Can Your Mindset Help You Succeed with ADHD?









Of course, you know I’m going to say yes. But it’s not just my opinion.

After decades of research in achievement and success, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered a groundbreaking idea: that it’s not just our abilities or talent that brings us success, but whether we approach opportunities with a fixed or growth mindset.

What’s the difference?

Let’s say a new opportunity becomes available for you and your business. How do you react?

Fixed mindset

If you approach an opportunity with a fixed mindset, your fixed mindset “voice” might say things like this to you:

“You can’t do that. Things like that never work out for you.”

“People may laugh at you if you try and fail. You’ll look foolish attempting something like that.”

“It’s safer if you don’t try. You’ll be able to protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

You simply understand and agree with what your fixed mindset voice tells you—that you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure.

We surprised ourselves

If you attended our Focus, Control, and Balance retreat last December, you know that I can’t dance. And Jacqui can’t learn to speak French.

Now, Jacqui and I are very growth and learning oriented, and we were shocked to find out how fixed we were on these subjects.

My mindset voice said:

“You cannot dance. You have two left feet. You’re too clumsy. Never mind that you tap danced on TV in third grade, you have no rhythm. You look really silly. You can’t dance.”

Jacqui’s mindset voice said:

“You cannot learn to speak French. You gave it a good try, remember? And your dyslexia gives you a good excuse. All those letters mixed up in awkward sequences, it makes you nervous and you can’t think. Even though you live in Montreal, you can avoid the French speakers. You know a few words, that’s enough. You can’t learn French.”

Our fixed mindset “voices” had told us for years what our limitations were and we stood firmly behind them! We did not argue, we just accepted.

Screen shot 2014-05-19 at 7.46.50 PMGrowth mindset

If you approach an opportunity with a growth mindset, according to Dweck, your growth mindset “voice” might say things like this to you:

“I’m not sure you can do that now, but I think you can learn with time and effort.”

“Most successful people had failures along the way.”

“If you don’t try, you automatically will fail. Where’s the dignity in that?”

Dancing and speaking French are probably not situations that will impact our businesses, unless Jacqui decides to take French-speaking clients and I want to do who-knows-what with dance. But if Jacqui and I are so quick to say “I can’t” for things so seemingly unimportant, what things could be slipping past our notice that could impact our businesses, that we might be fixed about?

How to change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset

  1. Learn to hear your mindset “voice.”
  2. Recognize that you have a choice.
  3. Talk back to a fixed mindset voice with a growth mindset voice.
  4. Take the growth mindset action.

Remember, this is worth your time to do

You can boost achievement and have more success by approaching more opportunities with a growth mindset. To read more of Dweck’s findings, get her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

How about you? What is your fixed mindset voice talking you out of?

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