There are two different mindsets that you as a student can have. You can’t have both at the same time. You can either have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. The difference is the perspective you have towards your own abilities, skills, and potential. My advice is to choose growth.
One of the people I highly admire in history once said that whenever he heard that someone had a grievance against him, regardless of how false it sounded or appeared to be, he always took a moment to reflect and see what truth there was to the accusation. He didn’t do this because he was paranoid or was trying to please everyone. He did this because he wanted to see what area he could improve on. Even if it was taking fifteen more seconds to express gratitude towards someone after a meeting, he wanted to improve. This idea really connected with me and I quickly tried to apply it in all aspects of my life.
As you pursue the growth and success you aim for, choose growth. To me, the difference between the two is the type of action you take after being presented with a challenge or result. Those with a fixed mindset always try to prove their worth and value that they add with labels, those with a growth mindset always try to improve their worth and value that they add. Fixed mindset means you can’t control how smart you are, how much you can achieve. Growth mindset doesn’t define your potential, it just states that you have great amounts of it.
Below are examples of the two mindsets. Choose growth! When presented with a challenge or disappointing result, look to grow. Don’t allow one score, one bad meeting or one bad day define your value.
Those with a Fixed Mindset
- Feel rejected when a good friend appears to be too busy for them to text today
- Feel like a total failure when they receive a test score lower than their expectation
- Label themselves an idiot when they mess up
- Blame others by saying, “that teacher is out to get me” or “that boss plays favorites.”
- Give up control by blaming their performance on things like bad luck.
Those with a fixed mindset usually cope with failure or even a one-time low performance by retreating. They retreat to their room, to their phone, to their drug, or to their drink. They seek to escape the value that they feel the world has placed on their value when in reality a grade on a midterm did not ruin their grade permanently. Instead of interpreting a result as a definition of your value, keep control of your work and seek to improve through the growth mindset.
Those with a Growth Mindset
- Change where they park or how early they leave for school to avoid getting a ticket again
- Assume their friend must have had a bad day, or was really busy and didn’t have time to respond to my Snap
- Evaluate their study habits or methods when they receive a low test score
- Know that one assignment or test does not ruin their entire grade, there is still time to improve
- Recognize how that subject or skill may not be easy for them, so they commit to improving
- Involve people in helping them learn how to be more organized or study more effectively
- Talk with their teacher, asking for help to understand where they went wrong in the last test
- Seek to develop new habits or skills to help them
- Execute! They start improving their skills and abilities
It doesn’t matter what mindset you have, you will still feel frustrated, disappointed, and even angry. However, those with a growth mindset understand that things don’t happen to you they happen because of you, so they seek to change what they can change. Choose growth. Giving up your power to improve and grow is just a limit that you don’t need.
What do you do to choose growth? Share below!