Did you know that failure is a good thing? That’s right – learning to fail is a skill that savvy workplace professionals should cultivate, because failure helps you build resiliency. There’s a key distinction between people who give up and those who push through set-backs: how they view their situation.
For decades, Stanford professor and psychologist Carol Dweck has studied the correlation between a person’s mindset and achievement. She says people tend to either have a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset.” A person with a fixed mindset believes that each time he/she attempts something it’s a reflection of how smart/talented he/she is. A fixed mindset sees things in a winner/loser frame and therefore tends to see little that can be done to change the outcome.
By contrast, someone with a growth mindset sees failure as a way to learn. This person welcomes feedback and is willing to practice continually. Someone with a “growth” mindset looks at failure as “a time to be grateful that you are living life fully rather than playing it safe.”
According to Dr. Dweck, people who have this growth viewpoint create “a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” Her research indicates it’s not your innate talent or intelligence that determines your accomplishment but the way you look at yourself and your world.
So, a “people equation” for this idea might look like:
growth mindset + perseverance + feedback = achievement
Try these on for size:
Watch the movie Meet the Robinsons – It’s about a family of inventors and is one of the best depictions I’ve seen of how to foster a “growth mindset”. They actually cheer when someone’s experiment fails 🙂
Review these tips on building resilience via the Very Well Psychology site.
Read the comments section on the Mayo Clinic’s blog about “resiliency – who goes the distance and why?” – as with all blog comments, there are wide-ranging viewpoints. Sift it and you’re sure to find something of use for your particular situation.
Practice accepting feedback with grace.
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