Fixed vs Growth Mindset: What’s All the Fuss?

Girl moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

We hear a lot these days about “Fixed” and “Growth” mindsets, but what do they really mean and does it help us to know the difference or is it just the “phrase of the season”?

Short Answer: Yes.  If you begin to understand why you think the way that you do and make a conscientious effort to adjust the way you think about yourself and your capabilities, then it can be ABSOLUTELY LIFE CHANGING.

Those that have a Growth Mindset don’t see challenges in their life as setbacks but as opportunities to learn and grow.  Common thinking among this group includes:

      • “I will find a positive in every situation and am willing to take risks to get where I want to be”

      • “This approach isn’t working so I will change my strategy”

      • “I currently don’t have the skills to do “x” but will learn how

    Those with a Fixed Mindset see challenge as something to avoid.  They believe they were born or destined to have a particular amount or type of intelligence.  If they feel that they aren’t naturally “good” at something, they aren’t going to bother trying  because they believe it would be futile to attempt to develop those skills.  Some common excuses that this group will give for not challenging themselves include:

        • “This work is boring and a waste of time”

        • “It’s fine the way it is, there is nothing to change”

        • “Other people were born smart, – it’s easy for them but not for me”

      This fixed way of thinking is flawed for many reasons.  We have educational, societal and familial influences that impact how we view and value ourselves and the work that we do.

      For example, our society puts a lot of emphasis on test taking and natural abilities, however; it discounts the fact that many intelligent people are not good test takers or weren’t born with an obvious talent but through hard work and determination, they are able to achieve their goals.  And by the way…a talent can be things like being an empathetic listener, being a leader and bringing people together, etc. Don’t ever say YOU don’t have a talent.  We all have talents and not only are they worthy of recognition but we have a responsibility to ourselves and the world to share those talents.

      When we let all of the self-doubt creep in, that’s when we stop believing in ourselves and become “fixed” or stagnant.  As mentioned previously, society and family also influence how we think about ourselves and our capabilities.  We are used to seeing people on social media that seem to have it better than we do and we wallow in the “non-fact” that we can’t have their life style. Maybe our families have low expectations of what we can achieve based on the behavior of other family members or on our own past destructive behavior.  Let’s remember that everything we see, read and hear may not be real and regardless of what others think about us or how we currently feel about ourselves, we can always choose another path.

      Don’t let fear or the naysayers detract you and don’t count yourself out of the race too quickly.  If you want something, FIND A WAY TO GET IT.

      Remember, life is about the JOURNEY and there is an opportunity to learn at every corner.  

      Let’s walk the path together and get you on the road to a healthier mindset!

      In no time, you will not only be maneuvering through all of the doubt and lemons that are being thrown your way but you will learn to embrace them. 

      Take the first step on the path to a healthier mindset

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