Stanford Professor, Carol Dweck, has become renowned for the most incredible body of work around mindsets. We want to take a moment to introduce our parents to her approach, because we very strongly believe that it can set our children up for the most amazing journey of long term growth and satisfaction!
Professor Dweck discovered that people hold one of two mindsets:
1. Fixed Mindset
Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and talent are fixed at birth. Just like eye color or hair color, your intelligence / level of talent is predetermined; you’re stuck with what you were born with. For people with a fixed mindset, school is simply a place where your intelligence is evaluated, and your only goal is to avoid looking stupid. Challenges at school are obstacles that run the risk of making you look stupid, so they should be avoided as much as possible. School is a stressful experience, filled with obstacles that need to be evaded. For people with a fixed mindset, their brain is most active when they are being given positive feedback – grades and test results. But when faced with a set-back, they tend to become discouraged or disinterested.
2. Growth Mindset
Individuals with a growth mindset believe that intelligence and talents improve through study and practice. Intelligence and talent are like muscles – they grow stronger with training. For people with a growth mindset, the classroom can be an exciting place, where they can develop their skills and abilities. When faced with a challenge or something that is difficult, the growth-minded individual sees an opportunity to improve their skills and become stronger. For people with a growth mindset, their brains are most active when they are being told how they can improve – what they can do to be better next time. When faced with a set-back, these individuals tend to try harder to overcome the unforeseen obstacles.
A growth mindset is also linked with lower levels of depression and anxiety, higher performance over time, enhanced brain development, better work relationships AND lower levels of stress.
How were you raised? Do you see the value in a growth mindset? Do you want to cultivate this mindset in your children?
Up next…. how do we cultivate a growth mindset in our children? Stay tuned!