The Power of Mindset

Former Vikings defensive player Jim Marshall made a huge mistake in a game against the 49ers...
He spotted the ball on the ground, scooped it up and ran toward the end zone. He made a touchdown...for the wrong team. On national TV.
Naturally, he was devastated and felt an immense amount of shame.
At halftime, he thought, “if you make a mistake, you got to make it right. I realized I had a choice. I could sit in my misery or I could do something about it.”
He ended up playing some of the best football in his life in the second half and helped his team win the game.
Beyond this, he chose to heighten his concentration during games in response to this mistake.
Instead of letting this massive faux pas define him, he used it to become a better player, and more importantly in his eyes, a better person.

This phenomenon has played out in the lab as well as real life. In a study by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, a group of students were given a challenging IQ test. Regardless of the results, both groups were praised.

Group A-Praised on ability

"Wow you got it right! That's really good. You must be very smart."  

Group B-Praised on effort

"Wow you got it right! That's really good. You must have worked hard."

Feeling equally confident, both groups then took a more challenging IQ test.

Group A no longer felt "smart."

Telling Group A "you must be very smart" promoted a fixed mindset because their success was attributed to their intelligence.

Group B enjoyed the challenge and performed better.

Telling Group B their success was attributed to their effort promoted a growth mindset.

What's more surprising...

40% of Group A inflated their scores when telling their peers about their experience.

In the fixed mindset, imperfections are shameful — especially if you’re talented — so they lied them away. What’s so alarming is that we took ordinary children and made them into liars, simply by telling them they were smart.
-Carol Dweck

In summary, our own mindset can hinder or drive us toward success. Small things can easily influence our mindset in any given moment. However, with practice, we can develop the ability to intentionally foster a growth mindset.

Fixed Mindset Beliefs

Challenges are bad. Failure = 💩

Born with set skills

Feedback hurts

Others' success = Threatening

Growth Mindset Beliefs

Challenges are good. Failure = 🚀

Develop new skills daily

Feedback is helpful

Others' success = Inspiring