May is all about Mindset.
In this week's focus, learn the difference between a fixed mindset and one rooted in growth and potential.
What Are We Talking about When We Talk about Mindset?
Mind has several meanings, but in relation to thought it is what does the thinking. Often, the mind indicates what you think in the present moment or how your thought process changes.
Mindset, on the other hand, is a point of view or approach, often related to how one tends to look at the world around them. This set belief system helps a person shape the way they think, feel, and behave in any situation.
Perhaps key to understanding mindset is its authority over our perception of the world. Positive Psychology expert Shawn Achor describes best how it works:
“It’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.”
By technical definition, a mindset is a fixed mental state of being. It’s set and usually unchanging. But a mindset can be changed. Though it often happens at a slow pace, our mindsets do shift over time, largely influenced by experiences, relationships, and education.
Fixed v Growth Mindset
Mindset is a truly powerful thing. The stories we tell ourselves and the things we believe about ourselves can either prevent change from happening or allow new skills to blossom. To allow these changes to happen, it’s important to understand a fixed mindset, versus a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset believes that our abilities and qualities are predisposed and, therefore, unchangeable. Something such as intelligence or talent is regarded as a natural ability (you were born with it)t, so you either are or you aren’t these things. This is a limiting mindset, one that prevents growth and development. It also keeps you tied down to a fixed way of life.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that we have the capacity to grow our skills and that all our abilities are within our control. Something such as intelligence or talent is seen as something that can be developed if needed. This mindset is more likely to maximize potential, overcome challenges, and embrace change.
In next week’s focus, we’ll tackle ways to use perspective shifts to move from a fixed mindset to one of growth, resilience, and prosperity.