The book Mindset The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck, differentiates between two mindsets. It shows us how this matters in our own individual lives as well as in sports, business, and relationships. She explains that the view that you maintain profoundly affects the way that you lead your life. People with a fixed mindset believe that your qualities stay the same throughout life. They also believe that you’re either born with or have a specific quality. For example, you’re smart or you are a natural at sports or in business. Either you have it or you don’t and never will. However, even if people have a fixed mindset, they aren’t always in that mindset.

People can learn the growth mindset and develop it. Those with the growth mindset believe that your basic qualities are things you can grow through your efforts. People can also have different mindsets in different areas. However, any time you think that you can’t do something because you don’t have what you need to succeed, and therefore probably don’t even try, you are unnecessarily limiting your life.

People with a fixed mindset can and often do have a lot of self-confidence in their ability in question. So do people with a growth mindset. However, the confidence of people with a fixed mindset is more fragile since setbacks and even effort can undermine it. Thus people with a fixed mindset are often reluctant to challenge themselves. Those with this mindset believe that if you have to exert effort, as in working or studying hard, then you don’t really have the ability or talent in question. They think that if you’ve really got it, then you don’t have to work for it.  They believe that in a great relationship, you and your partner should agree on everything and thus don’t need to communicate your wants and needs to your partner.

Advice for fostering the growth mindset

Dweck offers a lot more examples from her research to prove her point. Just in case you still need convincing that the growth mindset is more likely to further your success. But I’ll move on here and give you some of the advice she shares.

She advises parents to praise their children’s efforts rather than their successes to teach them that hard work is what pays off in the long run. Give your child advice about how they can improve their performance. Set high standards for your children and teach them how to reach them. Help them make a plan to accomplish what they want to accomplish and ask them when, where, and how they will act on the plan.

Teach them that mistakes are opportunities for learning and not something to fear lest their mistake is followed by your judgment and punishment. Instead of expecting your child not to make mistakes in school or on the ball field, ask for full commitment and full effort. Let them know they can expect obstacles and will be able to learn from them. Don’t forget to tell them each day what you are excited about having learned during your day. You and your children can all accomplish more with the growth mindset that you share.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a fixed mindset call Specialized Therapy Associates today at 1-201-488-4849 and we will be happy to help!