The #1 Mindset Shift You Need to Make to Build Confidence

The #1 Mindset Shift You Need to Make to Build Confidence

Professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University has been researching mindsets for more than thirty years. She has a major finding that sits at the heart of all of her work:

More important than believing in your abilities, is the belief you can improve your abilities.

And she has found that there are two types of mindset that direct whether you feel you can improve your abilities, or not, and direct how you show up in the world: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

FIXED MINDSET

People with a fixed mindset believe that their most important personal characteristics like personality and intelligence are largely fixed and unchangeable. This leads to a continual need to prove and protect themselves, and constantly validate their sense of self.

GROWTH MINDSET

People with a growth mindset believe that their basic qualities and abilities are things they can cultivate through persistence and effort. This leads not only to a passion for learning, growth and personal development, but also confidence and a resilient sense of self in the face of criticism, failure and adversity.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE IN A FIXED MINDSET? 

When you are in a fixed mindset, you are focused on the outcome, and avoiding risk and uncertainty at all costs. You try to control all elements of the situation to avoid failure, do your best not to get negative feedback as you feel it wounds you, and even micromanage all aspects of your work or that of your team to ensure success. You avoid risks, trying new things, or going for new roles that are out of your comfort zone. When you are in this mindset, your success plateaus as you never give yourself the opportunity for growth and exploration of your potential.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE IN A GROWTH MINDSET? 

When you are in a growth mindset, you are focused on the experience, not the outcome. You know that you can try new things, go for new opportunities and expand your skill set, because you have the confidence that with effort, you will improve so you can give it a go. If you get negative feedback, you take it as learning and fodder for your personal development. And if you fail, you know that it's part of the learning that comes with moving up the mastery curve. Your belief is that success is just showing up, and you have the question ‘what can I learn here?’ constantly on your mind to fuel possibilities.

HOW DOES HAVING A GROWTH MINDSET IMPACT YOUR CONFIDENCE?

As researcher Richard Petty discovered after decades of work, confidence is the ability to turn your thoughts into action. And having a growth mindset is a key part of the equation, because it’s this type of mindset that gets you from your thoughts to action. It makes sense that if you aren’t afraid of negative feedback or failure, you’re able to take action on things and embrace new opportunities as they arise.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE AND SHIFT INTO A GROWTH MINDSET: 

  • Catch your fixed mindset stories.
  • Don’t let perfectionism keep you from trying something new or difficult.
  • Ask ‘What can I learn here?’
  • Assume that you’re capable and have faith that with effort you can succeed. Don’t be afraid to fail forward.
  • Remind yourself that attaining mastery of a new skill often requires the risk of failure – it’s what you learn that counts.

Having a growth mindset is just one of our 21 Tested Ways To Build Your Confidence At Work. 

If you would like to go deeper and study these concepts so you can truly show up with radical confidence, you will want to join us for the Women Rising program. Around 3,000 women have been through the program in the past 12 months, and 98% recommend the program to their peers. We hope you become part of our trusted community.

Share: