The mindset you have, plays a critical factor, in the long-term success of any endeavor you take on. You can go one of two ways. Most people gravitate towards the fixed mindset, while the strongest performers in any industry, sport or art-form go with the growth mindset.

The difference in each train of thought affects the types of challenges you face and how you face them. The difference affects your reaction to obstacles and setbacks. It affects the effort – both smart and hard – you allow yourself to exert, physically and mentally, in the endeavor. It affects the way you deal with criticism, a key and unavoidable effort in all important matters. It affects how you see your performance and the performance of others.

The fixed mindset caps your true potential, because in this mindset, your mind unknowingly or obviously, shies your thoughts away from what’s possible. It makes you undermine the achievements of others because you think they were destined for the results (e.g., Steph Curry was born to shoot) and it makes you exaggerate the faults in yours. From two angles, you feed yourself reasons why some things can’t be done.

The growth mindset unlocks your true potential, because in this mindset, there is no known. With this train of thought, you give yourself a chance at achieving and overachieving in performance, because you know that as long as you keep learning and growing, greater things will come to fruition – either as tangible results or as meaningful lessons. In this mindset, even when you lose, you win. Therefore, you’re more motivated and likely to put in the best effort and give yourself a shot at long-term success (a combination of both short-term wins and long-term improvements).

Next Step: Read “Mindset” by Ph.D. of Psychology, Carol Dweck, whose research supports this growth vs fixed mindset debate with hard evidence and actionable insight to seeing better results whether it’s in shooting a basketball, teaching a classroom, or growing a business.