Can the Way You Think Contribute to Your Success?
Often, people believe success is about what they do. But what if success is more about how you think? When it comes to your career in the insurance world, can the way you think contribute to your success? In short, yes. More and more research is showing that your mindset can set you down a path of success, specifically, a “Growth Mindset”.
What is a growth mindset? The term was first researched and developed by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Dweck is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading researchers in the fields of personality, social psychology, and developmental psychology, and a professor at both Columbia and Stanford. She explains a growth mindset as:
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
The primary thing that keeps people from a growth mindset is that they have a fixed mindset. What drives a fixed mindset is often the desire to look smart and successful. This gives way to a tendency to:
- Avoid challenges
- Give up easily due to obstacles
- Se effort as fruitless
- Ignore useful feedback
- Be threatened by others’ success
On the contrary, if you work to develop a growth mindset, you train yourself to believe that your intelligence and success can develop. This will lead to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:
- Embrace challenges
- Persist despite obstacles
- See effort as a path to mastery
- Learn from criticism
- Be inspired by others’ success
All of these tendencies of those who adapt to a growth mindset can contribute to your success as an insurance adjuster. Especially if you are new to the field and initially out of your comfort zone. Realizing that you can persist and that not knowing something “yet” means you will know it.
When you have a growth mindset, you will approach failure and mistakes as opportunities to learn from. In an interview, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, describes her unique relationship with failure.
“My dad used to ask my brother and me at the dinner table what we had failed at that week, I can remember coming home from school and saying, ‘Dad, I tried out for this and I was horrible!’ and he would high-five me and say, ‘Way to go!’ If I didn’t have something that I had failed at, he actually would be disappointed.”
This dinner table tradition allowed Blakely to see the value in failure. “My dad always encouraged me to fail, and because of this, he gave me the gift of retraining my thinking about failure,” she explained. “Failure for me became about not trying, instead of the outcome.”
That approach to failure has definitely worked out well for her.
In unprecedented and challenging times, those who can learn to pivot, to stretch themselves, to try and fail and try again and to allow their mindset to shift will find success.
As Carol Dweck says, “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.”
If this is a struggle for you, and you don’t have the belief to shape your mindset, try switching up your inner dialog and eventually you might believe what you are saying to yourself.
|Instead of saying…||Try Saying…|
|“I give up”||“I’ll use a different strategy”|
|“This is too hard”||“This may take some time”|
|“I’m not good at this”||“This is challenging for me but I know I can improve”|
|“I can’t”||“I can’t YET”|
You get the idea. If you are new to the field of insurance, or you are pursuing a promotion, approaching it with a growth mindset will be the blueprint for your success.