ACCA has stated in their report “Emotional Quotient in the digital age” that a Growth Mindset is a kew component of any accountant’s skillset.
I discovered the “Fixed and Growth” mindset a few years ago. It’s been a HUGE eye-opener for me, and explains a lot of the things I struggled with as a student. I see the same challenges and mindset traits in so many of my students. I want to share the concept with you and give you some stuff to think about.
I definitely have an instinctive Fixed mindset. This added challenges to my studies, and my work life, that had nothing to do with any topics, or technical knowledge! Here are some of the things I struggled with:
- Fear of ‘looking’ stupid
- An intense fear of failure
- Was afraid to ask questions, in case people thought I wasn’t ‘smart’
- I was scared that if I failed something, it would mean I “wasn’t smart”, and that it meant that I’d never be able to do it
- I felt that if I had to work SO hard ‘just’ to pass the subject, it clearly meant that I wasn’t ‘smart’… if I was smart… then surely the stuff would be easier?!
These are classic traits of a Fixed and growth mindset. I recorded a video to explain the difference between the two of them. Take 5 minutes and look at some of the challenges of a Fixed Mindset, and whether you struggle with any of these 🙂 Might add some insight into some stuff going on in your head!
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Here’s some ways that this affected me personally, during my studies and afterwards.
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The Growth Mindset and the accounting student
Many accounting students ignore this concept until after their studies. They place their technical content front and centre of their minds, thinking that they’ll work on the ‘soft skills’ later. This is a huge mistake, as a growth mindset, and most other soft skills, will effect everything you do, from studying to relationships, to work, to life in general.
I’ve written other articles on the importance of non-technical skills in the accounting profession. (Will your technical skills make you a great accountant?; Failure is a skill you need to learn ; My old fears and new thoughts) All of these fit into the Growth Mindset concept, and you can see the overlap when you read them.
These skills aren’t given to you as a magic pill the day you need them. You need to think about them and how to develop them.