In Two Minds – A Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
Over 30 years ago, Stanford Professor Carol Dweck pioneered research that revealed the impact our minds play on our ability to develop and attain future success.
Understanding the impact that mindset has on accomplishment is crucial to success at school and the workplace. Some are able to rebound and learn from their failures, while others cannot overcome even the smallest setbacks. This realisation urged Dr. Dweck to coin the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset”.
Are you a “Fixed” or a “Growth”?
In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck explores the power of belief, both conscious and unconscious. If you mentally restrict yourself and your abilities, you will achieve far less than if you believe you can develop and improve.
A fixed mindset assumes that our skills and knowledge are innate and cannot be developed. Avoiding failure at all costs becomes a means by which school or work are approached.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, thrives on challenges and believes intelligence can be grown and that skills can be built. At SEDA, a growth mindset is encouraged by our teachers as we believe that all young learners have the power to grow and develop.
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The Growth Mindset Approach
Approaching school or work with a growth mindset means that the level and frequency of achievements are increased, self-motivation and confidence are higher, and students or workers are all round happier.
So, how can a growth mindset be developed? Here are some tips from the team at SEDA:
Make friends with failure. Embracing imperfections means that you can work toward overcoming them.
Try different learning tactics. Learning is not a one-size-fits-all approach – what works for you may not work for others. Focus your efforts on discovering how you learn best.
Be open to feedback and don’t take it as criticism; rather as an opportunity to improve. If you close yourself off to feedback, you are subconsciously communicating that you are not willing to progress.
Emphasise improvement over speed. Learning fast is not as important as understanding what you are learning.
It’s a Lifestyle
A growth mindset not only helps students achieve more at school, but it also sets them up with skills necessary for future success. This is why at SEDA, our teachers proudly encourage a growth mindset approach to empower our students to realise their full potential. We believe that learning has no limits and that every student has the potential to increase their abilities.
Students will, overall, be more positive and be able to remain cheerful even when facing adversity, which is particularly handy in the workforce.
They will also be better equipped at dealing with change, and flexibility is incredibly important for facing curveballs that life throws at us.
Being content with knowing that feedback is a means toward improving, rather than criticism, will be incredibly helpful at school and at work.
With a growth mindset, you will always be able to better yourself, which sets you up for life. Remember, you are a work in progress. Success is not about comparing yourself to others, or never knowing what it’s like to fail; rather it is being able to improve yourself every day.