I’ve recently finished reading “Mindset” by Carol Dweck and I wholeheartedly recommend it. The core of the book talks about the difference between two mindsets; Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. Guess which is preferable?
It turns out few if any of us are completely one or the other and I can certainly pick out times from my own experience when I’ve exhibited traits of both. Reflecting on these times, the occasions I’ve identified when I was in more of a growth mindset was definitely when I felt most accomplished.Or most accomplishing, to be more accurate.
One time I remember in particular was when I entered a motorcycling enduro event, basically a dirt track race where competitors had to complete as many laps of three or four miles over varying terrain as possible within a two hours. I entered more for the experience – I wasn’t anywhere near competitive with the top riders and I knew going in this was the case. Completely unprepared I managed just one lap then gave up, and even that was a major struggle. From what I recall, the top guys were doing 10-12 laps! Because I stopped before time was up, I was classed as DNF (Did Not Finish).
I could have given up but I didn’t. Instead, I analysed my performance and identified the types of terrain I’d most struggled with and with the help of a friend, I put in some serious effort in order to improve in these areas, then signed on to compete in the next event, hoping I’d at least beat my one lap from the previous attempt.
When the event was over I was completely exhausted but not only had I beaten my one lap; I’d crushed it with a further five. And this time I received a Finisher’s Medal for my efforts.