Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mindset Matters

Mindset is about believing in yourself. Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology and author of "Mindset" discovered in her research at Stanford that belief guides a large part of your life. Much of what you think of as your personality actually grows out of this "mindset" and could prevent you from fulfilling your potential. You can have either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Think about someone you know who has a fixed mindset. Consider how they are always trying to prove themselves and how they are supersensitive about being wrong or making mistakes. They tend to be someone who constantly finds excuses so they might not take some risks or try something new or challenging. 
Did you ever wonder why they are this way? (Are you this way?)

All of us are born with a love of learning. We had to or we wouldn't walk or talk. A fixed mindset can undo your love of learning and even have you believing that you cannot do some things. 
Think about a time you were enjoying a crossword puzzle, trying a new sport, or learning a new dance when it started to become too difficult. Did you suddenly feel bored, tired, or some other feeling that made you stop? Next time you did this activity, did you feel that you couldn't accomplish it? This could be a fixed mindset about that activity.

Now think about someone you know who is skilled in the growth mindset -- someone who understands that important qualities can be cultivated. Think about the ways they confront obstacles. Consider the things they do to stretch themselves.

What are some ways you might like to change or stretch yourself?
Picture yourself in a growth mindset around any activity you felt was too difficult. See yourself taking on the challenge and picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn.

Grow your Mindset (graphic from p. 12-13 Mindset by Carol Dweck)

Which mindset do you have? Not sure, then we highly recommend reading Carol Dweck's book Mindset and checking out these websites about her work:

Carol Dweck continues the discussion on brain research at Stanford by taking a closer look at how the brain controls the psyche and how deeply intertwined it is with the field of psychology.

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