MINDSET – Its influence on our life

We tend to display one of these two different mindsets from an early age, and we are also inclined to derive our attitude and behaviour from these. With it our relationship for success or failure in our professional as well as personal life stems, as well as our ultimate capacity for obtaining happiness. When one studies these two mindsets we understand why some people are able to face challenges boldly and head-on while on the other hand, others tend to back down and are even crushed by it.

People with a fixed mindset tend to think that their skills and abilities are permanent, part of their personality and determined at birth. For example, if you think that you are a bad communicator, or not good at sport activities and unable to improve, you are indicating a fixed mindset. On the other hand, those who possess a growth mindset are flexible, they believe that their skills and abilities can be bettered and also refined by putting in an effort and developing those talents. So, those people who take steps to improve any skill or ability and pursue it are displaying a growth mindset.  

We tend to foster an internal monologue about every aspect of our lives, be it our work roles or personal relationships. Modern psychology knows that our beliefs about our abilities, talents and potential are what fuel our behaviour and also our rate of success. Our beliefs hold tremendous power over our conscious and unconscious actions. Changing even the simplest belief can have a tremendous impact on our life.

CHANGING A FIXED MINDSET : A remedy found by Dweck for changing a fixed mindset is process praise. This occurs when a person is encouraged to put in an effort and with it also develop strategies and use resources to learn and improve themselves. It is essential to focus on the efforts made by you and the strategies as well as any resources you used to improve. Be factual, compliment and encourage yourself to learn and improve. The act of process praise will contribute to improvement and growth.

It is a very sweeping statement to assume that a growth mindset only requires effort. As, it is not enough to just keep trying and not being successful. In order to succeed, a true growth mindset requires dedicated efforts, then reflection, if required reassessment and then further efforts.

There are 6 ways to move to a growth mindset and be successful :

  1. SELF AWARENESS : This is key to having a growth mindset as it encompasses an individual’s ability to accurately assess their own strengths, limitations and areas for improvement. Being self aware will also generate a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism so that a person can focus on and promote a ‘growth mindset.’ If you do not think about and evaluate your own role in your success or failure it will not be possible for you to strategize and improve.
  2. NEGATIVE SELF-TALK : People tend to have an inner dialogue with themselves which may either boost their confidence or limit their beliefs in their abilities. Negative self talk stops one from being confident and reaching their full potential. These negative thoughts diminish the ability to make any positive changes in our life. It also limits our confidence in ourselves, can cause stress and hold us back from achieving success. So stop yourself from thinking negatively and instead focus on efforts and strategy to achieve success.  
  3. DO NOT OVER REACT : Do not blame someone else or something else for your failure to achieve a goal. Success or failure depends on many factors and failure is a part of learning and improving ourself, if we keep a proper perception of the situation. Real issues start to arise when we react much more than necessary under the circumstances. All of us have triggers that can lead us to overreact at times. If we know what those triggers are, we can learn to be more in control of ourselves. Keeping failure in a correct perspective will prevent you falling into a fixed mindset. 
  4. LISTEN TO FEEDBACK : A growth mindset in a person will encourage them to actively seek out feedback. Instead of making excuses, being defensive and blaming others or circumstances for a failure, they listen closely to feedback and use it to develop a plan to focus on and improve their abilities where required. Giving feedback, even positive, tends to backfire as it is perceived as judgmental and employees tend to become defensive and so they do not accept another person’s perspective. Instead, listening to a person and talking about their experiences first can make it easier and more productive to give feedback by making the employee more receptive and less defensive.
  5. DON’T COMPARE : Every person is unique, with differing talents, skills and abilities. So do not compare yourself with others. You also have your unique set of skills and abilities so focusing on those and working on the skills which you need to improve will help you grow. When a person starts to compare themselves to another they tend to fall into a fixed mindset pattern which can have a negative impact on you. We do not know of the efforts, resolve and determinations others may have put in to reach their level of achievement. So comparisons serve no purpose. 
  6. REFLECTION : It is a good strategy to set time aside and think about our progress and what we are planning for in the future. Reflecting and reassessing our position will also help to refine our strategy for future growth. Self reflection about what you have accomplished and also what you wish you had done differently should be made a part of regular practice to see how far you have come and also identify ways to improve moving forward.

It is important to remember that a growth mindset is based on the belief that our basic traits are things that we can work on and develop through our efforts. Although people may differ in many ways, such as, their talents and aptitudes, interests, and even their temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

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1 thought on “MINDSET – Its influence on our life

  1. Wonderful article, it was a really good read. It is great how you have explained both types of mindset but also provided advice on how to shift towards the growth mindset. We have used this technique in healthcare for people suffering with diabetes that are trying to make healthier lifestyle changes. Negative self-talk is a common issue and one way we try to address it is by asking people to speak to themselves how they would speak to a close friend. People tend to be more harsh and critical towards themselves, so this was a helpful technique to promote kinder self talk.

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