Mindset simply means how your mind is set. It is the basic way you are conditioned to think and act.
Your mindset reflects in the way you live and the things you believe. It is an orientation that influences your thoughts and actions, and ultimately your life.
Hence, we must understand what it is and how we can cultivate a good mindset to promote our lives.
Let’s take a brief look at two mindsets.
THE GROWTH MINDSET.
According to a psychology professor, Carol Dweck, “In a Growth Mindset, people understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”
THE FIXED MINDSET
She also postulates that In a Fixed Mindset, “people believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.”
You can tell what category you fall into by observing your usual thought pattern, actions, and responses to situations.
Take the question for example;
When you see people who are successful at what they do, do you believe they are just naturally or genetically talented, and that no other person can achieve the same results?
Or do you acknowledge the role of effort, believing that anyone, yourself included, can achieve the same results by self-development?
Your answer to this question will tell the kind of mindset you have. And if you answered sincerely, I’m sure you know which it is.
We make our mindsets, and thereafter, our mindsets make us. If there is something we would like to change in our lives, such as being more creative or improving our well-being, we must also be open to shifting our mindsets.
IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A GROWTH MINDSET
It shapes the way you think- A person with a fixed mindset reason in a rigid way. It is difficult to change their mind or perspective about certain things.
On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset can easily adjust their perspectives.
It shapes the way you act- With a fixed mindset, you aren’t keen to do new things, or do things a different way. You regularly fall into a habitual lifestyle. Also, you tend to shy away from tasks you feel you aren’t skilled or gifted for.
On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset is willing to try new things and believes that he can manage difficult tasks as his capacity and skill expand.
It shapes how you treat yourself and others- With a growth mindset, you are more patient and kind when you or others perform below your expectations because you believe there is room for improvement.
A person with a fixed mindset believes he’s either smart or isn’t. And he believes the same about others. People with low self-esteem operate on a fixed mindset, thinking that they can’t be better than they already are.
Your mindset determines your perspective to life and living- It shapes the way you see the world, failure, challenges, money, systems, e.t.c. People with a fixed mindset believe that everything is set in stone, and life is fair to some and unfair to others. This molds their attitude.
Your mindset also determines your response to failure. Those with a fixed mindset see failure or challenges as obstacles that they dread. Rather, a growth-minded person views them more positively. He sees failure as an opportunity to overcome something difficult and grow as a result.
It opens you up to the possibility of growth- With a growth mindset, you’re more willing to set personal development goals and reach them. This goes a long way to guarantee success. A person with a fixed mindset often limits his growth because he doesn’t believe in the possibility of it.
HOW TO CULTIVATE A GROWTH MINDSET
Be willing to learn. Understand that the way you know-how isn’t the only way there is.
Refuse to place a lid over what you’ve learned.
Realize that others may have better ideas than you, and that’s fine. No man is an island of knowledge.
Change your vocabulary. Simply adding ‘yet’ to your statements will work magic to your mindset. For example, rather than saying ‘I can’t, I say, ‘I can’t do it, yet. This gives room for improvement.
Be willing to be proved wrong, and accept correction and criticism.
Growth is a characteristic of living things. But for humans, it doesn’t happen automatically. And the first step to growth is to develop a mindset that accommodates change and transitions.
“It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mindset about our physical limits.” — Ellen Langer