Daily Archives: October 28, 2010

Do You Have a Fixed or Growth Mindset?

A few months ago, I mentioned a book I’m reading by Carol S. Dweck, PhD, Mindset.  It goes into depth about the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.  It has been an eye-opener and I’ve been learning a lot about how people think, what they say to indicate their thought process.  Also, how we can correct our thinking or help us feel more comfortable with ourselves in our thought processes.

We all are probably aware that our beliefs are responsible for how we think and create our lives.  But sometimes we are not conscious of our beliefs.  Therefore how can we control them or change them?  We all keep a running account of what’s happening to us, what it means, and what we should do about it.  We are monitoring and interpreting everything that happens.  But what if this interpretation is extreme and creates feelings of anxiety, depression or superiority?

Our mindset is what is responsible for guiding this interpretation process.  The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that focuses on judging.  The self-talk or conclusion under this mindset would be, “I’m a looser”, or ” I’m a better person than she is”, or “I’m pretty stupid”, or … I think you get the picture.  A fixed mindset thinks in terms of a static condition, which is the way it is, and can’t be changed or improved.

The growth mindset, on the other hand, is also creating an internal monologue.  But this one is focused on the implications for learning and constructive action, instead.  The self-talk or conclusion under this mindset would be, “What can I learn from this?” or “How can I improve” or “How can I help my partner do this better?”…I think you get the picture.  A growth mindset thinks in terms of effort and continual learning and improving.

So, how do you see yourself?  Kind of a rhetorical question, but I found after reading this that over the years I have probably gone through phases where each mindset came into play in my life.  However, now that I’m aware of this concept, I realize that the growth mindset is the one that allows us to move forward in life and I believe the one that allowed the concept for Sixty Something Now to come into my mind.

To me, it’s always exciting to learn new stuff and more importantly, apply what we’ve learned.