After reading the last two posts, you might be saying: What am I? Would I be labeled a “fixed” or “growth” mindset?
In the last two posts we met Janet and Hal. They had entirely different mindsets and their attitudes affected their career progress. Yet things are not always so cut and dried, so we need to dig deeper into this idea of attitudes.
Growth mindset and fixed mindset might seem like opposites, and in many ways they are, but there’s more to it than that. These mindsets are different ways of looking at the world and of processing and using the information that we are presented with.
From a personal development standpoint, a growth mindset is preferred, but that doesn’t mean it’s better than a fixed mindset in other ways. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and having more of a fixed mindset or more of a growth mindset doesn’t determine what type of person you are.
Furthermore, the vast majority of people don’t have either a pure fixed mindset or a pure growth mindset. It’s doubtful if a person with such a mindset even exists. All that can be said of anyone is that they have more of one type of mindset than the other.
Mindset is a tricky thing in that it can vary from one facet of life to another as well. This means that someone can have a strong fixed mindset in one arena and a strong growth mindset in another.
As an example, you’ve met people who are fitness experts but who don’t have any desire to learn computer technology. And vice versa; people who are online geniuses yet feel inhibited when they go to the gym.
Another important fact about growth versus fixed mindset is that no one’s mindset is static. It changes throughout your lifespan. It usually (but not always) becomes more mixed or a predominantly growth mindset as you age.
The changes are directed by innate personality and life experiences unless a person is actively involved in personal development.
Because mindset is changeable, it can be directed by both internal and external forces in one direction or the other. That is to say, you can direct your mindset into more growth mindset-oriented patterns, but other people can influence you also. Educators and psychologists have designed numerous programs and developed multiple methods of doing this with students and employees.
If you’re interested in learning which type of mindset you have, psychologists have designed quizzes you can take for this purpose. Some of them are available online for free but keep in mind that these aren’t comprehensive and provide only a small snapshot of the large portrait that is your mindset. They are handy for identifying specific areas you want to work on.
As you pray and seek God’s guidance, you can discover areas of your life that are on target, and ones you want to improve.
Take a deep breath,and move forward. Changes can come, if you’d like.