Growth vs Fixed Mindset: How to Achieve More?

People on top must have something that helped them in their climb, pushed them up. What can it be? An inborn talent, some special abilities that redounded to their success, exceptional diligence, skills at working out strategies, finding relevant inspiration and tutoring? It may be any of the above or all of the above. The main thing is what to believe in – what to invest in. Your beliefs will lead to strengthening of the traits and advantageous points, and it could result in achieving success. Therefore, the interpretation you put on your abilities sets both the goals and the limits. And it could be altered if your mind is not fixed. How to fix a fixed mindset and develop a growth mindset?

People are apt to believe that they have only their congenital gifts and strong points – although neurologists say different. So many things are dependent on the frames of people’s minds. When Stanford University researchers got busy on mindframes, they came up with the idea that they can be either fixed or intent on growth. Both categories of people, naturally, have different notions about their intellects and what they could do with them.

A fixed mindset: those having this particular mind tend to consider their intellects as given fixtures; however much intelligence they possess, they don’t think they could develop it way further. They try to appear clever in all situations and dislike coming across as dull-witted.

A growth mindset: with this kind of mind people are bent on self-development and make an effort to hone their talents and mental abilities.

Individuals endowed with a growth mindset take it that when they don’t know anything or turn out to be unable to cope with a situation, it is a passing phase and they can always improve on it. Consequently they are not worried by their failures and don’t think they should cover them up.

They follow the “start with why” rule of the motivational and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek: be the dumbest person in the room and ask „why“ in order to constantly learn and develop. Here’s his video:

What Is a Growth Mindset?

Owners of a growth mindset believe that they can significantly improve their intellect and abilities by putting in sustained mental effort and enjoying quality teaching.

This kind of mindset looks on flaws and failures as accidental and temporary – a condition that can be changed; it provides enough motivation, cognitive abilities, and staying power.

People embracing a growth mindset can be characterized by the following traits:

  • tendency to go on learning all the time
  • conviction that intelligence allows unbounded improvement
  • willingness to invest time and effort in learning
  • expecting to achieve mastery through effort
  • failures are regarded as initial setbacks to be eliminated later
  • feedback is looked upon as useful information
  • eagerness to face challenges because they mean development
  • other peoples’ successes provide motivation and inspiration
  • asking for and learning from feedback

What is a Fixed Mindset?

Individuals functioning with a fixed mindset stick to the conviction that their mentality is not subject to change, however hard one may try. They are characterized by:

  • the notion that abilities and intellect are static
  • eluding challenges because they mean almost certain failure
  • feedback is unwelcome and habitually ignored
  • other people’s successes are considered a threat to their reputation/position
  • concealing flaws to avoid being upbraided or rebuked
  • not believing in making additional effort
  • taking feedback as only intended to criticize
  • tendency to give up once they have failed

How to Develop a Growth Mindset?

This kind of mindset can be gained and developed by following a certain series of steps:

Determine your current position

Growth or fixed? This is what you should do first: determine your present state of mind. See from whence you are going to evolve.

List your reasons for wanting to activate a growth mindset

What it is that you find advantageous in possessing a growth mindset? What changes and qualities do you expect to gain? What would you use it for? If you have answers to these questions pat, you will find it easier to pass through the stages on the way to acquiring your desired frame of mind.

Look around for other people who already succeeded in developing this kind of mindset

Maybe in your surroundings, there is a person who has already attempted to evolve a growth mindset – they are sure to give you helpful advice.

Acknowledge what limitations you may have

There are sure to be things that will turn out to be outside your scope. To keep your goals realistic, you have to acknowledge that. You are not genetically fitted well enough for some particular activities, and they will have to be postponed till later on (or even rejected totally).
Switch on your self-awareness

Pay attention to your ways of commenting on subjects like abilities or talent. Are you in the habit of saying things like “You know I’m bad at this” or “Of course, he’s congenitally gifted”?

Instead, make yourself say something like “I have yet to learn this” or “He can really make good use of his talents.”

Speak about the necessity of learning things instead of failure

The next time you commit a blunder, fail to perform up to the mark, or fall down on your face, it isn’t a failure. Chalk it up to experience and think about what you need to learn to prevent it from happening the next time around.

Your brain possesses plasticity

It’s beneficial to know how our brain functions, so you can do some reading up on neuroplasticity. The grasp of some basic principles can take you quite far into the understanding of what is going on inside what we know as a growth mindset.

Ponder over your failures and related life’s lessons daily

We often get engaged in summing up towards the close of the day. Usually, it is our successful moments that we recall, and it works well for our morale, but sometimes our blunders also require some careful consideration.

Every one of us has our lessons to learn; although they do not make a pleasant reflection, it can be necessary to stay with them for a while for altering our strategies and straightening our ways.

Place less value on gaining other people’s approval

Winning others’ approval may be encouraging, but actually, it can take us in the wrong direction. Is it self-developing or feeling ourselves to be in the right which is our true objective? Yet they lie in different areas. Approval often means no necessity to become better and smarter. Pinning the spot where we need some learning is not so comfortable, but it helps us come to terms with our faults and mistakes and address the issues with later success in our sights.

Consider others’ success as a reason for celebrating

Feel how glorious it is when people around you succeed! Why not congratulate them, inquire what they owe their success to, celebrate! They must have had to overcome difficulties and solve problems, and how they managed it is the most important part of their achievement.

Carry yourself further with the word “yet”

A simple, but effective thinking technique is to focus on the word “yet.” You don’t just have insufficient knowledge – you don’t have it YET. You aren’t just unable to do it – you are unable YET.

Benefits of a Growth Mindset

Once you have acquired or improved, your growth mindset, you will find it enhances your incentives as well as your cognitive abilities. Understanding failure correctly mitigates anxiety, and your communication and relationships prosper as you discuss effective tactics and strategies, both professional and personal, with those around you.

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