What if I told you that one word had the power to change the arc of your career and your life? 

Would you believe me or chalk it up to another one of crazy Kenny’s sayings? 

Well, it does. A part of me always believed in this concept, though I didn’t always know it had an official name. 

But it does, and wow, it is powerful.

The word: yet. 

The concept: growth mindset. 

It’s a tactic, a technique if you will, that gives you a unique advantage over much of the other competitors out there because let me tell you, my friend, most people out there don’t spend their time making the most of a growth mindset. 

The growth mindset is when you accept that success is defined not by your nature but your nurture. It’s the mentality that mistakes aren’t the end of the world but are opportunities to learn and improve. This one idea will guide you toward reaching your full potential. 

Sounds a little overpromised, right? It’s not, and today, we’ll find out how to use it. 

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A Unique Advantage

If you have a growth mindset, you have an advantage. I don’t mean an advantage OVER other people.  

That’s not what I’m about. I’m about creating an advantage to you and yourself and beyond your previous conditioning, beyond previous results that you may have created or been able to accomplish in your life. 

This is about unique advantages, and I’m going to do a few posts on this. 

Today we’re talking about growth mindset. 

I recently re-read a book that I had read years and years ago by Carol Dweck, and it’s called Mindset. 

I wanted to share a few things as we kind of rock and roll here in our lives and businesses.

One of the ways that we create a unique advantage is by exploring our mindset, challenging our mindset, embracing our mindset, recreating, reconditioning, rewiring, reprogramming, all kinds of different things, right? 

Two Types Of Mindset

Dweck talks about two types of mindsets in the book, and they are fixed and growth

Some of us have a fixed mindset. 

All of us have both of these mindsets. They just show up at different times in different ways, different things like that. 

I want to set you free today in a capacity, regardless of where you are, this is simply about where you are, and wherever you are, it’s about improving from there and growing from there. 

When we think about focusing on mindset, there’s fixed and growth, and I want you to focus on, first of all, understanding the fixed mindset. 

Fixed Mindset

How does it show up? Well, people with a fixed mindset really defined success as being no mistakes. 

They don’t make mistakes. 

They focus on being smart a lot of times smarter than other people, and they really want to be right. 

And if you follow me for any period of time, you’re going to hear me talk a lot about how I want to win. 

Do you want to be right? Or do you want to win? 

I think that that’s an important thing when you want to be right. 

It’s definitely an indicator of kind of a fixed mindset showing up. 

Other ways that a fixed mindset shows up is when we’re focused on validation, if I’m doing it for the prize, if I’m doing it to validate myself, I know in my life I’ve done a lot of things over my career where I was really thinking I was doing it for one reason, but I was definitely doing it for validation.

Fixed mindset is about the score or the number. You get it, or you don’t, and some external measurement is going to tell if you have it or not. 

Think about it. 

We’re taught this from early on. 

When you were young and in school, was the focus on the act of learning in the validation of a grade?

That’s ultimately where we really kind of started with a lot of this type of stuff. 

A lot of times, we have a tendency to pre-judge our own potential and the potential of others. 

I was raised where I thought that there was a certain potential, and it was locked in.

This is what I was dealt; the cards I was dealt in a fixed mindset.

Things Fixed Mindset People Say

  • I’m just not good at math and never will be. 
  • I got a C in this, so I must never be able to be any good at it. 
  • You’re born with your talents, and that’s it. 

Want to catch and coach yourself? Click the link for more information.

Failure Isn’t A Four Letter Word

A lot of times, we crack under pressure or failure; we just can’t really handle it. 

Why should I really put in this extra effort if it is what it is? 

I’m the way that I am. It’s not going to matter if I work twice as hard because I’m not going to get any smarter, better, faster, any of those types of things. 

I want you to think about what Dweck talked about in her book. 

A lot of times, if we have a fixed mindset, we’re threatened by other people’s success. 

Now, as a leader, I’m speaking to you both to you and for you. 

But I also want you to think about your team. 

I recently did a webinar training for our following at Blue Collar Success Group and our members.

And I talked about these types of things. 

Today I just thought it was worth breaking down for you, so you can really think about how you show up. 

You know, if you are working hard to win a specific validation, a level, it’s not sustainable. You won’t always earn the prize or make the grade, and it’s not always your fault. 

A lot of times people with a fixed mindset get early success, but it’s really hard to maintain or even breakthrough to the next level. 

I feel very gifted that I wasn’t very gifted as a young person. 

I wasn’t super smart. 

Nothing was easy; I had to work hard at sports. 

All those types of things I think helped me develop a growth mindset, and a growth mindset can be a unique advantage when you embrace it. 

Growth Mindset

What does a growth mindset mean? It’s where you believe you can and will improve with effort. 

Is it the belief that you can master anything or that there’s no such thing as talent? No way. 

This is where I’m really defining success as growing and improving, not fixing a certain goal event, a certain specific thing that takes place, but just the overall growth aspect. 

That’s where I’m going to be focused on learning much more than a specific result, 

I’m going to seek out challenges. 

I love to find challenges because I know I need challenges to grow. 

You’re going to want to really step into constant and never-ending improvement. 

As I live my life by the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, where you’re just constantly and always getting better. 

