In my first post, I would like to take a look at the Mindset, and what it is, inspired by the excellent book Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential by Carol Dweck.
Mindset is defined in the dictionary as the established set of attitudes held by someone. In the aforementioned book, the author describes how a person’s mindset can either be defined as a fixed mindset or a growth mindset,
In order to highlight the differences between the different mindsets, let us look at how they impact on an individual’s understanding of, and attitude towards, SKILLS, CHALLENGE, & EFFORT. Taking each attribute in turn, we will see how an individual behaves when in possession of a fixed or a growth mindset.
In a fixed mindset, there exists the belief that skills are inherent, that is to say something that you are born with and is fixed. You cannot change it or do anything about it. This simply isn’t the case, as research has shown that skills can be learned and perfected through many hours of purposeful practice (10,000 hours to be precise).
In a growth mindset, however, there is recognition that skills can be learned or developed through hard work and that there is always room for improvement through purposeful practice. Improvement, therefore, is dictated by a person’s will, determination and use of the resources available to them.
In a fixed mindset, challenges are often viewed with caution due to the risk involved. Of course, if a challenge is met with successfully, this highlights a person’s skills and abilities. However, not all challenges are completed successfully and it is the fear of failure which holds back those in possession of a fixed mindset. In a fixed mindset, failure is viewed as final, fatal and a reflection of a person’s lack of skill or ability.
In a growth mindset, challenges are embraced, and regarded as an opportunity to grow and learn. Therefore, people with a growth mindset are more likely to seek challenges, despite the possibility of failure.
Fixed mindset holders can have the view that effort is unnecessary, as they are already naturally talented .However, with a growth mindset, effort is regarded as an essential step on the path to self-mastery and achievement.
Possessed of a growth mindset, people believe that everything can be achieved through hard work and that there is always room for improvement.
With regards to people being born naturally talented, this is simply not the case. Every successful person has at one time or another failed, some having done so many times. What separates them from the rest is their perseverance, because through refusing to give up, embracing challenges, using their skills and putting in the required effort, they learned, grew and became successful.