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Growth Mindset

by Doug Davidoff | Sep 21, 2010 6:11:33 AM

If there is one characteristic that I’ve always noticed in top performers that I rarely see if average or below performers, it’s a growth mindset.

Simply put, top performers are always willing to struggle to learn new things.  What I love about top performers is that they don’t really look at the struggle of learning as a struggle – they couldn’t imagine not learning and mastering new things.  They say things like, “On the day they lay me to rest, it is my hope that I will have learned something.”

Adults struggle with learning.  When most of us were kids, we loved working with puzzles.  We loved the struggle, the mind exercise of figuring things out.  We took apart things and put them back together, just to see how things work.  The confusion of learning new things was half the fun.

Then, suddenly we become adults and, god forbid, we get defined as successful.  We begin thinking, “Well, since I’m supposed to be successful, I guess that means that I’m supposed to know everything.”  The feeling begins that struggling with things must mean that you’re not good enough begins to dominate our thinking.

When we let those feelings dominate our thoughts, we stop growing; and when we stop growing, we start shrinking – especially in these market conditions.

As Zig Ziglar once said, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly as you learn how to do it well.”  In a world of constant change, and rising challenges, the critical success skill will be the ability to gain comfort with the struggle of learning.

So, what can you do to ensure that you are constantly learning and growing?