Our personalities are malleable. We can reshape ourselves. We can change our beliefs and create new habits. We can even change our identities if we want to. If you’ve acted indecisively at work, you can learn to act decisively. If you’ve acted timidly during one-on-one meetings with your colleagues, you can learn to act assertively. If you’ve been awkward during networking events, you can learn to be poised.
Through her research, renowned psychologist Carol S. Dweck has found that success in any field—sports, business, your personal life—can be, “Dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.”
She found two types of people in this world: those with a “fixed mindset,” who didn’t believe their abilities were capable of changing, and those with a “growth mindset,” who believed their abilities could be developed. Guess which group found greater success? I think you know the answer. Believing you can change how you show up on your field of play is crucial to successfully improving and growing. First think that change is possible. Then believe that you can reshape those moments of impact and achieve an entirely new result.
It all starts with embracing the challenge.
Embrace the Challenge
If there’s something that separates pros from amateurs in any domain of life, it’s the willingness to welcome obstacles and embrace challenges. Pros see them as a force that will make them stronger, sharpen their skills, and make them more valuable. If I know anything it’s that your world will challenge you, and if you face it with an openness and willingness to be challenged, then you’ll find yourself developing more of the next mindset.
Be Ready for Anything
When you have a willingness to be challenged, it opens up more of your mind so you can stay ready for anything. In sports, they call it active readiness. It keeps your mind open to creatively problem solve and helps you develop agility. If competition is your thing, it’s also super intimidating to your opponents. It’s hard for any bully to deal with a foe standing in front of it who says, “I’m ready for anything you’ve got!” That’s typically not a fight they want.
Be a Creative Force
The more you embrace challenges, and stay flexible, the more you free up the mental space to be creative. You were born pretending and make believing worlds in your head that don’t exist in reality. Then the grown-ups told you to, “Stop doing that,” “Don’t act that way,” or to, “Grow up.” But I say screw that. The “grown-ups” were wrong! Use your imagination and don’t keep it hidden. It’s a powerful tool that not only brings your best thinking to life, it unleashes your hidden superpowers. You can tell during brainstorm sessions and strategy meetings who has cultivated their imagination and those who haven’t.
Challenges Can Be Found In Play Too
My wife Sarah and I talk regularly about big, important things in our lives that matter to us—dreams and goals and pursuing worthy ideals. It’s only natural that we take this stuff seriously. It’s serious because the desire to achieve gnaws at us until we take action, but nobody says this can’t also be fun.
We love sports like surfing, climbing and mountain biking because they challenge and test us. These activities bring out our playful sides as well as competitive sides. After all, who doesn’t like to win? Games are also fun, even when they challenge us. The bottom line is I suspect the more playful you are, the more successful you’ll be in life! I can promise you that you’ll certainly enjoy the journey A LOT more.
Mindset is everything, so take steps toward embracing challenge and enjoy it!