Throughout our education careers, we are often told about “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset”. However, many of us don’t fully understand the concept and don’t put it into practice. So, what exactly is a mindset? Your mindset is a set of core beliefs, values, and ethics that one holds. These things shape how one perceives the world - how one thinks, feels, and behaves when confronting everyday scenarios and situations.
Many people and especially students fall into a fixed mindset. Fixed mindsets form when one doesn’t believe in themselves. It happens when talent and intelligence are perceived to be the only way success can be achieved, and that one's innate traits and abilities are all-powerful - that effort comes second. Common phrases uttered by those with this mindset include: “Either I’m good at it or I’m not”, “If I don’t try, then I won’t fail”, “That position is totally out of my league”. Not only are these phrases and thoughts counterproductive, but they can seriously derail a person’s career and success if they are held for too long, ensuring that one never truly discovers their potential for success and achievement.
An alternative to this mindset is the growth mindset. This mindset is formed when one acknowledges that talents and abilities are not set in stone, and can easily be improved and molded with effort. Anyone can get smarter and more talented; so long as they try. People with this mindset aren’t preaching unrealistic expectations of success and talent, but they believe that anyone can improve themselves if they just work at it.
In truth, some people truly are more talented than others in their respective skills. However, this doesn’t mean that someone with lesser talent cannot achieve anything in life. Work and determination trumps talent; always. Those with growth mindsets start to embrace the struggle and perseverance needed. They start to view hard situations as opportunities to grow and learn. Fixed mindsets give up for fear of failure, thus never growing and improving. This can be perfectly applied to success. More opportunities equal more learning and growth. In turn, more experience and resiliency. Most importantly, growth mindsets teach one to embrace failure and to recognize that it is the only way to grow. Success comes to those who push the envelope; to those who go beyond their limits. Acquiring a positive, growing perspective can be a motivating force, allowing one to harness drive.
Mindset, more specifically a growth mindset is an all-important trait that all successful people should have. Growth and self-improvement can only be accomplished through failures and setbacks. In our ever-changing world, it is essential that people embrace growth mindsets and positive thinking, whether it is learning new skills to compete, learning crucial lessons from a test, or embracing failures as a learning experience!