How you deal with failure determines your success

How you deal with failure determines your success

Our mindset to failure determines how successful we are.  If we think our identity is our abilities we tend get upset when we can’t do something. If we think this is due to a lack of ability (innate talents aren’t good enough) and not effort we tend to give up – this is called a fixed mindset. If we think a challenge is a matter of effort, then we tend to see failure as needing more effort and/or a different approach to learn – a Growth mindset.  With a Growth mindset, failure is regarded as an opportunity to learn, not a sign that we lack the ability to do something.  This leads to feelings of empowerment and persistence that leads to improvement.  The notion of a Growth mindset started in Education with Carol Dweck leading the major work.  This notion is now key in Sport, at all levels and is now becoming part of the Corporate world.  Dweck has written numerous books and articles on the topic.  The book ‘Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice’ by Matthew Syed outlines why the idea of talent (innate ability) is largely a myth and experiences are the basis for learning and becoming an expert in a field.  Here are a couple of infographics to help with understanding: one compares a Growth Mindset to a Fixed Mindset and the other has Coaching questions that promote a Growth Mindset.  We added the latter so parents can use adapt these questions to guide their discussion with their children about their sporting experience (and many other learning experiences).

Lastly, here is a video of some people who have developed extraordinary talents through a Growth Mindset.