Your mindset influences your response to life’s many challenges. People who have a “growth mindset,” rather than a “fixed mindset,” focus on the journey, rather than the destination. The fixed mindset person will often focus on performance goals such as passing an exam, winning at a competition, and/or being recognized as the best in their field. Achieving the goal means that their skill or ability is recognized and validated. However, the problem arises when they fall short of their set goal. The fixed mindset is a polarized way of thinking, often referred to as black and white thinking, where if I reach my goal I am validated, but if I do not I am not. This also only leaves two ways to feel; like a winner or a loser.
For the growth mindset person their interest is in growing, learning and gaining competence from an experience. They do not focus on winning or losing, or passing and failing, they enjoy the journey, are willing to try new approaches and focus on the experience itself. The growth mindset person is persistent, refusing to give up when faced with disappointment or discouragement. This is essential for success. In addition, the benefits of a growth mindset are supported by science that highlights the formation of new neuronal connections when we learn new things.
Extra Hint for Parents:
Parents, you can teach your children to have a growth mindset by praising the effort they make, and the progress that they make, instead of their intelligence, ability, or success. This will not only lead to happier kids, but happier adults in the future.