In people with a growth mindset, the brain is most active when they are being told what they could do to improve.
When you praise for effort, you encourage a growth mindset, the belief that intellectual ability can be developed through education and effort. Those with a growth mindset believe that they can get better at almost anything, as long as they spend the necessary time and energy. Instead of seeking to avoid mistakes, they see mistakes as an essential precursor of knowledge.
A growth mindset, however, believes that challenges and learning are opportunities, and that failure is an opportunity for growth. Rather than seeking out evidence that proves we’re not smart, people with a growth mindset focus on process and progress, searching out opportunities to stretch their existing abilities.
Adults and children with a growth mindset believe that skills and intelligence can be grown and developed – that they are in control of their ability to learn and grow. A growth mindset can help you recover from illness because you believe that you can do something about the illness. They can help you achieve in sport, at work and can also help you grow and develop in relationships. Cultivating a growth mindset could be the single most important thing you ever do to help you achieve success.
Growth mindsets prioritize learning:
• People with a growth mindset learn that:
• Trying and failing is part of the process
• Learning requires stumbling, correcting, and growing
• You don’t have to know everything in advance
• Practice and skill-building are more important than embedded talent
• You’re always a beginner
• Life is about life-long learning
There are three key things that you can do to develop a growth mindset:
• You need to recognise that a growth mindset is not just good, but is also supported by science. In other words, you need to be committed to developing a growth mindset.
• You can learn and teach others about how to develop and improve their abilities through adopting a growth mindset. This will help you to take control of your life, which is hugely empowering. Research shows that people who feel in control tend to perform better. It’s a virtuous cycle.
• Listen out for your fixed mindset voice. When you hear that little critical voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something, reply with a growth mindset approach and tell it that you can learn.
All parents want their children to be successful in school, sports, and extracurricular activities. But it’s not just about giving your kids praise or setting them in the right direction. Research shows that success is often dependent on mindset. Hard work, perseverance, and effort are all hallmarks of a growth mindset.
Ways a growth mindset shows up in learning:
Once you know the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, you can start to notice how it shows up in your everyday habits and your learning. Here are three ways that a growth mindset stands out:
#1: “Those with a growth mindset found success in doing their best, in learning, and improving.”
People with a growth mindset derive just as much happiness from the process as the results. They look for challenges and opportunities to engage with the material, rather than deriving all of their satisfaction from mastery. Rather than focus exclusively on the outcome or the goal, they focus equally on the process.
Rather than desiring a finished book, written and perfected, they are motivated by the process of showing up every day to write and edit. Master athletic champions will continue to find ways to improve their personal best rather than sitting on the bench and buffing their nails.
#2: “Those with a growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They’re informative. They’re a wake-up call.”
“In the fixed mindset, setbacks label you. “You’re terrified of losing and performing badly, because to you, you are your performance. When you perform badly, you’re devastated, because of you, by association, are now no longer valuable or special.”
Whereas a fixed mindset affixes their identity to the outcome, a growth mindset knows that their performance is not the only indicator of who they are. “Wow, that performance wasn’t as good,” the growth mindset might say. “I wonder what I could do differently to get a different outcome. How can I change and grow here to improve my game?”