Research has shown that what makes people succeed depends not upon their abilities or the quality of instruction they receive but on their belief about their abilities; in other words, their mindset.
A “growth mindset” is a tendency to believe that you can grow. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck explains that while a “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we cannot control or change in any meaningful way, a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
When we believe that who we are and what we’re capable of is predetermined, limited and unchangeable (fixed mindset) we doubt our abilities which in turn undermines our resolve.
A fixed mindset can negatively impact all aspects of your life, Dweck says.
“I’ve seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves in [a learning setting], in their careers, and in their relationships. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?”
In contrast, those with a growth mindset, who believe they can learn and grow show more perseverance and remarkable results even in the face of difficulties.
“This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments, everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”
“In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.” –Carol Dweck
No one falls completely in one category over the other 100% of the time.
Most of us fall somewhere between the two depending on the situation and the first step to learning to move towards more of a growth mindset is to know that you CAN & to begin to recognize the fixed mindset patterns in action.
Fixed mindsets reveal themselves when we’re about to quit trying. Before giving in to them, question them & the thoughts behind them. When you notice them, start to question and change the thoughts that are keeping you stuck in this mindset.
10 WAYS TO DEVELOP A GROWTH MINDSET
Replace the word failing with learning
View challenges as opportunities
Stop seeking approval
Value the process over the end result
Provide regular opportunities for reflection
Make a new goal for every goal accomplished
Use the word "yet" ...as in, you can't or haven't "yet"
Emphasis growth over speed
Cultivate a sense of purpose
Acknowledge and embrace imperfections