Have you ever heard anyone say you are too close-minded? Or that you get offended when criticized? Chances are that you might be having a fixed mindset, or maybe some traits. Most people are. And the truth is that mindsets, as we age, tend to remain intact and mature.
Mindset is a powerful tool. It portrays the ideas, experiences, understanding, and perspective of each individual. Yet, there are two main types of mindsets, growth mindset and fixed mindset. You might not know which type of mindset you may have. A fixed mindset can hinder your growth, whereas a growth mindset can help individuals grow as a person, boost personality traits, and promote healthy living. However, individuals do not know what traits a growth mindset may have or how to develop a growth mindset.
What is a Mindset?
According to a Standford study in 2007, a mindset is a perspective of an individual towards life. It shapes their personalities, experiences, talents, qualities, beliefs, and responses. A mindset says a lot about a person and their personality and what they think is attainable and far from reach.
There is substantial evidence explaining traits of a fixed mindset and what are its primary factors all around the world. For a better understanding, a fixed mindset means that a perception, trait, quality, and experience are unchanging and remain fixed. In better words, a fixed mindset means an unchanging thought or attitude towards an activity or perception. Generally, individuals with a fixed mindset believe that their perceptions are the best and they do not need an upgrade.
For instance, a person may believe that the work they are delivering is the best as they have put their full intelligence and hard work into it. In other words, they are the smartest as they’ll ever be and they do not need any changing. Such personality traits hinder the growth of individuals as they do not take criticism as positive feedback. They also do not acknowledge the need to understand others’ points of view.
On the contrary, individuals with a fixed mindset feel the need to prove their worth again and again. Why? Because they are compelled to demonstrate that their intelligence, moral character, talent, or success is higher than those around them.
According to Dweck’s 2015 research, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success-without effort”.
Therefore, individuals with a fixed mindset, easily get trapped in the cycle of proving their talent or skill whenever they feel the need to. Mainly, whenever anyone doubts that their talents are not upto the mark and they need to improve themselves.
Fixed mindsets lead to
- Promotes dissatisfactory and disappointing behavior
- Decreases the ability to gain new information
- Reduces self-awareness
- Cuts off opportunities for new and challenging tasks
- Encourages mediocrity
- Promotes aggressive behavior
- Distorts personality
- Decreases Self-esteem
- Hinders success
A fixed mindset makes individuals tempted to let one failure define them for the rest of their life. Any failing occasion feels like a watershed to them in every moment of their life. On the other hand, a growth mindset transforms those defeats into victories, allowing them to learn from their mistakes and rebound stronger than before.
Individuals with a growth mindset have the perspective to see beyond intelligence, skills, talent, and success. They see every task as an opportunity to grow. They try to overcome the challenges by approaching them from different and multiple angles. Even though they know that there are numerous stepping stones towards development, they believe that they can achieve it with time, patience, excellent strategy, and hard work.
The growth mindset is laid on the basis of basic beliefs, qualities that can be cultivated and are flexible, and with the commitment to become smarter, more talented and better in all aspects.
According to Dweck’s research in 2015, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work- brains and talents are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
For instance, individuals having a growth mindset, believe that they are god gifted with a specific amount of intelligence. Still, it does not mean that they cannot improve their level of intelligence. Growth mindsets have, therefore, created significant motivation and enhanced productivity in terms of all businesses, sports, educational sectors, and relationships.
Possessing a growth mindset offers numerous benefits, such as better coping mechanism, improved self-regulation, grit, and pro-social behaviors. A study has suggested that individuals with a growth mindset are less aggressive, have higher self-esteem, are less stressed, and face less anxiety which contrastingly enhances mental health.
Problems make individuals feel inferior to others, and a fixed mindset encourages those individuals to avoid those problems rather than deal with them. On the other hand, if they have a growth mindset, challenges excite them. They’ll learn to push themselves, look for better ways and develop a profound personality.
Therefore, individuals with a growth attitude are more likely to succeed since they have the desire, motivation, and total belief in themselves to strive for greater heights. They may get stubborn if they have a fixed mindset, as they won’t be motivated to attain anything more than what they already have.
There is a famous quote “the body achieves what the mind believes”, which can be applied to real-life when it comes to mindset. A growth mindset has profound benefits on the health of individuals whether physically or mentally. Individuals with a growth mindset promote their success even without knowing it. It allows them to reach beyond stars and touch new heights. Lastly, “smart is something you become, not something you are.”