Shifting your mindset sounds like a secret Ninja skill. What does it mean?
According to Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., Author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
In the most basic terms, people with a “fixed” mindset believe we’re all born with a specific set of traits and intelligence that can’t change. In contrast, people with a “growth” mindset believe our intelligence and talent can change and grow through our efforts and experiences.
The fixed vs growth mindset gave a name to patterns I saw in my own family. The dramatic impact mindset had on their life gave me a first-hand look into the future. More on that in a later post.
For now, Let’s focus on one way to shift to a more productive mindset.
Better Done than Perfect
It might not seem like it, but perfectionism works against you. As a recovering perfectionist and workaholic, I can tell you that working an unhealthy number of hours to make everything perfect is a bad strategy. It leaves you drained and prone to errors. Without self-discipline and hard deadlines, perfectionism soon turns into procrastination and burn-out.
In my case, I had a twisted mantra that said the only thing worse than death was mediocrity. It created a mentality where every little thing had to be perfect and nothing ever felt good enough. I held myself back by not putting out work or ideas that felt less than perfect.
According to Dweck, the fixed mindset creates a need to prove yourself to others time and time again – a common trait of perfectionists.
A growth mindset always open to learning understands that ten good ideas that can be implemented right away are always better than one idea that took a year to perfect.
A closed mindset drives you to create unrealistic expectations that keep you from starting or finishing your most important goals.
Striving for excellence is different than making perfection the end goal.
Know the difference and keep yourself in check. To do this, find an accountability partner and create an actionable plan. Meet on a regular basis to review your progress.
Your accountability partner should be supportive and able to give you productive feedback while establishing realistic milestones. Commit to completing action items within the established timeline. Nothing will change if you don’t do the work.
If this is the first time you’ve worked with an accountability partner, look at it as a great foundation for building a growth mindset. Stretching yourself by trying something new definitely falls into the mindset you want to adopt. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
If you feel yourself becoming nervous or self-conscious in a new situation – remind yourself that you’re in a learning situation and perfectionism is not your friend. Allow yourself to be a student, keep an open mind and know that you are changing your mindset. And then, congratulate yourself.
I’d love to hear from you – what do you want to change this year?