Nothing is quite as annoying a person who is constantly trying to prove themselves. Obviously there are worse things, but having to nod your way through the repetitive, self-centered stories of someone who you’re not very impressed with is its own special kind of torture. Similarly, it can be awful and intimidating to be around an impressive person , and having them barely utter a word…The silver lining is that there is meaning behind the behavior of the boring blabber mouth and the understated success.
Research shows a deep seeded pattern in the way people think. Some people view their talent and potential as “Fixed”. You’ve got the hand you’re dealt in life, you can’t improve it, and the purpose of life is to constantly shove your hand in peoples faces and occasionally maybe even try to bluff. You can guess which of the examples in the previous paragraph’s mindset was fixed. The other way of thinking is known as a growth mindset. From this perspective people can improve and view themselves as works in progress as opposed to completed products. They are determined artists, not cheesy salesman.
Can You Take a Loss?
Whether you have a “fixed” or “growth” is the difference between being a lion and a lamb in a lot of situations. One of these is when defeat rears its ugly/beautiful head. “Fixed” people see defeats as a diagnosis, like a border set around their potential for everyone to see. They loath, fear and avoid being beaten. In contrast, the person with a “growth” mentality can see defeat as a learning opportunity and chance for improvement. It’s not very difficult to guess who thrives under pressure.
Even a concept as basic as effort is warped completely by these two mentalities. While people with a “growth” mentality see trying hard as the bedrock of success and even happiness, “fixed” mentalities look at giving a complete effort like a normal person would look at someone who was selling them snake oil or magic beans, and even develop suspicion and resentment of the people who expect it of them. These people tend to have their talents peak very early in life.
It’s not difficult to see how this affects goal setting. Goal setting is not just a good
way to win trophies, it’s a road map to personal development and improvement. Whether they are successful or not, people who understand how to commit themselves to goals inevitably benefit far more from the process than they do the result. Of course, this whole process is folly if you come from the perspective that personal growth doesn’t really exist.
With all this in mind, do your best to identify the symptom of these mentalities in your daily life. Make a list of three people you admire, and for each one, think of a pivotal moment for them and how it reflected on their mindset.