Have you have been wondering what is growth mindset and do you have one. Research by Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University has enabled us to better understand why some people seem willing to embrace challenge and others don’t. Her research spanning her whole career has looked at what stops people trying to achieve and her view is that people can have a fixed or growth mindset.
People with a growth mindset believe they have the ability to grow, change and develop and that their abilities and intelligence are not fixed, but with effort and willingness to try it is possible to achieve something they currently can’t do. They have a belief that whilst they cant do it currently, they might be able to achieve if they want to.
Fixed mind-set people are less convinced. They believe their abilities and intelligence are fixed and if they can’t do it then there is no point in trying. Indeed, they feel they will not only fail, but risk being ridiculed for their failed attempts. Better not to try than to fail.
Interestingly, Dr Dweck states that people are not just one type or the other. In fact she believes that they change depending on the situation and / or their experiences. You may have a growth mindset about sport, for example, believing that if you try a new sport you may not currently be able to do it, yet with practice it is possible you can. However, at the same time you may have a fixed mindset regarding maths and your ability to carry out mathematical calculations.
What’s more, she believes it is really easy to change your mindset to one of growth by simply listening to your inner voice – the one which makes you fixed. The one which says you can’t do it, so you shouldn’t do it. Instead, tell yourself you can. It’s possible if you try and if you put in some effort.
So stop wondering what is a growth mindset. Go on. Start growing by embracing the concept of “I can’t yet, but I’m willing to try” and see how it benefits you and your success.