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When physicians make mistakes: Fixed vs Growth Mindset

Hello guys,

I understood recently one of the problems with the mindset of my physician colleagues. Especially, the older ones. Here it is:

If you make a mistake, it means you're a bad doctor.

So, this is the fixed mindset at its worst. The consequence is that you will hide your mistakes or pretend they did not happen. So you will tend to surround yourself with people that make you feel good AKA pretend you did not make a mistake.

This is one of the reason our field is growing so slowly. Because it fosters a lot of fixed-mindset attitudes. It is conservative, yes. For some reasons it's a good thing, for some reasons it is not. This is an example.

It took me a long time to figure out the exact mindset mistake. I learned about it in an article in French. The interviewee is the head of an health institute where they observe how the system is working (or not).

Of course, this applies to all fields.

This allows me to finally introduce the idea of the false growth mindset (C. Dweck). I'll talk about it someday in a post. For now, what is important to know is that the worst mistake you can do while acquiring a growth mindset is to believe you have acquired a growth mindset (this is a fixed mindset mistake as well).

The worst mistake while becoming more humble is to believe you are humble! And so on and so forth.

The weak person is the one who is too weak to admit his own weakness.

The Journey is the Destination.

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Great thread, John!

The hurdles towards acquiring a growth mindset could make its own thread.

It's also interesting that while many self-development authors invite you to define yourself with the terms of the person you want to become, this might not work best at all times.
In the case of a growth mindset, if you tell yourself "I have it", then you won't challenge yourself -and your ego- anymore.

 

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 29, 2021, 2:01 pm

Great thread, John!

The hurdles towards acquiring a growth mindset could make its own thread.

Thanks for your appreciation :). Definitely! It's going to come out of our minds at some point.

It's also interesting that while many self-development authors invite you to define yourself with the terms of the person you want to become, this might not work best at all times.
In the case of a growth mindset, if you tell yourself "I have it", then you won't challenge yourself -and your ego- anymore.

I agree and it's a challenge. I think there is a workaround though: it's to always thrive for a better identity. I don't think we can find a better way to guide our self-development than identity. At least, I haven't found one so far. I'm open to a new idea though. So I think the identity-guided self-development is the best hack to self-development I have found so far. However, Life is such that there is always a contradiction wherever we look. There is never a "perfect way/method". So maybe it's in the "how" we use it.

Here is an example: I strive to be the greatest pediatrician (of all times) I can be. So this is not a finite identity, I will die not having achieved it. However, I strive for this identity.

I agree with you and I think we must be careful how we craft the identities we choose and the ones we're aspiring to. I think it's worth a thread.

Yes, great message, John.
That striving seems to combine the best of both worlds.

It's similar to "doing the best you can", but applied to identities.

Striving towards the best gives you the self-esteem benefits of the positive self-identity, since you're on that path, while reminding you that you must keep proving it and working at it.

I think this deserves a paragraph in "Ultimate Power".

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Definitely, Tom Bilyeu says it in these words: reward yourself for the sincere pursuit of your goal. This is the “doing your best part”.

However he also warns that we must use metrics to check our progress towards our goals. You might be doing your best: spending a lot of energy, meeting a lot of people, doing a lot of work AND not moving forward.

So I think we need both: the holistic movement towards infinity (and our death really): the striving part. And the analytical approach of measuring our progress with numbers and milestones.