The Power of the Growth Mindset

© Institute for Personal Leadership, 2015

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Neuroplasticity

Each of your habits, instincts, strengths and weaknesses is associated with a certain programming of your brain, in the form of neurons that are wired together along a certain path. 

When you choose to practice a new & improved thought or behavior, it makes certain neurons in your brain fire together along a new path.  Since these neurons haven’t fired together in the past, this takes conscious effort.  The new pattern of thought or behavior does not appear natural to you.  You are out of your comfort zone. 

When you repeatedly and consciously practice this new & improved thought or behavior, this path of neurons that have been firing together starts wiring together.  The more you practice, the more deeply you form this groove in your brain, and the more the desired pattern of thought or behavior comes naturally to you. 

You brain is now reprogrammed. 

Your comfort zone has expanded. 

You are closer to your highest potential.  

Growth Mindset

How your mindset affects your performance (© Carol Dweck)

The Science of Personal Mastery

World-class performers in any discipline never stop growing.  They continually invest in stepping up their game by:  (a) developing a deeper understanding of their domain, adding more variables to their model, and (b) building an increasingly granular set of if-then rules that drive their behavior. 

There are four distinctive actions these world-class performers take to keep growing.  Here is what we can learn from them:

  1. Chunking:  Break up the discipline you are seeking to master into small parts. 
  2. Regular Practice:  Practice the discipline, one chunk at a time.  Engage in regular practice, either in your real workplace situations, or in other situations where the same skills are required, or through role-plays or visualization.
  3. Fast Feedback:  Systematize a way to capture fast and accurate feedback.  Continually adjust your approach as you learn what works and what does not.
  4. Observing Role-Models:  Look for best-practice behavior around you.  Pay careful attention to these role-models and learn by watching them in action.  

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