One of the keynote speakers at the conference I attended recently was Eduardo Briceño, who founded Mindset Works together with Carol Dweck, PhD. One anecdote I found fascinating related to his experience with Cirque du Soleil. As you know, Cirque du Soleil dazzles audiences around the world with flawless performances. How is it that the artists practice to become this way? They simply consistently work on the next level. When they practice, they are in the learning zone and when they perform, they are in the performance zone. When the goal is to improve, you need to be in the learning zone which means you are actually trying to make mistakes. The performance zone is what you have already mastered and it gets stagnant if you stay in it. It does not allow you to advance or ameliorate your skills. This means that working hard is irrelevant if you are in the wrong zone.
In which zone are you?
Is your goal to look smart? Or to learn and improve?
Do you want to stay comfortable? Or are you bored if you’re not challenged?
Do you view effort negatively or positively?
Do you avoid challenges or seek them?
What is your response to a setback? Do you feel helpless or resilient?
How do you view others’ success? As threats or as lessons and inspiration?
Do you then engage in conflict or in dialogue and discussion?
To get out of the fixed mindset and stuck in the performance zone, ask yourself how regularly you do the following:
Set goals for improvement
Consult with others
Assess and reflect
Consider being wrong
Speak with others about how to learn
So not only can you improve, but do you know how to improve? Do others see you as a know-it-all or as a learner? Do you foster growth through your behavior?
Ask yourself: What did you learn today? What will you do? Who will you become?