Henry Ford once said that ‘If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.’
What he meant by that is that your thoughts and attitude (in other words, your mindset) is crucial in
determining whether you succeed or fail at something.
Your beliefs about yourself and the world around you can play a pivotal role in achieving your goals, and so its important to make sure that your mindset is setting you up for success.
In this post, we are going to discuss what a mindset is, the main types of mindset and the benefits of having a growth mindset vs fixed mindset.
Unlock Your Potential: The Surprising Benefits of Having a Growth Mindset
What is a Mindset?
Your mind is truly an amazing and powerful thing, and what you believe deep in your mind will certainly have an impact on your success (or lack thereof).
Not only can your mind affect your behaviour and actions, but it can also have a negative or positive impact on your physical and mental health as well.
When we use the term ‘mindset,’ we are simply referring to a set of beliefs that shape how you think and feel about the world, the people in it, and yourself.
Your mindset influences how you think, which then goes on to influence how you feel and behave in any given situation.
We discussed this in more depth in our article about how our core beliefs can set us up for success.
Having the right type of mindset can allow you to experience new heights in accomplishments, whereas the wrong one can trick you into believing that it’s impossible to achieve something which is actually within your grasp.
Types of Mindsets
According to Stanford psychologist and leading researcher in the field of developmental psychology and mindset Dr. Carol Dweck, there are two basic types of mindsets: fixed and growth.
People with a growth mindset believe that anything is possible and that talents can be developed over time through dedication and persistence. In other words, if you work hard, you will improve.
People with a fixed mindset on the other hand, believe that their potential is capped and can’t be stretched beyond a certain point. They might also believe that talent or intelligence alone leads to success, as opposed to hard work and effort.
When it comes to having a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset then, people with a growth mindset will often achieve their goals because they are less likely to give up, believing that they can achieve anything if they just practice a little more or try a little harder.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
A person with a fixed mindset believes that intelligence, talents and abilities are fixed traits.
These people believe that their efforts cannot improve their lot in life beyond a certain level, and you will never hear them saying that the sky is the limit!
A person with a fixed mindset will also be afraid of failure because they associate failing with unintelligence or a lack of skill.
They are more likely to avoid stretching to accomplish goals that may result in failure, often throwing in the towel to avoid what they deem to be an embarrassing failure.
Dweck also states that people with fixed mindsets are constantly seeking validation, not only to prove their worth to others, but to themselves as well.
People with a growth mindset believe that their talents and abilities can be improved and developed
through effort, repetition and persistence, and are willing to do whatever it takes to improve.
They tend to have a hunger for learning coupled with a desire to work hard and discover new things.
People with a growth mindset are not afraid of failure, instead viewing it as a challenge to overcome while learning something along the way.
And why is a growth mindset important?
Well, because having a growth mindset often leads to success, both academically and professionally.
People with this type of mindset embrace the art of practice, repetition and building habits for success, and they always keep their ‘why’ at the forefront of their minds.
For example, a musician or an athlete can develop a growth mindset by focusing on a task and repeating it over and over in order to improve and eventually master it.
Their focus is on not giving up and so they power on and power through setbacks, refusing to become disheartened if it takes longer than they planned.
Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset Examples
There are hundreds of fixed mindset vs growth mindset examples that we could list here, but here are some of the main ones.
|Fixed Mindset Examples||Growth Mindset Examples|
|There is a cap on how much we can achieve||Our true potential is unknown|
|Criticism is a sign of inadequacy||Criticism gives us feedback that is valuable for growth|
|Giving up is preferable to failure||Failure helps us learn and grow|
|You’re either good at something or you’re not||You can learn how to do anything|
|Feels threatened by the success of others||Feels inspired by the success of others|
|It’s embarrassing to make a mistake||Mistakes are normal and help us learn|
Benefits of Having a Growth Mindset
As if it wasn’t obvious enough already, having a growth mindset is way more beneficial than viewing the world through a fixed lens.
Some of the benefits of having a growth mindset include academic and professional success, a lifelong commitment to learning, a more stable sense of self and higher self-esteem, and an ability to enjoy life even in the face of failure.
Although Dweck asserts that our mindsets are formed in early childhood, you can still train your mind to think a little differently and appreciate the power of repetition and practice, no matter the goal.
If you find yourself leaning more towards some of the fixed mindset examples above, don’t worry.
There are plenty of ways to turn that fixed mindset into a growth mindset.
First, really try and hone in on the belief that you’re improving every day and taking steps towards that end goal. Tell yourself that you will reach your goal no matter what, and that your success isn’t capped.
However, merely thinking about things isn’t enough.
Clarity and change come from action.
You’ll need to commit to taking actionable steps towards your goal, repeat them even when you fail, and
keep going, even when you feel like giving up.
Start with tiny steps and just keep persevering.
You may initially think that these small actions can’t possibly make a difference towards your goal, but remember age-old saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight, but know that you can achieve whatever you want by taking small steps in the right direction.
Know that you will likely meet roadblocks and you might even fail at some things along the way, but learn to embrace these setbacks and failures because you know they’re helping you learn and grow.
Never lose track of your ‘why.’
Affirmations for a Growth Mindset
Affirmations can be really helpful in switching your mindset from a fixed kind, to that of a growth mindset.
Affirmations are positive statements or declarations that you repeat to yourself in order to change your thought patterns and beliefs.
They are used as a tool for personal development and can help to increase self-confidence, motivation, and overall well-being.
Affirmations are typically framed in the present tense, as if the desired outcome has already been achieved.
They can be related to any aspect of your life such as health, relationships, career, or personal growth.
The idea is to repeat the affirmations regularly, with the goal of internalising the positive message and making it a part of your belief system.
Here are some affirmations for a growth mindset:
- I embrace challenges and see them as opportunities for growth.
- I am capable of learning and improving in all areas of my life.
- I believe in my ability to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals.
- I am open to new experiences and willing to take risks.
- I choose to focus on my strengths and work on my weaknesses.
- I am resilient and bounce back quickly from setbacks.
- I see failures as stepping stones to success.
- I am confident in my ability to learn from my mistakes.
- I am constantly growing and evolving as a person.
- I trust the journey of my life and have faith in my potential.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset | Final Thoughts
Your mindset is the chief driving force behind your thoughts, and your thoughts are what lead to your actions (in this case, throwing in the towel vs persevering with something).
If you can change the way you view the world, you will likely see real changes in your life and in your ability to accomplish your goals.
Got any thoughts or questions? Make sure to leave them in the comments section below!
Until next time,
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