take the pressure of being perfect off your shoulders so you can focus on just doing your job.
- Look for help. The problem with people with fixed mindset is that they are too proud to ask for help. The truth is, asking questions will actually make you look more intelligent than by going at things alone.
- Be your own competition. It is tempting to compare your results or your progress with other people. Each time this happens remind yourself that you are doing your best to improve your skills. As long as your today is better than your today, you are on the right track.
A fixed mindset is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you are either born with it or without it, you will keep yourself from acquiring the necessary skills that will lead you to reaching your full potential. Remember to replace “I am not good at this,” to “I am not good at this yet.”
How are you reaching you full potential? Feel free to share your thoughts on the comment box.
Live Your Passion,
Lynn Allen – Johnson