Do you know what the difference is between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset? According to Carol Dweck’s Mindset Theory, a growth mindset is when we “believe that even basic talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience, mentorship…” and a fixed mindset is believing that our basic qualities, intelligence, talents, and abilities are fixed traits which can cause negative feelings and some set backs. Picture an iceberg. The iceberg’s tip that is visible above the water’s surface resembles all of our successful and/or failed outcomes (e.g. job promotion or loss of job). Below the surface, about 90% of the iceberg represents everything others cannot see and this is where we have everything that goes into the outcomes above the surface (e.g. positive self-talk or negative thoughts). If we want to help our children develop a growth mindset, we need to change ours and confront our negative thoughts but asking yourself these questions:
|“I tried; I failed. It’s just beyond me.”||Could I try a different strategy or approach?|
|“I didn’t achieve what I set out to do; I failed.”||Isn’t learning a process, and isn’t failure just part of that process?|
|“I just wasn’t born clever.”||Haven’t others tried, and succeeded through hard work?|
|“I can’t do it; I’ll never be able to do it.”||Aren’t I giving up on myself too soon? Isn’t it a matter of time?|
|“Do you think you can do it?”||Can’t I do it with repeated effort?|
|“I don’t know how or if I’ll get there…ever.”||What plan can I make to get there? How can I motivate myself to follow that plan? What’s my first step?|
To learn more about developing a growth mindset, visit https://positivepsychology.com/mindset-activities-tests/.