Growth Mindset

By Carol Dweck

Happy new year!

I am starting 2021 with a very special book which I have been postponing for way too long - the "Mindset" by Carol Dweck. I heard a while ago that it was life changing and already in the middle of the book I have to agree.

Honestly, I do not recall when was the last time that I read a book and identified my own patterns on almost every page. 

The book describes two types of mindset - fixed and growth mindset. 

Fixed mindset calls for confirmation of own intelligence and character, which becomes a constant chase for validation. Possible outcomes of every situation are evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? What others will think? People with fixed mindset are more sensitive about being wrong and making mistakes. It is important to succeed, look smart and be flawless. And even more - to be flawless since the beginning, without investing much effort. People with fixed mindset perceive talents and intelligence as natural, therefore if you are smart - you do not need much effort to achieve extraordinary results. You do not BECOME great, you ARE either great or not. You are either exceptional or ordinary, you either succeed or fail.

Growth mindset is really focused on improvement and this is where all time and effort are directed (instead of wasting time on worrying about what others think and how they see you). People with this mindset stretch themselves and push through, especially when it gets difficult and real persistence is required. They thrive on challenges and know that it takes time and effort to achieve great results and show one's real potential. People with growth mindset are also less affected by depressions and have better coping mechanisms when things get difficult. They know that with effort, dedication and persistence you can reach anything. That is why it is unimaginable for a person with growth mindset to want something badly and to take no actions. These are the people that love what they do despite of outcomes and what others think. And while making their best for longer periods of time they actually reach proficiency and become successful even if they were not that good at the beginning. 

As author says, it does not have to be so polar - we might have in certain areas growth mindset and in others a fixed one.

That is also my case. Most of the time I have a growth mindset and that is when I feel balanced and fulfilled. It is one of my core believes that growth is life, while learning and facing challenges is the way to grow.

However, in many circumstances I am suddenly guided by very different principles, which now I can align to the patterns of fixed mindset. I have been trying to understand this behavior for years and was searching for some much more complex cause-effect relationship. 

Being able to recognize when I switch to fixed mindset - already has had a very positive effect on my daily life. Let's see what the second half of the book brings!


I know that many are familiar with the research of Carol Dweck, so I would love to hear your take on the concept of two mindsets!

Best,

Alina

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