Scholar Benjamin Barber said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong or the successes and failures, I divide the world into the learners and non-learners.”

Which one are you? Before you answer that…

Here’s another great question from the book Mindset by well known psychologist, Carol Dweck:

Is Success About Learning… or… About Proving that You are Smart?

According to Dweck, whichever one you are, will determine how well you handle failure and adversity and whether you even try something where you could fail in the first place.

Dweck says she began her career, “Obsessed with understanding how people cope with failure.” So she studied children by giving them puzzles, easy and then harder and then harder. She watched how they coped and noticed two very specific mindsets – fixed and growth. In a nut shell, here is what she found with these two mindsets:

Fixed: Success is about proving yourself.

Growth: Success is about challenge and development.

Fixed: Failures mean you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need to put in effort.

Growth: It is the effort that makes you smart and/or talented. Failures are part of learning.

The view that you end up adopting – fixed or growth – profoundly impacts your life.  Believing your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.

As her book states for fixed mindset people, “every situation becomes a test to be evaluated. Will I look smart or dumb? Will I succeed or fail? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?” Having a growth mindset allows you get through the greatest challenges and failures of life – but not even just surviving but truly thriving.

We highly recommend you get a copy of Mindset – especially if you have children. Here is our Amazon book page with that and a few other of our favorite reads: Go for No Amazon Book Store.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

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