Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
There is something called the Mindset theory which questions our intelligence and other similar characteristics. Where do our traits come from? Can they change? These are the questions the mindset theory seeks to answer.
Where does it all stem from? Mindset theory tries to classify the differences in people based on their level of intelligence and other similar traits. Are our intelligence innate (fixed) or do they change over time (growth)? This is the debacle surrounding many men’s mindsets. You’ve thought about it too, haven’t you?
At some point in your life, people have told you to open up your mind. This is because such people believe you’re too closed-minded about certain issues, which is true most of the time. Our argument here supports the growth mindset because our mindsets evolve as we age in life. But before we dive into fixed vs. growth mindset, we need to establish what constitutes a mindset in the first place.
What is a Mindset?
We need to know what a mindset is and establish a foundation that sets apart the different mindsets in existence.
Under decision theory, a mindset is a set of assumptions, notations or methods held by a person or a collective group of people. A mindset is believed to arise from a person’s view of the world and philosophy of life.
The mindset theory was propounded by Carol S. Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist who classifies mindset into two general views:
- The first view being those who believe success comes from the innate ability (Fixed Mindset)
- The second view being those who believe success hinges on learning, training and hard work. (Growth Mindset)
What Mindset Do You Have?
Well, that depends on how you view success and life in general. Your mindset depends on your perspective of things like your talents and qualities. A mindset is not something to be overlooked. It is largely responsible for setting the limits of perceived success. In the long run, your mindset will be critical to your level of happiness in life.
As a result, you’ll need to consider both types of mindset before understanding which one you belong to.
Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
As aforementioned, Carol S. Dweck made groundbreaking research on implicit theories of intelligence. It was her studies that made it possible to identify how individuals perceived success. In a world where many are afraid of failure, her mindset theory really made a difference in social psychology. After releasing her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck makes us understand the two types of mindset available to every human being on the Earth. And it all comes down to a fixed vs. growth mindset.
Although there is a lot of debate surrounding the constitution of a fixed mindset, there are still some factors that make it what it is. A fixed mindset, should you have one, means you strongly believe that your abilities are inherently fixed. As a result, you tend to believe that your qualities are engraved in time; your traits are unchanging.
Don’t be fooled, a fixed mindset is a pretty negative frame of mind. For instance, you choose to believe that you can only be as intelligent as you were destined to be; that you were born with limited mental capacity. This is really primitive thinking; people with this type of mindset find it difficult to improve their intelligence.
Having a fixed mindset means you waste much-needed energy on reassuring yourself again and again. Think about it; believing that you have a certain amount of intelligence, talent, moral character or success, means you’ll constantly have to prove to yourself that you have these traits in abundance. In order words, you’ll forever be in conflict with yourself. Eventually, you’ll lose the bigger picture of life.
A fixed mindset left unattended will lead to a failure mindset. Feeling like you can’t improve on your talent, skills and intelligence will only make you cringe in the face of life’s challenges.
The favored mindset and with good reason, the growth mindset is a perspective that lets you see your current levels of skill, talent, intelligence and success as a starting point for growth. A growth mindset gives you an open mind on things, as you see expansive capabilities in your own abilities.
A growth mindset is a positive mindset. Your mind is constantly geared towards self-improvement and development. This mindset is founded on the strong belief that your qualities are forever cultivable provided you dedicate time and energy to improving them. With time, a growth mindset gets you smarter and more talented. You start to see success as something relative to your qualities and talents; something you can reach for and achieve if you put enough effort into it.
Because a growth mindset encourages constant self-improvement, it enables you to learn better and put in more work which makes you more intelligent. Everything in life from business, education, relationships, sports, etc., can benefit greatly from a growth mindset. You are always full of confidence and never short of motivation.
How Mindset Determines Your Success
It’s a no brainer that a growth mindset can make you more successful in life. Why, because as a positive frame of mind, a growth mindset drives you to achieve bigger and better things. On the other hand, having a fixed mindset only puts you in a limited frame of mind. You may find yourself becoming mentally stagnant as you lack the motivation to achieve more than you actually can.
The words of Carol Dweck explain it all. On a fixed mindset, she says “students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents are just fixed traits… their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.”
On a growth mindset, she says, “students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence… they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”
A growth mindset is practically what everyone needs to feel confident in their potential and be successful.
Mindset revolves around how you see the world around you. If you have a growth mindset, you can face life’s challenges with motivation. There are no limits to what you can achieve. In a complex world and the debate of fixed vs. growth mindset we all have a little bit of both. But if you have mostly a fixed mindset, now is the time to make the switch to a growth mindset. You deserve to be happier in life.
Check out our previous Wellness article here.
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