Growth Mindset – How can one cultivate such a mindset?
If you’ve ever wondered what separates a successful person from the rest, chances are that you’ve come across this word – “growth mindset”. A growth mindset, as evidence shows, is one vital ingredient for any significant achievement. Let’s dive straight into what a growth mindset is.
- What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset refers to the belief that talents, skills and abilities can be developed with perseverance. All one needs is a good mix between determination, good strategies and a willingness to course-correct if necessary. As Carol Dweck – the pioneer researching in this domain, puts it – “They (people with a growth mindset) tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (people who believe that their abilities are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart, and they put more energy into learning.”
- Why is it essential for everyone? Especially Students?
The immediate question might be – “Why is it important for me? I am doing all right.” Well, that’s exactly what we want to address. Ask yourself the question, “How can I be/do better?”
By asking this question, you’ve taken your first step. If you are not yet convinced, here’s a list of other benefits.
- Improved motivation
- Higher productivity
- Accept / Seek new challenges (perceive challenges as growth opportunities)
- Greater creativity
- Higher self-esteem
I could’ve listed a dozen more, however, you get the point – developing a growth mindset is important and can smoothen your path to improvement. It helps you enjoy doing the hard work that is required sometimes. It lets you enjoy work (not make it hard :’).
- How can one cultivate such a mindset?
Let’s start with a simple change. Start rephrasing your sentences as such –
- As mentioned earlier, look at difficult tasks as opportunities for growth. This change in perspective can lead to wonders.
- Reflect on your shortcomings and improve upon them the next time.
The idea is to start simple. However, it’s up to you to make this you’re new normal. As always, I encourage you to experiment with these simple action plans and revise them to suit your needs.
- Is there a simple action plan to follow?
- The False Growth Mindset.
However, I should point out that there is always a pitfall of the so-called ‘False Growth mindset’. The feeling of ‘I already have a growth mindset’, or mistaking other positive qualities one possesses for a growth mindset, is a common one. It is important to note there is no perfect growth mindset. There is always a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets. It’s up to us to decide which end of the spectrum you fall on.
I want to reiterate the importance of charting your path while developing a trait. One size fits all plan is not available for such a task. However, I cannot overstate the importance of constantly reiterating the benefits of action to yourself. So, in that spirit, remember the benefits that a growth mindset presents you with. It’s also important to reinforce your growth mindset with practical goals and plans. As we become susceptible to giving up if we set for ourselves unreasonable goals.
- Good books on mindsets?
If you want to read more about growth mindset, these are some good resources to start with.
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- Atomic Habits – James Clear (related to growth mindset)