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Developing a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck

If you have not heard of Carol Dweck’s work on the Growth mindset, then you are missing out. I learned about the growth mindset in my teens, and I have used it ever since in almost every success I have ever had.

The principle is simple, and in fact, so is the implementation, which is why it is one of the cornerstones of the success of so many people, not just myself. Whether or not people realise they are using this approach, when you research spectacular performance and how great successes are achieved, you inevitably encounter a tale of the “growth mindset”.

It appeals particularly to lifelong learners like me because the idea is that through continual learning and essential growth, you eventually achieve whatever you want. The beauty in this is that it actually works.

So I had to share this wonderful talk from the lady herself to ensure you have a little Growth mindset in your life.

Mindset: A mental guide for sport

I studied Carol Dweck and her research on mindset decades ago, so I also picked up the book Applying Mindset Principles by Jackie Reardon and Hans Dekkers. The focus is on taking the principles of the mindset work by Carol Dweck and applying it to sports and real life. Jackie Reardon is an ex-professional tennis player with lots of experience using mindset principles to succeed.

It is an excellent book in its own right, though, because I had already read so many similar books. The concepts are not new to me, so I skimmed the parts I was already familiar with. What was nice was that I recognised many things that I am already doing and so many things that I see in champions and experts in sports and elsewhere in life. This means that the principles I learnt from studying Carol Dweck’s mindset are the same principles that high-performing individuals use, and they confirm that these principles help them stand out and succeed.

I felt the book needed better editing I kept getting confused with the explanations because they were not always introduced perfectly and I struggled to find a clear definition of their concept of “story thinking” compared to “action thinking”.

My take is that “story thinking” is about focusing on your current place in the unfolding story and thus focusing on the score and achievements. This gives you no insight on what brought about the current score. In contrast, “action thinking” is focused on the actions required to produce the required result. This is process and goal-oriented thinking. This requires understanding what is required in the here and now and what you need to overcome the current challenge.

Its value is in the practical nature of its presentation. It also shows the value of sports in training for life

Jackie Reardon can be found at jackiereardon.com and friendlyeyes.com

Further references

  • Unstoppable mindset with Elliot Connie on Jeff Walker launch podcast.
    • Elliott Connie is a psychotherapist who wants to focus on the positive, not the negative. He did not like psychiatry because it focused on the negative.
    • Elliott practices psychology with a Growth mindset, focusing on the possible and achievable gains his clients can make.
    • explains how to apply the growth mindset. He is great at turning things around to his goals without competing with others. 
  • 8 conversation starters highly confident people love to use A nice set of open questions that reflect the growth mindset.  

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