The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, containing approximately 86 billion neurons. Information passes between those neurons constantly, sometimes as quickly as 250 mph. As humans, we have the ability to focus that incredible power and cultivate a mindset, which psychology describes as a belief or self-perception that determines how we look at and respond to situations around us.
Steve Maraboli once wrote, “Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” Sounds great, right? But how do we go about cultivating a mindset that works for us? What is the “right” mindset for a particular goal or lifestyle?
Let’s investigate two types of mindsets, Performance and Growth, and determine which best sets you up for sustainable professional success.
What is a Performance Mindset?
A Performance Mindset trains your brain to perform at its very best. Through training, your brain begins to automatically create positive attitudes and actions that help you achieve, set goals, and deal with setbacks. Hitting goals is the primary focus, and someone with a Performance Mindset believes anything is possible with hard work.
Awareness: You know yourself, what you want, and what you will do to get there.
Focus: You know exactly what your goals are and the detailed steps you need to take to reach them.
Flexibility: Situations in life may change, and you will change right along with them.
Resiliency: You will come across setbacks, but you will bounce back from those obstacles and continue on stronger than before.
Optimism: You believe you can improve and be better tomorrow and every day after that.
What is the Growth Mindset?
The Growth Mindset focuses almost exclusively on progress; in fact, any movement is generally considered a success as long as progress continues to be made. This mentality thrives on challenges, as they are seen as the catalyst for growth.
The Growth Mindset is useful in everyday life by people who want to grow their existing talents and abilities and change their perspective.
Traits of a Growth Mindset
Self-Belief: You believe in yourself and your ability to overcome obstacles.
Inclusive: You are open-minded to the people around you and understand how to serve their needs.
Actionable: You know that action pushes growth, and you commit to pushing forward.
Prepared: You expect the unexpected and are ready to deal with adversity as it comes.
Present: You live in the moment and don’t focus on things that could be changed in the past. The future is the only way forward.
Which Mindset Should I Develop?
Each mindset listed above has the potential to be incredibly powerful and life-changing in its own way. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to choose just one! Growth and Performance mindsets can be seen as building blocks, working together as you move forward toward your goals.
The Growth mindset is a great place to start your mindset development journey. You will develop skills in this mindset that will help you start to believe in yourself and your abilities, and set an example for others around you. You may take part in training or work with a mentor to sharpen these tools. Eventually, you’ll begin to establish goals for yourself, and you may feel a need to advance to something more. What’s next?
You know what is possible with a growth mindset but your job or life requires that you start thinking about goals and how to achieve them. This is where a performance mindset comes in, to take you to the next level.
As you can probably assume it's not really a question of what mindset should I develop but really a question about how can I develop a growth mindset that sets me up to develop a performance mindset.
How Do I Develop These Mindsets?
Developing a Growth Mindset
You can utilize a coach to help develop a growth mindset, but there are things you can do on your own that will yield immediate results. Here are a few things that get you started on developing a growth mindset:
Be curious - Pretending to know everything is a slippery slope, and it closes you off to new ideas. Being curious allows us the opportunity to learn new and old things from different perspectives or gain greater knowledge of the things we do.
Look at failure as a learning opportunity - Everyone faces setbacks and failure in life and work, but how you choose to respond to a failure determines the level of success you will achieve. The biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful people is the way they respond to failure. Failure is part of growth, and successful people see failure as a way something didn’t work but understand they are now closer to success.
Be optimistic - Being optimistic allows you to find the opportunity in every problem, while pessimism allows you to only see the problems in every opportunity. This is why optimistic people are four times more successful than pessimistic people.
Believe in yourself - Confidence comes when you believe in yourself, even when others are doubting you. Believing in yourself allows you to push through adversity even when outside forces tell you to give up.
Use the power of “yet” - This is a simple one. Whenever you catch yourself thinking “This is not one of my strengths” add the word "yet": “This is not one of my strengths yet.”
Developing a Performance Mindset
Every great performer needs a great coach. Valor’s certified coaches will help you develop the skills needed to develop the Performance Mindset through one on one sessions that are personally tailored to your industry and individual goals. You’ll also receive access to the Valor platform, which contains ongoing exercises and assessments, all designed to help you maximize your performance.