The Growth Mindset

“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”- Dr. Carol Dweck

“It’s nothing but a mindset thing” said just about almost every human being on the planet at one point in their life or the other.

And yes, we surely have all had a point in life where our mindsets played a huge role when when faced with something; a task ahead, a decision to make or even failure. In fact, everyday, our mindsets play a major role from how we feel when we wake up in the morning, to how we approach challenges, good news and bad news through out the day, to how we handle criticism; constructive or not and to how we take on life in general. There really is no better way to put the ultimate fact that the mindset you choose to adopt in life is everything…Absolutely everything. And yes, your mindset is a choice.

Your mindset is just that…Your mind, set in different ideas, beliefs about yourself, others and life as a whole. Your mindset affects your attitudes, your outlook. But in examining the two basic kinds of mindsets, what does it really mean to have a Growth Mindset and a Fixed mindset? And if by the end of reading this you find that you do not have a growth mindset, how can you develop one?

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Growth Mindset v Fixed Mindset.                                   Photo source: talenttalks.net

It’s pretty easy to look at this picture and feel “oh I’m a growth minded person so that’s reallynot an issue” But take a closer look at the picture and then give yourself an honest assessment of whether or not you really do have a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Mindset.”

So there’s this professor of psychology at Stanford University, Dr. Carol Dweck who, along with her colleagues became very interested in students’ attitudes about failure. After much study and research, they observed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks. She thereafter coined the terms “Growth Mindset” and “Fixed Mindset” basically to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.

“A growth minded person believes that they can learn anything as long as they are willing to put in enough effort into it. If they fail, they would get back up and try again, this time with new knowledge about what not to do. They realize that their potential is only limited by their willingness to work hard and keep trying new approaches until something works.”

A growth minded person takes on challenges and learns from them and increases their abilities and achievements. He or she does not see failure in its raw form and does not get discouraged or devastated by mistakes, but sees each failure as a learning opportunity or as an opportunity to be better and to do better. He/she sees failure not as an evidence of unintelligence, but as an opportunity for growth. He/she is constantly willing to improve, is positive about the future and hopeful that his/her goals would be achieved.

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Photo source:mindsetworks.com

I’m sure as most of us read this, we thought “oh that’s definitely me” but hold on, lets see what the flip side presents.

Conversely and as the name implies, a fixed minded person basically feels that character, intelligence and creative abilities are fixed and cannot be changed in any meaningful way. He/she has a “you either got it or you don’t”. People with fixed mindsets only stick to what they know. They look at people in other fields of study or professions that seem difficult and who do well and go “well, because he/she is intelligent in this particular field. That is not my field and I cannot be good in that field because I do not have the “natural intelligence” for that”.

A fixed minded person believes “you’re either smart or you’re not”. He/she is not soooo open to new challenges or tasks and does not handle criticism or failure well. He/she gets super devastated when they do not get desired results or when they suffer a setback and then dwell in it for a while, not forgetting to beat themselves up and be hard on themselves. Because of this, they tend to give up easily when they suffer a few setbacks in trying to achieve their goals and conclude “oh well, this is not for me….I can never be this or can never be that”. They then feel challenged by the success of others.

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Photo source: Brainpickings.org

So think again, which mindset do you possess?

While either of these mindsets form within us at a very early age in our lives, it is very possible to develop the other much later in life and they ultimately manifest in our personal or professional aspects of our lives.

Flowing from all of this, the important question to ask is “what mindset do I have?”. More importantly to ask is “What kind of mindset do I want to develop and get better at having?” Other questions to ask are “What mindset would I need to adopt to better achieve the goals I have set for myself in various aspects of my life?” “If I have the Growth Mindset presently, do I want to develop it and get better?

Remember that your words are very powerful, especially those you tell yourself and they ultimately determine what your attitude to life and minset would be. If you woke up this morning feeling moody and have already thought that today might not be such a great day, change your mindset….most importantly too, change your words. Speak positive words of affirmation and watch your mindset change.

“Change your words to change your mind”

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Next week, I’ll share some tips on how to not only develop a Growth Mindset, but stick by it. Meanwhile, I saw this Mindset Assessment online and took it. The results are generated immediately and the assessment statements are quite interesting. You can take the assessment here.

Remember, “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve.”

Stay positive, be happy and have a Growth Mindset today!

Featured photo source: warriormindcoach.com

3 thoughts on “The Growth Mindset

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