People approach any task with one of two mindsets: what I call the “Be-Good” mindset, where your focus is on proving that you have a lot of ability and already know what you’re doing, and the “Get-Better” mindset, where your focus is on developing ability. You can think of it as the difference between wanting to prove that you are smart, and wanting to get smarter.
The problem with the Be-Good mindset is that it tends to cause problems when we are faced with something unfamiliar or difficult. The Get-Better mindset, on the other hand, is practically bullet-proof. When we think about what we are doing in terms of learning and mastering, accepting that we may make some mistakes along the way, we stay motivated despite the setbacks that might occur.
- Why You Should Give Yourself Permission to Screw Up
The quote is from the written piece, but in the video, she cites data that shows that Get Better people tend to persist and this tends to lead to better performance. They also tend to take action when things are going poorly whereas Be Good folks tend to mope. In her words, “because [Get Better people] thought the point was to improve, they found a way to improve.” The one-line take away is to always compare yourself to your own past performance, not to other people. At all. Even though the entire world wants to evaluate you. That’s not to say that performance markers don’t matter in real life, but her point is that if you focus too much on them, you actually perform worse, so it is self-defeating.
I’m starting to like 99u more and more. They are trying to be TED for creatives. Sure, 80% of what they publish is fluff, but occasionally, something really helpful pops up. Maybe this is only because I am speaking from the perspective of a former raging perfectionist…