One of the principles we discuss in the ‘Think Winning Thoughts’ program is the difference between a Growth and Fixed mindset as it allows the participant to decide how they’re going to proceed in life after the workshop. Because this is so vitally important I want to open this series of posts with it.
This concept has actually been made famous by Carol S. Dweck and outlined in her book ‘Mindset’ The New Psychology of Success. At its most basic, one mindset is the view of a person’s intelligence being “static” (set in stone, ingrained, established) while the other is that intelligence can be “developed” (changed, improved, expanded). Each perspective actually propels a person along a very different trajectory and possible outcome – in both life and their golf game!
WHAT YOUR SELF-TALK REALLY TELLS YOU
A fixed mindset person will avoid challenges and give up easily engaging in self-talk of “I just can’t do it”; “I knew this wouldn’t work”; “Life sucks and then I play golf and it sucks more”. The person with a growth mindset will embrace challenges and persist in the face of setbacks. Their self-talk is more along the lines of “I know I can figure this out”; “I usually find a way to make things work”; and “I’m really looking forward to seeing the improvements this will bring!”
There is a LOT of information we squeeze into a short time in a workshop which is why I encourage client’s to set up a study plan for the manual we use during it. That way a golfer can review and integrate the material at a pace which works best for them. I had noticed that students who tended to lean towards a fixed mindset felt overwhelmed at the thought of remembering everything we talked about during our time together while others were just busting to get back out to the practice range to hit more balls and put into use what they learned. I didn’t know the mindset concepts at the time (of the original program), and thus, didn’t have a way to explain to the ‘fixed’ group why they felt predisposed to defeat in the face of taking on something new. Carol’s work really all tied it together and allows me to help the “fixers” shift over to the “growers” side of thinking.
Apply this for yourself in any area of your life – how do you approach new opportunities and new tasks? Are you of the belief that there is no point for you to put any “effort” in since things don’t usually go your way? Or do you see “effort” as just part of the process in getting what you want? As you work with your golf professional to improve your swing are you feeling uncomfortable with their input as you’re interpreting it as criticism or are you open and willing to learn from what they have to say? Do you think a “bad” round is the end of the world or feedback that things were off and you get another chance next time? Becoming aware of your ‘automatic reactions’ is the key to being able to change them and thus, your golf game!