Mindsets come from our lived experiences and how our brain interprets the experiences. When you combine your brain with your initial beliefs, a mindset is born. In her ground-breaking book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, renowned psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. introduced the idea of a true growth mindset by writing: “This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”
Your mindset is the foundation for success and determines the trajectory for not only your career but your life. If you start a new project believing that the outcome will be negative, this negative or fixed mindset will only keep you caged in and restricted.
Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset
Breaking free from a fixed mindset into a growth mindset is not easy; it takes practice and courage. Technically, a fixed mindset is not wrong or ‘bad,’ but it can be harmful when you struggle to grow and adapt to new situations.
What is a fixed mindset?
A fixed mindset is a concept that affects all parts of life. People with a fixed mindset believe everything is fixed or unchanging, including facts about themselves.
An example of a fixed mindset way of thinking is believing that you are not good at math, so you never try to complete math exercises. In your head, this is an unchanging fact.
Adverse effects of a fixed mindset
There are a lot more harmful effects of having a fixed mindset. Some examples of negatives of having a fixed mindset are:
- Lack of growth as a person
- Decrease in work opportunities
- Feeling stuck
- Shutting down when overwhelmed
What is a growth mindset?
A growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset. People with a growth mindset believe nothing is certain, and anything can change or grow. As a person, you are more likely to succeed and grow with a growth mindset since you believe that skills can be improved.
Following the math example previously, if someone were to have a growth mindset, they would practice math knowing they were not good at it yet. The key word in this example is ‘yet.’
Positive effects of a growth mindset
With so many benefits and positive effects of having a growth mindset, it would be a dishonor to yourself not to try and improve your growth mindset. Some examples of potential positive effects of a growth mindset are:
- Increase in job opportunities
- More confidence
- Excellent communication skills
- Financial success
How can a shift in mindset affect other areas of your life positively?
Your mindset does not stop only at affecting work. Instead, shifting your mindset to a more positive and productive one also affects other areas of your life. For example, when building and strengthening relationships, changing your mindset and beliefs about people can make it easier to connect with loved ones.
Positive thinking will only get you so far, but a positive growth mindset can inspire you to work hard and learn more to grow.
Tips for developing a successful mindset
The first tip we have for you is to focus on short goals. It is hard to see changes and improvements over time, but small goals with rewards can help.
Another tip for developing a successful mindset is to repeat positive words of affirmation. Surround yourself with like-minded people that have similar attitudes. You have to hear it and see it to believe it.
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