Stanford University Psychologist, Carol Dweck, introduced the idea of growth and fixed mindsets based on years of research with children and their reactions to failure. The different mindsets relate to individuals' beliefs about their learning and intelligence. Individuals who have a fixed mindset believe they are born with their abilities and are not able to change them and those with a growth mindset believe they are able to improve abilities through the process of working hard and making the effort. People with fixed mindsets avoid challenging themselves and give up easily when making mistakes. People with growth mindsets accept challenges and see failure as an opportunity for learning and improving their abilities.
Don't know what type of mindset you have? Check out this self-assessment: Test your mindset
Check out a video that explains the difference between growth and fixed mindsets:
For individuals to thrive and be resilient, one must possess a growth mindset. Therefore, if you are reading this, feeling you are stuck with a fixed mindset, the following are ways in which you can develop a growth mindset (Dweck, C. 2010):
1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset voice.
a) During challenging moments "are you sure you can do it?"
b) Setbacks: "this would have been a snap if you really had talent"
c) Criticism: "it's not my fault, it was ___ fault"
2. Recognize that you have a choice on how you respond to challenges, setbacks and criticisms.
3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.
a) Challenges: "I'm not sure i can do it now, but I think I can learn with time and effort"
b) Setback: "That is so wrong. Basketball wasn't easy for Michael Jordan but they had a passion and put in tons of effort."
c) Criticism: "If I don't take responsibility, I can't fix it."
4. Take the growth mindset action.
a) practice hearing both voices and acting on the growth