When you have failures or setbacks, you can see them as a platform and an opportunity to grow and step forward into another level of greatness. 

When you have a growth mindset, a growth mindset accepts effort as the key to success. 

We’re on the other side of the spectrum most of the time, sadly. 

Why should I really put in the extra effort if I don’t make the grade or hit the numbers?

If I’m coming from a place of growth mindset, I’m going, 

Oh yeah, baby. I know it’s going to be work. It might be a grind. It’s going to take some time, but it’ll happen. 

My Current Growth Mindset

Take what I’m doing here at KennyChapman.com. I’m putting together podcasts, blogs, and books for you to help you reach your greatness. 

Am I at the level I want to be yet?

No, but I know I can get there if I keep working and growing.

I grow each and every week when I get together with you and sit down here together. 

Every podcast episode, every post, it’s an opportunity to grow and hopefully for you to grow as well. 

I’m not threatened by others’ success. I don’t want to crush the competition.

I can’t control my competition. You know, I may end up being beat by them, and if I have a fixed mindset, that means I’m a failure. 

You want to be better, but do you want to be better than other people for your own validation?

Or do you want to be better than your previous self? 

I believe that the only major competition we have is the competition with our past self. 

Today, I really just want you to think about that. 

How are you showing up and “competing with your previous self?” 

I know every day when Kenny Chapman pulls his head off the pillow and gets out of bed, the only person I’m competing with is who I was yesterday. 

Growth Mindset As A Unique Advantage

It’s important we start thinking about what’s a unique advantage. 

I want you to just take a moment and think about your own unique advantages. 

You have many unique advantages: the way that you were born, the things that you’re really good at, and other such things.

My late really dear friend, Sean Stephenson, was born in a wheelchair and often called by many, including myself, the three-foot giant. 

He was never able to walk a day in his life. 

He had a bone disorder from birth, and he called his body his taxi cab. 

It was just his vehicle for this life. 

And now he’s left this life, and he’s in a better place. 

He’s not in pain every day like he was physically while he was on this planet.

But Sean taught me so very much about having a growth mindset because here was a gentleman that had every reason in the world to be off at the world and mad at God for dealing him these cards. 

Rather he took an opportunity to use it as a platform to execute his mission at the highest level, to rid the world of insecurity. 

While Sean may not have accomplished ridding the world of all insecurity, he certainly helped rid many, many people of many, many insecurities, myself included. 

For that, I’m forever grateful. 

3 Ways To Embrace Growth Mindset

As we wrap up our time here today, I want you to just think about three ways to step back when you catch yourself with that fixed mindset.

It takes intentional work to get to the growth mindset and stay there. Here’s how I like to do it. 

#1 Tell yourself a different story. 

Your life is a reflection of the stories you’ve told yourself to this point. 

Your level of joy, your happiness, and your fulfillment are simply based on a story. 

Many people in my buddy Sean Stephenson’s situation would have told them the story that their life is going to suck forever. 

They won’t be able to find a mate. 

They won’t be able to create a difference in the world. 

Sean knew the truth. 

He knew the secrets to the right mindset, the growth mindset.

Instead, Sean had a great wife and a great life and wrote books. 

He spoke on major stages, shared the stage with Tony Robbins, and all kinds of really cool stuff because he told himself a different story with the growth mindset. 

Read more on how to manage the pain of change.

#2 Set Goals Around Learning

The second thing is when you set goals, set them around learning. 

We’re taught to set goals based on an end result, right? I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that. 

New Year’s resolutions almost always fail because they’re based on end results and not the process. 

I want to lose x pounds. 

Not so good. 

I want to be healthier by eating more greens and exercising more often. 

Much better. 

When you set goals around learning, you envelop a growth mindset. 

#3 Capitalizing On Failure

Third, the thing I want you to think about with a growth mindset is capitalizing on failure.

The world calls it failure. I call it a result. 

There’s no such thing as failure. There are only results. 

I believe you are either winning or learning. 

If you’re learning all the time, then you’re winning all the time. 

Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset 

I know some people find it helpful to look at things in table form for direct comparison, but here are some situations and how your mindset affects your attitude, actions, and growth. 

SituationFixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
You fail a math test.I must not be good at math. I’ll never get better. That didn’t go so well. I’ll develop some better studying habits and ask for help next time. 
Your company doesn’t make the profit growth you wanted. Our company structure is messed and beyond fixing. Why bother?Let’s learn from why we didn’t meet our goals and come up with a better plan. 
Your competitor lands a big client over you. We suck at getting new work, and we always will. This hurt, but I’ll look at what went right or wrong and redirect our course. 
You got a bad review online for your service. Our business is doomed. I can’t control what other people do or say, but I can work to provide the best service I can so it won’t happen again. 

Final Thoughts

You have a unique advantage in your life, and you can seize those advantages with a growth mindset. 

You can and will improve your ability to do things, live a purposeful life, and step into your greatness. 

Tell yourself a story of success; don’t buy into giving up. 

Set goals around learning rather than an arbitrary result that may be out of your control. 

Don’t beat yourself up over failure; capitalize on failure by learning from it. 

Until next time, make it a better-than-fantastic day!

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