Changing Your Mind: The Benefits Of A Growth Mindset

Our Mindsets Represent the Way Our Thoughts Influence Our Behaviors

I stumbled upon the concept of “mindsets” a few times during my college years. Dr. Carol Dweck, a Psychology Professor at Stanford University, developed the not-so-complex study that links our thoughts to our behaviors. Dr. Dweck describes two types of people: those with a Fixed Mindset, and those with a Growth Mindset.

Fixed Mindset

People with a Fixed Mindset believe intelligence and skills are difficult to change. They see their intelligence as something static, and they associate success with talent [not effort]. Because of that, they have a tendency to document their abilities, versus trying to develop them. Dr. Dweck studies shows that people with a Fixed Mindset frequently run from difficulty, struggle while facing challenges, and look for easy ways out. Their urgency to prove themselves often leads to an “I can’t do it” attitude.

Growth Mindset

On the other hand, people with a Growth Mindset thrive when faced with a challenge. They see talent as a starting point that can be evolved and developed. Growth Mindset people have a “how can I do better?” method of continuous improvement, where it becomes less stressful to process errors, set a correction course, & learn from them.

The Change Mindset: The Power Of “Yet”

“Are you not smart enough to solve it… or have you just not solved it yet?”

As Dr. Dweck presented with her theory, how we think impacts how we live. So, doesn’t it make sense when I tell you that our words shape our attitude as well? Let’s say you are at work and your boss asks:

Have you finished that assignment?

While “no” might be an acceptable answer, think about how the meaning changes when you say “not yet”. Yet implies the idea of continuity – validating the existence of a future where this assignment will be completed. It lays out a path into the future, right in front of you.

That is the power of Yet – the feeling there is still time.

There’s Still Time To Implement A Growth Mindset

Learning about different mindsets helps us become better people. Better at our jobs, better with our families, and better with ourselves. There are 4 simple steps that can help us implement a Growth Mindset into our lives:

1)   Mindset police! Be on the lookout for your own Fixed Mindset.

2)   Recognize the choice to change it.

3)   Set a course of action.

4)   Take action!

Difficulty & failure shouldn’t make you feel bad. You just haven’t found the right answer – yet.