Does your path have obstacles to overcome? If not, you may have a fixed mindset.
May 11, 2020
Challenges are all in how you look at them. Are they opportunities to grow or immovable roadblocks? Only your mindset will tell.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck. It’s worth the read. The author suggests you will have a far greater chance of success in life, work, relationships and achieving your goals if you foster a “growth” mindset instead of a fixed mindset.
So what does it mean to have a fixed versus a growth mindset and why does it matter? Fixed mindsets are centered on the belief that one’s traits are “fixed,” and innate talent alone fosters your abilities and success. Stated differently, if you have a fixed mindset, you see yourself as being unable to change, grow or develop significantly. Growth mindsets are centered on the belief that one’s talents, skills and abilities can grow over time. In other words, if you have a growth mindset, you see yourself as being able to change, grow and develop.
Why are these two mindsets so crucial? First, they contribute to how you learn from the challenges faced on a daily basis. Those with a fixed mindset try to avoid challenges because they are concerned about failing. If failure occurs to someone with a fixed mindset, they believe they are the failure and cannot change or develop differently. On the flip side, someone with a growth mindset will view challenges as opportunities to grow, learn and improve.
Secondly, our mindset shapes our behavior. If you believe you cannot change, you typically will not participate in activities that foster change and growth. If you think you can improve, you are more likely to persist in the face of setbacks. Success takes effort, and effort is part of mastering your goals. Be open to challenges and see failure as an opportunity to learn. It’s important to remember your most significant personal growth usually occurs when you stumble, fail and make mistakes, not when everything is secure and running smoothly.
Another perspective to consider is whether you have an open or closed mindset. This is different from a fixed versus growth mindset. A fixed/growth mindset relates to the degree to which you believe you (and others) can grow and develop. An open/closed mindset relates to the degree to which your mind is open to new ideas and suggestions.
Having an open mindset will allow you to function at a higher level. Your openness will spur more elevated levels of thinking and creativity. Also, it will help you seek out additional information when making decisions. You will experience a higher quality of decision-making and be less likely to participate in slanted thinking. The opposite is true with a closed mindset. Those with a closed mindset are not responsive and less likely to take the ideas, thoughts and comments of others seriously.
As you move along your journey of health, weight loss, healthier habits, or toward just feeling better, remember the significant role your mind plays in your ultimate success. Question what you’ve been doing and view your challenges as opportunities to grow. Continue to pursue the BEST version of you.