“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says: I'm Possible.”
I am someone who likes reading self-help books. I have read a lot of them. The reason why I enjoy reading them so much is that they motivate me, they tell me that I can do great things. The problem is, for a long time I never understood exactly how. I tried to implement all the things they talked about in the book, but alas, nothing worked.
As I continued to look for answers to my questions in self-help books, I came across this amazing book called MINDSET by Carol Dweck. After reading this book, I pretty much gained an understanding of how I could at least start to change the things that were not working for me and develop the right habits.
Here are some of the things that stopped me from being the best version of myself and how I changed my perspective towards it -
Failure- I am scared of failures. I mean, who isn’t? Failure for me feels like letting others down, including myself. What I learned from this book was that failure does not necessarily mean that you haven’t given your best. It could simply mean that you are trying and you haven’t reached there yet.
“I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement or I feel I’ve done as well as I possibly could.”
― Carol Dweck
Lesson Learnt- Failure is a part of the journey. Does it mean you need to improve? Yes. Does it mean you can never get better? No. The smart thing to do when you fail is to accept that you could have done better, evaluate whether you invest 100% effort in your work, and then analyse your areas of improvement.
Self Concept- There are times when I feel like not doing something because I am almost* certain that I would fail at it even if I give it a try. Like Maths for example. When I was in school, after a few failed attempts at understanding Maths, I almost gave up on the fact that I could never get better at it. Also, I was kind of average with other subjects so I convinced myself to focus on them instead. It would be better for others to see me succeed in English, which I am already good at than see me failing at Maths. I had almost categorised people as “good at Maths” and “bad at Maths” and I fell into the latter category. That’s what I told myself all these years.
“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”
― Carol Dweck
Lesson Learnt - You have to put in the effort to be successful at anything. Even if it is the things you are good at, to get better you have to put in more effort. To go from good to great, you need to be dedicated to your craft. It includes experiencing a lot of failures and a lot of lessons learned. But that is how you grow.
You label yourself as “bad at something” not because you can never get better at it, but it’s mostly because you want to give up on the idea of trying. It is better to try consistently if the goal matters to you. Every skill can be learned.
In the end, this is my favourite quote from the book Mindset -
“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
― Carol Dweck