An incident: “you accidentally drop your heavy grocery bag on the road. The first — fixed and default — thought might be, I’m so clumsy! and it’s so embarrassing”.
But people who become more conscious of their own default reaction and want to change it for good can push themselves to adopt a growth mindset by thinking, “Oh well, these things just happen. I’ll be more careful next time.”
Socrates knew that our mindset determines our experience of the world and he recognized that men would carry their habitual attitudes, perceptions and ways of interacting with them. It was the way they processed information and biases in their thinking that were likely to dictate the quality of their lives just as much as the nature of their surroundings.
The People with a fixed mindset believe they are born naturally gifted at doing some things but utterly incapable of others, whereas people with a growth mindset believe they can become virtuoso of anything if they try hard enough.
So the people in the latter group continue growing throughout their lives, acquiring new skills without self limiting thoughts and actively invest in their relationships. For them, life in all its facets is in a continuous state of growth.
By contrast, people with a fixed mindset often let their polarized way of thinking obstruct their development. If they fail at something, they bury their heads in the sand or blame others. They hope for everlasting love in their relationships rather than working on the relationships themselves.
Our mindset shapes whether we believe we can learn, change, and grow — or not.
It is pertinent to first understand that our fixed mindset is a product of a long conditioning. As a result, over the years, it becomes something of an emotional support.
Since it successfully protects us from failure, creates an acceptable image for us, and boosts our self-confidence, getting rid of it can be extremely discomforting.
Aaron T Beck proposed that early experiences and key life events create mindsets that dispose some people towards addictive behaviors.
For example, if your father was always in the habit of pouring himself a large whiskey after getting in from work, you might have absorbed the belief that ‘regularly drinking alcohol is normal and good way to relax’.
People with a growth mindset relish any opportunity to learn tricks from the crème de la crème in a field. They reconsider and discard strategies used in the past, and are always thinking about how they can eradicate their faults and weaknesses.
In their relationships, they encourage their partners to continue learning and working on themselves. When they play sports, they play knowing they are serving the team. When they run a business, they show their employees respect, are grateful for their work, and ask for their honest opinions on things, however inconvenient the truth may be.
People with a growth mindset welcome problems and see them as challenges, not insurmountable obstacles. They willingly put their energy into bettering themselves and the world around them.
Growth and development are possible in the growth mindset.
Even basketball hall-of-famer Michael Jordan had periods in his career when he did not dunk every ball he touched. He fluffed a good 26 potentially winning shots. However, rather than sticking his head in the sand, he practiced the shots he missed over and over again. By the end of his career, he had the best shooting techniques of anybody on the court.
Michael Jordan obviously had a growth mindset. Rather than finding fault in his teammates or the court’s floor, he looked for ways to improve his own skills and game.
He analyzed his mistakes, practiced even harder than before, and took advice from other people. He firmly believed that he could transform his defeats into victories — as long as he tried hard enough.
The fixed mindset sees failures as disasters; the growth mindset sees them as opportunities.
What factors determine whether a person has a growth or a fixed mindset? What factors determine whether a person realizes his potential or spends his life treading water?
Mindset development begins at birth. Babies come into the world with a growth mindset: they want to learn and grow as much as possible each day.
The adults in a child’s environment — usually his or her parents — play a huge role in determining whether the child maintains this desire to grow or eventually adopts a fixed mindset.
Simply put, parents set a mindset example for their children. Parents with a growth mindset encourage their children and urge them to continue learning, whereas those with a fixed mindset are always judging their children, telling them what is right or wrong, good or bad.
Babies aged between one and three already behave accordingly: growth-mindset babies will try to help another baby who is crying; fixed-mindset babies, by contrast, are annoyed by it.
Teachers are also very important role models and influence children’s mindsets. There are many teachers who believe that a student’s performance is unchangeable — that good students will continue to do well and weaker students will always get Cs or Ds. Weaker students will develop a fixed mindset as a result.
But good teachers — those who firmly believe their students are capable of learning anything — handle the situation differently. They show their students different ways of solving math problems or understanding economics. Their weaker students embrace a growth mindset and start getting better grades: they are no longer doomed to thinking of themselves as “dumb” by nature.
Therefore, make sure to challenge yourself and push the boundaries of your comfort zone, ’cause challenges give people with a growth mindset the opportunity to pursue purpose-filled actions. The more dejected they are, the more energy they put into fighting against – and rewriting – their fate. They strive to make the impossible possible.
I am sharing this amazing animated video to drive home the point.