Carol Dweck, professor of Psychology at Stanford University, states that “a growth mindset is when students understand that their abilities can be developed”. Carol Dweck and her colleagues completed research on the behavior of children to understand human motivation over 30 year ago. She coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset. Carol Dweck’s study revealed that people who understand that their intelligence can be developed were more likely to embrace challenges, persist through adversity, learn from criticism, and use the successes of others as their motivation.
Why Does It Matter?
A person’s mindset is the framework of their belief within themselves. Mindset sets the groundwork for a person’s learning and performance goals. If one does not believe that they can learn and grow their intelligence, then they are less likely to stray from their comfort zone in challenging work and life goals.
Fixed Mindsets do not like to be challenged. The abilities that a fixed mindset has today determines everything. Therefore, fixed mindsets do not believe that intelligence can be learned. A fixed mindset feels either they have it or they don’t.
Fixed mindsets do not listen and pull from criticism. Nor do they enjoy the successes of others. A fixed mindset is threatened by the success of others versus using it as motivation. Overall, a fixed mindset is focused on looking smart.
Growth mindsets seek challenges in life. They understand that their level of intelligence today can be grown, so it does not determine how they set their goals. A growth mindset perseveres through hardships and adversity.
Criticism is taken less personally and viewed from an objective perspective. Growth mindsets congratulate and enjoy the successes of others and use it for inspiration. Overall, a growth mindset is focused on learning to achieve intelligence.
First and foremost, let go of any stereotypes associated with intelligence. Studies have proven that people are at risk of becoming stereotypes when they are aware of them. Psychologically one can trick themselves into becoming that stereotype and stunt the growth of their intelligence.
Second, be aware of the types of mindsets you choose to associate with on a frequent basis. Your circle has the power to influence you. If a person does not seek challenging goals, then they will not understand your ability to do it. Therefore, may have a negative outlook on your successes. A lot of bullying and aggression stem from fixed mindsets feeling threatended by another person’s success.
Third, ask yourself the five questions below daily. It will build your awareness of self and personal development.
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