When Do You Feel Smart?

According to research done by Carol Dweck and others, the answer to the question–”When do you feel smart?”– can give us direct access to our mindset. I asked myself this question recently and my response tells me I have work to do.

Ask yourself, “When do I feel smart?” and look at the table below and see which set of responses most closely match your own.

[table cols=”CREATOR MINDSET; REACTOR MINDSET” data=”When it’s really challenging, and when I give something my all.;When I do something really well;When I learn how to do something I couldn’t do before.;When I accomplish more than anyone else has been able to.;When I work on something a long time and I start to see myself get better at it.;When something is easy for me but other people can’t do it.” separator=”;” /]

Remember that with a creator’s mindset it’s not about immediate perfection. It’s about learning something over time—overcoming an obstacle and developing their skills bit by bit. People with a creator’s mindset flourish when they’re developing their talents and stretching their capabilities.

For people with a reactor’s mindset it’s not enough just to succeed; it’s not enough just to look smart or talented; its about being smart and talented right away. When do people with a reactor’s mindset thrive? When the risks are low and achievement is within easy reach. If things get too difficult and success is a long way off, they lose interest.

Wow! You’ve got to love that laser beam of an insight. I hope you haven’t read this far without asking yourself, “When do I feel smart?”

* Thanks to Carol Dweck’s research as highlighted in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.