Growth vs. Fixed Mindset: Which is Better?
Have you ever succeeded at accomplishing something that you thought was impossible? Did you visualize the outcome? Many of us can pinpoint a time in our lives when we have set our mind to a task and achieved it. Your mind plays a key role in setting the stage for the process that led to your success. The stories you tell yourself and the things you believe about yourself can either prevent change from happening or allow new ideas to blossom.
That stage is your mindset. It is a set of assumptions, methods, or notations that generates a significant incentive within you to continue to receive and accept prior actions. It encodes your interpretations of and responses to situations. Studied by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, growth versus fixed mindset research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. Your mindset can influence your reaction and response to the many opportunities and obstacles you encounter in your lifetime.
A positive, active, and achievement-driven growth mindset can translate into a world of difference regardless of the goal you seek. Some people believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a zest for learning and a resilience that is vital for boundless accomplishment.
Others believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. Those who hold a fixed mindset believe that they are either good or bad at something based on their inherent nature. They also believe that these attributes alone, without effort, create success.
Cultivate Your Growth Mindset
Cultivating a growth mindset may influence your motivation and could make you more readily open to seek opportunities to learn and grow your abilities. It can also help you focus more on your most desirable goals in life.
In 2016, published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology, research revealed the most effective motivational technique for improving performance. An extensive study set out to see if one motivational method is most effective for improving performance. Over 44,000 volunteers were used to test three motivational techniques for enhancing performance:
1. Self-talk (saying to yourself, “I can do better”)
2. Imagery (imagining yourself doing something better)
3. If-then planning (for example, “If I start to doubt myself, then I will remind myself that I have the skills!”)
All three techniques improved performance, but the most effective one was self-talk. Thinking and saying to oneself, “I can do better next time,” increased the intensity of effort people put into an activity.
You can change your brain’s patterns once you start to consistently feed your mind with new empowering messages. Pay attention to your self-talk and consider making changes if necessary. This is the “can-do” talk that may positively affect you if you open yourself up to it.
- Make a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound life-list of everything you want to achieve. Limit yourself to just five.
- Set small goals each day and week to achieve them. There is a power to breaking things down and working towards them little by little vs. getting overcome by the idea of the completed goal you want.
- Realize that it is possible instead of telling yourself why it is not.
- Become aware of your self-talk. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Use the skills you already have. Focus on your strengths, build upon them and improve with time.
- See failure as a setup for a comeback.
- Keep moving even if you make baby actionable steps.
Changing your mindset about your ability in a particular skill may mean mastering it through disciplined practice. But anything that requires change may take some time to develop. It takes conscious effort to transform and have a positive mindset geared towards success.