When success is in question, many people think that those of us who have high IQ will surpass the rest by a mile, and rise to positions of power and wealth. Well, new research from Stanford University has proven that we were all wrong all along.

 Two different mindsets

Psychologist Carol Dweck studied performance and attitude throughout her entire career. The results of her latest study show that the attitude you have is a better show off your potential for success than your IQ could ever be. She discovered that your attitudes, at their very core, fall into two categories – a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. These are the most responsible things for our success or failure.

When you have a fixed mindset, you have a tendency to believe that you cannot change — you are who you are, and that is it. This mindset causes problems when you are facing a challenge because if it appears to be more than you think you can handle, you feel overwhelmed and hopeless. On the other hand, when you have a growth mindset, you are convinced that whatever you do, you can improve it if you put some effort. This is how people with the growth mindset outperform those with a mindset that is fixed, even when they have a lower IQ. Growth mindset accepts and embraces obstacles while treating them as chances to learn something new.

When you think about it, it seems logical that if you are smart and aware of it, you will be confident. And it is so until the going gets tough. Therefore, the deciding factor in life is not how smart you are, but how you handle obstacles and setbacks.

Here’s how Dweck explained it

“Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.'”

The best part of this is the fact that no matter which mindset you have, you can change it. Here are some of the strategies that will help you get your growth mindset.

 You should be passionate

You might not be as talented as others. However, if you choose to do something from passion, you will succeed. Just pursue your passions relentlessly, and you will be on the right path.

 You should be flexible

Ok, you didn’t expect some problem to raise, but you need to accept it and move on. Look at it from a different perspective. Take a step back and tell yourself that if you do flex and embrace adversity, you will certainly get results.

 You should never be helpless

Sometimes, the obstacles we face can make us feel helpless, but here is the turning point. If you let them drag you down, you will achieve nothing. On the other hand, if you learn from them, you will move forward. Many successful people would have failed if they had folded when faced with challenges. Walt Disney was fired because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor for being “too emotionally invested in her stories,” Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s School of Cinematic Arts many times – and look at what they achieved!

 You should not complain

We know, things don’t go your way sometimes, but this is not a reason for you to complain. Constant complaining is a trait of those with a fixed mindset. Look for opportunities that this failure brought up and work on them instead of wasting your energy on complaints.

 Take action!

People with a growth mindset can overcome their fears not because they are braver, but because they know that anxiety and fear can be paralyzing. They also know that the best way to overcome them is to take immediate action. There is no such a thing as a perfect moment to do something, so stop waiting for it. Take action, and all the energy you spent worrying will be transferred into positive energy.

Additional advice: You should pay attention to how you daily react to small things as well as the big ones. This is how you will be able to spot your own weaknesses and work on them every day so you could put yourself in a growth mindset and be on your road to success.

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