FIXED MINDSET : believing basic attributes, like intelligence and talent, are innate and set in stone.
GROWTH MINDSET : understand basic abilities as malleable, and believe they can be developed over time.
People with a “fixed” mindset usually avoid difficult tasks, fearing that failure might expose a lack in ability. Meanwhile, people with a “growth” mindset love new challenges and often view setbacks as opportunities to learn.
People with a “growth” mindset display better self-esteem, more resilience, and enjoyed better outcomes in life.
How to change your mindset !
Mindsets are just beliefs that we hold about ourselves—and thoughts can change. Here are three steps to encourage a change in mindset:
1. Observe your mindset.
You can’t begin to change a “fixed” mindset until you recognize it. Notice if you rush to conclusions about fundamental abilities.
Do you tell yourself that you’re no good at a particular task, so there’s no point attempting it? Do you believe that success in certain kinds of activities—whether it’s in music, sports, or creative fields—are reserved for people who are naturally gifted? Do you worry that if you try your hardest and fail at something, you’ll be exposed as “no good”?
2. Challenge your beliefs.
Now that you’ve begun to recognise the symptoms of a “fixed” mindset, you can begin to cultivate a “growth” mindset instead. If a task doesn’t come easily, remind yourself that it isn’t a reflection of your inherent worth, but instead an opportunity to learn and improve.
3. Build a “growth” muscle.
Neuroscientists have found a circuit in the brain that governs persistence in the face of difficulty. When there’s a lack of immediate reward, it switches on, effectively telling us: “Don’t give up! There’s a reward (in the form of dopamine) on the way!” For some, this circuit hardly functions at all, so challenges arise, they can be more likely to give up.
Look for these opportunities to practice perseverance and learn from mistakes. Over time, a “growth” mindset can become an unconscious response.
Info via @headspace and headspace.com.au