Do you have a talent for languages, or maths, or music or knitting? Do you believe you are born with that talent, or do you believe you can grow a talent?
You might have heard of ‘growth mindset’ and ‘fixed mindset’. A fixed mindset believes that the talents and abilities you have you were born with. It believes people have a natural talent for some things and not for other things. A growth mindset believes that any talent can be grown, that anyone can become better with practice, learning and teaching.
We like to think we have a growth mindset, but failure and criticism can trigger fixed mindset thoughts. When you fail an exam and you think, “I’m so dumb, I’ll never understand this. I’m just not good at it.” that’s a fixed mindset. One of the hardest things about the growth mindset is to take failures and re-evaluate them as learning and growing opportunities.
What’s so good about a growth mindset? According to Carol Dweck people with growth mindsets tend to achieve more because they don’t worry about looking smart, they put their energy into learning. People with a fixed mindset tend to complain about cheating and deception.
So you can have both, but which is your more dominant mindset? Do you really believe you can learn something, learn anything! Or do you tend to think your talents are the ones you already know?
Learn more about growth and fixed mindsets here.