• Susanne Birgersdotter

According to science, there are two types of psyche or mindset – fixed and growth. A person with a fixed mindset is already set on his/her ways. They already have a solid idea of who they are, what they’re capable of, what they’re not capable of. They like how they live, but not necessarily their station in life. They think of their talents and skills as gifts and accept them as is and make the best out of it. They like how they do things and would never want to change any of it. They are the stickler to the rules. They accept what life has to offer and make the best out of it. Their efforts are focused on making their cocoon comfortable, rather than getting out of it.

A person with a growth mindset thinks he or she is never done. They don’t settle for what they know, own, or achieved. They will always look for new things to learn, to improve, or to achieve. They believe that their best is yet to come. They actively go out of their comfort zones and experience new adventures. They of skills and talents as something you can work for. The more you put into learning a skill or polishing a talent, the better you become at it. They are the leaders, innovators, and are also the castaways. They don’t fit the mould and they will never blend in the crowd. They make their own rules and would forego comfort for the challenge of something bigger, brighter, and better.

The business world is full of both types of people – the fixed mindset ones occupy the rank and staff, while the growth mindset people hold the highest positions. This is not a coincidence. This is science doing its work. The positions are filled according to the personality, preferences, and mindset of the people. Leadership roles are occupied by those who have the capacity and the character to lead. While the rank and file are filled with people who are followers, sticklers to the rules, and who value comfort over challenges.

The only way to rise the ranks is to adopt a growth mindset. And the only way you can successfully run a business is by leaving your comfort zones and embracing the growth mindset. You can never reach the heights of success you dream of if you refuse to grow, leave your cocoon, and face your fears.

Most of us are born with a fixed mindset. We’ve been cosseted and protected all through our childhood and most of our young adulthood. Only a few crazy and daring would venture out of the comforts of home. But, when we start searching for our calling in life, we’re confronted by choices – stay on the well-trodden path or create one. Take the safest route or go for a wild adventure. Do what you are expected of or go for the unexpected.

Having and sticking with a fixed mindset is not entirely a bad thing. If it works for you, or if it gives you the lifestyle that you want, then it’s fine. But, for those who want to achieve extraordinary heights of success or want to significantly change their life, they will have to embrace the growth mindset.

Here are the five key differences between the fixed and growth mindset.

  1. Challenges – A person with a fixed mindset sees challenges as preludes to failures and will do everything to avoid challenges, while those with a growth mindset see them as learning opportunities welcome and embrace challenges.

  2. Obstacles – When confronted with setbacks and difficulties, fixed minded people tend to give up easily, while growth-minded people will persist and try to overcome any obstacles that are preventing them from reaching their goals.

  3. Effort – The fixed mindset will accept capabilities and talent as gifts. It is either you have it or you don’t, and any efforts spent on learning or polishing skills are fruitless. On the other hand, the growth mindset mentality believes that everything can be learned, improved, or polished and effort is the key to mastery.

  4. Criticism – A person with a fixed mindset is afraid of criticism. They are afraid to look stupid or incapable. Thus, they ignore any feedback or just avoid doing things that are unfamiliar to them. Those with a growth mindset welcome feedback and criticism, hoping to learn something from it.

  5. The success of others – Persons with a fixed mindset are threatened by the success of others, while those with a growth mindset celebrate and get inspiration from their successful friends and colleagues.

The growth mindset will help you move from where you are right now to where you want to be. While you can now consider yourself as a person with a fixed mindset, you can always rewire your brain and embrace the growth mentality. The first step is taking a step outside of your comfort zone. Believe me, it is also the hardest.

Comfort zones are beautiful places, that is why we stay there as long as we can. Everything there is constant, just as the way we like it. But nothing changes and nothing grows from there too. If you want to achieve greater heights of success, learn new things, and experience a different sense of fulfilment, you’ll have to venture out of it.

Learn more of my business and life journeys from my book, Pivotal Moments, here. It is also available in Kindle from this link.