If parents and teachers know the difference between the growth and the fixed mindset, they will know which one is constructive. They can also help children achieve that mindset.
Individuals, even children, have their own perception of their skills and capabilities based on what they know so far. The difference between growth and fixed mindsets is that the former believes in growth, while the latter assumes everything is fixed.
Those who have a fixed mindset as their dominating trait might hinder their own growth. Meanwhile, those with a growth mindset might face failures at times, yet that won’t forbid them to keep going for their own benefit.
Professor Carol Dweck, the renowned psychologist who first talked about these mindsets, once said that often, how people approach life’s challenges is more important than their innate abilities when attaining success.
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
Someone with a growth mindset isn’t limited by what’s known so far about his or her current level of abilities. Instead, the person relies more on the strategies and efforts being put to gain a more desirable outcome. This is even if life isn’t perfect, where the person might fail sometimes.
One with a fixed mindset, meanwhile, believes that his or her personal abilities can’t be altered. When a mistake occurs, the person gets afraid to try again, preventing him/her from undergoing new experiences.
Such a person might feel anxious when failures happen. However, those around the individual shouldn’t judge as there might be a reason behind that mindset. Instead, others can help the person develop a better mindset.
Things You Need to Know About the Growth and Fixed Mindsets
The following are things to remember when it comes to the mindsets we’ve discussed:
Each person has both the growth and fixed mindsets
All of us have both the mindsets from time to time. If you think you often have a growth mindset, then good for you. However, you might observe that sometimes, you are resorting to a fixed mindset.
We can train our minds to have the growth mindset
Some individuals, however, don’t have the growth mindset often enough. The good news is that it is possible for us to train our minds to have a growth mindset whenever that we can.
Challenges are actually opportunities for the growth mindset
Even if we have the biggest challenges in the world, the growth mindset is still applicable to them. In fact, problems are our opportunities to use our growth mindset to level up from our current situation.
Having the growth mindset doesn’t mean we remove failures ultimately
By now, you might know this already from how we’ve described the growth mindset so far. Having a growth mindset means learning to accept failures sometimes.
It is up to us what to do with a certain failure. But your failure doesn’t imply that it is impossible to pursue your endeavor or that your abilities are limited as a person.
Techniques on How to Improve Your Growth Mindset
You can do the following to make the growth mindset your habit:
Improve your words
Many times, what we say about things affects what we believe about them.
We might say, “I am not good at this!” and end our thoughts at that. But if we say something like “I am not good at this but I can learn!”, we are opening the possibility for us to learn even if the results aren’t perfect.
Do fun activities like making a vision board
Create a vision board for your growth mindset! You can check out how in this article. The vision board is where you include a number of things in your art that reminds you about the personal growth you desire.
There are other fun activities in life that parents and kids can try to explore the growth mindset. It’s not about the results, but the effort you’ve had in trying.
Practice a skill and observe your growth vs. fixed mindset
Once in a while, you get to encounter skills you want or are required to learn. How do you normally respond when it comes to these situations?
Observe your growth vs. fixed mindset during these moments. How can you improve your thinking?
You can observe others on how they deal with growth vs. fixed mindset
Observe the people in your life. Who do you think shows a growth mindset often?
Who are the people who overcome unbelievable struggles or attain success because they like to have a growth mindset? Why?
It could be someone you know or someone you’re just familiar with. It could be a real person or a character in a book or movie. Be inspired by others’ positive qualities and actions related to growth mindset.
Lastly, remember that the growth mindset applies to different aspects of our lives: mental, spiritual, physical, social, and other aspects.