Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Today I've got a new book to share with you. The book Mindset written by Carol Dweck, a psychology professor, is one of the most popular psychology books on personal development. It's a research based study on the impact of fixed and growth mindset believes in self-development. This book very well resonates with me and when I look back at my life, I can clearly see that everything I've achieved so far in my life was because of growth mindset. Mindsets are just beliefs, very powerful beliefs, but they are just something in your mind and you can change your mind if you want to become successful in life. You should know that the secret to fulfilling your potential is changing your mindset. When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. Your mindset shapes how you respond to people and events and therefore affects your outcome. In this book, Carol Dweck uses her 20 years of research to explain how you can understand and change a fundamental mindset to transform all aspects of your life…. To have a better understanding of Mindset. let's first ask some questions…. Why do some people fall apart in the face of setback, while others turn their failure into success? Why are some people obsessed about proving themselves, while others can laugh at and learn from their mistakes. The key difference is their mindset.
We have two fundamental mindsets the growth mindset and the fixed mindset.
The fixed mindset is the belief that your qualities cannot be changed, because you believe those qualities are permanent part of you so you feel the need to constantly prove yourself.
The growth mindset is the belief that your qualities can be changed through efforts and you believe everyone can change and grow by practice.
People with growth mindset confront challenges and keep walking and therefore they are able to convert life’s setback into future successes. However people with fixed mindset do not believe in effort. If you have fixed mindset, you'll be concerned with how you will be judged. The Growth Mindset primary concern is how you can improve yourself. With fixed mindset, you see your qualities as fixed. So the success is about proving you're a smart and talented. It's about validation. On the other hand, the growth mindset is more about stretching yourself to learn something new. It's about developing yourself, knowing that you have to work the hardest, for the things that you love the most. People with fixed mindset avoid challenges but people with growth mindset always seek challenges and more importantly they thrive on it.
You do not only possess one mindset and that's it. You likely have a mixed of both. In one area of life you have a fixed approach to life and in the other, the growth one. For example you might think that your creative skills are fixed, but your intelligence can be developed….. To help you illustrate the two mindsets, imagine one day you go to a class that is really important to you and that you like a lot. The professor returns the midterm papers to class. You got a C+. You've very disappointed. That evening on the way back to your home, you find that you've gotten a parking ticket. Being really frustrated, you call your best friend to share your experience, but are sort of brushed off. How would you respond? What would you think? If you thought, “what a crummy day, I would feel like a failure. I would be frustrated. I wouldn't feel motivated to study for the final exam. Maybe I'm just bad at that class.” Then you tend towards the fixed mindset. If you thought, “Well, I probably shouldn't have parked there, and maybe my friend had a bad day. I'll have to study harder for the final.” Then you may tend toward the growth mindset.
The good news is that mindset is not permanent and you can change it. Now you may ask why should I bother to change? Well, your mindset affects how you define and approach success and failure. Having a growth mindset is essential for greater success. You may be thinking this whole idea of a mindset is very simplistic and how can just one belief lead to greater success…. “Smart people succeed,” says the fixed mindset. Therefore if you succeed you're a smart person. So pick an easy problem that is more likely to succeed. Don't pick a hard problem, because you may fail and find out that you are a stupid. “People can get smarter,” says the growth mindset. And they do so by stretching themselves and taking challenges. So pick the hard problem. Who cares if you fail? Remember, all of these behaviors come from a very simple belief you have about your own abilities, to change and improve. Changing our beliefs can have a powerful impact. The growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over again how great you are when you could be getting better. Why hide your deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for people who will just give you compliments instead of the ones who will also challenge you to grow? The passion for stretching yourself even when it is difficult and not going well, is the core of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives. Carol Dweck says, in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience, but it doesn't define you. It's a problem to be faced, deal with and learn from. We can still learn from our mistakes. The legendary basketball coach, John Wooden says: “you are not a failure until you start to blame.”… That's when you stop learning from your mistakes. You just deny them.
When faced with difficult problems, If you say to yourself I am not smart enough to solve it, you have a fixed mindset but if you tell yourself, I have not solved it yet, you have a growth mindset. The belief that we can change and grow, creates a passion for learning. You understand that you are on a learning curve, that your abilities can be developed, It just takes time and practice. The word “not yet” is so powerful and gives greater confidence which creates greater persistence. Carol Dweck says, “It's not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.” Your starting point matters, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't improve and develop yourself.
The mindset is simply a must read book for anyone interested in personal development and looking for ways on how to become a little bit better.