In her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”
, Carol Dweck, Ph.D.–a professor at
Stanford University and a social psychologist– explains that there are two
different kinds of mindsets: a “fixed mindset” and a “growth
mindset”. One mindset leads to success, while the other leads to risk
aversion and feelings of limitation. One
of the experiments which Dweck uses in order to prove her theory is to go to
schools and give the kids an easy puzzle. Once they complete the puzzle, she
tells half of them: “You did really well, you must be very smart”. She tells
the other half: “You did very well; you must have put a lot of effort into
Then she asks all of the students what they would like to work on next: more puzzles like the one they just did, or difficult puzzles which will teach them something new. The kids who were told that they’re smart tend to want to continue doing the puzzles that are similar to the one they just did. They’re afraid that if they try the difficult puzzles, they won’t be able to solve them or it will take them a long time, and then they won’t look so smart any more.
On the other hand, most of the kids who were praised for their effort chose to do the more difficult puzzles. They saw the harder puzzles as an opportunity to grow. In addition, these kids reported having more fun solving the puzzles. They’re getting the message that the joy is in the process of learning, trying hard, and being challenged.
Kids with a fixed mindset go out into the world wanting to look smart. If you feel that your intelligence and talents are static things that live within you, then you feel like it’s something that you have to demonstrate over and over again.
Kids with a growth mindset go out into the world curious to learn. If you believe that intelligence and talents are dynamic and malleable, then you always want to be taking steps to increase your ability, even if this means taking risks and failing.
The following are 5 tips on how- to cultivate a “growth mindset”:
1. Pursue Personal Excellence: Nothing speaks more about what you believe then the actions that you take on a daily basis in your personal and professional life. Developing a habit of personal excellences enables you to establish a personal reputation of significance.
2. Fuel Your Inner-Drive: Intrinsic motivation is the innate fuel that enables you to push past limiting beliefs held by yourself and others so that you have the energy necessary to pursue your dreams and the life you want to live with greater passion. A key to maintaining the energy you need on a daily basis to pursue your goals is how well you manage your mental, emotional and physical states.
3. Recognize the value of life-long learning: How many people do you know have stopped growing their skills and knowledge and yet wonder why their life doesn’t represent more of what they want to experience? Developing the habit of life-long learning enables you to maintain the curiosity of life that you had as a child. The experiences that come from your desire to grow yourself will help you build on your success in life.
4. Be Open to Change: One of the lessons that I’ve learned as a result of my failure to embrace technology advances in the mid-90s is that the refusal to accept and embrace change prevented me from taking advantage of investment opportunities and resulted in me being behind the eight-ball playing catch up. This can be applied in any area of our lives where I dogmatic refusal to accept the way “some” things are changing prevents us from maximizing opportunities in our lives.
5. Expect Good to Happen in Your Life: Our expectations about life have a major influence on our approach towards people and experiences. Our lives follow the path of our most dominant thoughts that are attached to deeply felt emotions. You have to be able to see and feel the better you desire before you are able to maintain the deliberate determination required to achieve your goals in life.
Cultivating a “growth mindset” is much more beneficial to your success and wellbeing in life. As humans, we perform at our best when our capacity to be and do more is being stretched in empowering ways. Begin to take steps to grow yourself so that you are able to position yourself to actualize your potential and make the most of your opportunities in life.
It's Your Move~Aspire Higher