AccordingWhat is Mindset? (Fixed vs. Growth)
Mindset is the hottest topic for anyone with goals to achieve. Are you curious to dive deeper into the world of growth mindset? In this article, we’ll cover what mindset is, the difference between fixed vs. growth mindset, and discuss how you can improve your mindset with self-awareness.
Mindset is an established set of attitudes held by someone. According to Psychology Professor Carol Dweck, mindset is either fixed or growth. Students with a fixed mindset believe their abilities, intelligence, and talents are set in stone. You’re either born with these things or your not. They place more emphasis on how others perceive them.
Students in a growth mindset realize that their talents and abilities continuously develop through effort, good teaching, and persistence. They believe placing a higher value on the willingness to learn new things, and hard work, allow anyone to succeed.
Much of Dweck’s research is in the education field, observing children’s approaches to solving difficult problems. In a growth mindset, students view complicated problems as a challenge or opportunity to rise to the occasion. In a fixed mindset, complications are impossible to solve.
In a growth mindset, even failure offers valuable lessons. The most successful people overcame monumental failures. In my post 3 Ways to Bounce Back From Failure, we look at how Steve Jobs was initially fired from Apple, before returning to become CEO.
J.K. Rowling, (the mastermind behind Harry Potter), dealt with “the implosion of a short-lived marriage, becoming a single parent, jobless, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.”
Both of these brilliant minds found outrageous success, amid challenges their mindset. We can agree that they embody what the growth mindset is all about.
Familiar Examples of a Fixed Mindset
You don’t have to go far to find examples of a fixed mindset. The coworker that’s always blaming management, peers, and company policies, and other external factors for their lack of success.
Your best friend who believes that all relationships end in cheating, so he closes himself off from the possibilities. Perhaps you had parents like my practical inlaws who warned you not to “build castles in the sky” when it comes to your ambitious goals. Those in a fixed mindset often fail to launch. When they do, a bump in the road may derail
Giving into a fixed mindset may look like a sudden loss of interest in pursuing a goal (possibly jumping to a new pursuit). In a fixed mindset, there’s always justification, (not enough time, resources, competitors are too big) for abandoning goals. One bump in the road often causes someone in a fixed mindset to bail on their pursuits. The blame often shifts to unfair rules and invisible enemies like fate and luck conspiring against them.
Why Self-Awareness is Necessary for a Growth Mindset
At the nucleus of a finely tuned growth mindset is an intimate knowledge and understanding of one’s inner workings. Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of your character, feelings, motives, desires, and more.
Your perception of yourself dramatically affects how you interact with everything in your internal and external world. Because self-awareness requires you to dig deeper and embrace constant evolution, it leads to a growth mindset.
Self-awareness conditions you to accept and navigate situations with flexibility, which is key to a growth mindset. It also equips you with the knowledge and acceptance of your strengths and weaknesses, helping you take accountability without hesitation.
A person with more self-awareness can take the same situation and create an opportunity for introspection and improvement. In my book, one of the top habits of successful self-aware people is taking responsibility for their actions.
Stumbling through a couple of crappy relationships signals that it’s time to pause and regroup. Those with high self-awareness immediately seek to uncover and remedy their crappy relationship karma. Their self-awareness empowers them to problem solve, rather than throw their hands up, (chalking their toxic relationships up to bad luck).
As you can see, consciously increasing your self-awareness also gets you into the habit of thinking fluidly, leading to a growth mindset, rather than boxing yourself into a fixed mindset with rigid thinking. How can you improve your mindset with self-awareness, and what could you accomplish?! The possibilities are limitless (if you’re open to them).
Read this for tips on how to become more self-aware. For a proactive approach to improve your mindset with self-awareness, check out hoe The Art of Positive Self-Talk is a game-changer for your personal and business goals.