Perhaps you’ve heard of the book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck. I have a link to it here. I highly recommend it to my clients and here’s why: The author suggests that you will have a far greater chance of success in life, in work, in relationships, and in achieving your goals if you foster a “growth” mindset instead of a fixed mindset.
So what does it mean to have a fixed versus a growth mindset and why does it matter?
Fixed mindsets are centered on the belief that one’s traits are “fixed,” and that innate talent alone fosters your abilities and success. Stated differently, if you have a fixed mindset, you see yourself as being unable to change, grow, or develop significantly.
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Growth mindsets are centered on the belief that one’s talents, skills, and abilities can grow over time. Stated differently, if you have a growth mindset, you see yourself as being able to change, grow, and develop.
Why are these two mindsets so crucial? First, they contribute to how we think and learn from the challenges we face on a daily basis. Those with a fixed mindset try to avoid challenges because they are concerned about failing. If failure occurs to someone with a fixed mindset, she will believe she personally is the failure and cannot change or develop differently.
On the flip side, someone with a growth mindset will view challenges as opportunities to grow, learn, and improve.
Secondly, our mindset shapes our behavior. If we believe we cannot change, we typically will not participate in activities that foster change and growth. If we think we can improve, we are more likely to persist in the face of setbacks. We believe success takes effort, and effort is part of mastering our goals. We will be open to challenges and see failure as an opportunity to learn.
It’s important to remember our most significant personal growth usually occurs when we stumble, fail, and make mistakes, not when everything is secure and running smoothly.
Another perspective to consider is whether or not you have an open versus closed mindset? This is different from a fixed versus growth mindset. A fixed/growth mindset relates to the degree to which we believe that we (and others) can grow and develop, while open/closed mindset relates to the degree to which our minds are open to new ideas and suggestions.
Having an open mindset will allow you to function at a higher level. Your openness will spur more elevated levels of thinking and creativity. Also, it will help you seek out additional information when making decisions. You will experience a higher quality of decision-making and be less likely to participate in slanted thinking. The opposite is true with a closed mindset. Those with a closed mindset are not responsive and less likely to take seriously other peoples’ ideas, thoughts, and comments.
As you move along your journey of health, weight loss, healthier habits, or toward just feeling better, please remember the significant role your mind plays in your ultimate success. Question what you’ve been doing, and view your challenges as opportunities to grow. Continue to pursue the BEST version of YOU.
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