I’m sure you will have come across the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset” at some point. If you haven’t, well, it’s time to get yourself acquainted with them.
I often find the way we choose to live our lives, and the opportunities we get, depend on the mindset we choose to adopt and the approach we take to life. A person with a fixed mindset is quick to assume their intelligence and abilities; their character is set in stone and can’t be changed. They are likely to blame “failures” on their lack of certain traits, and are most likely going to avoid any opportunity that involves uncertainty in the fear of failure, criticism, or disappointing others.
In contrast, a person with a growth mindset is constantly chasing for challenging opportunities that are filled with uncertainty. Individuals with a growth mindset strongly believe that the challenges they face will help them thrive and stretch out their skills and capabilities. They have no fear of failure, as every experience faced is a new growth prospect.
Put it in perspective
We usually develop our mindset based on upbringing, from watching family and friends. While we can’t really control how our upbringing impacts our mindset growing up, we can make a conscious effort to improve and strive to always be better than the previous day, week, month, or year. Ultimately the perspective we choose to have will determine the relationship we have with success and failure, and will have a huge impact on our happiness.
“The perspective we choose to have will determine the relationship we have with success and failure.”
As we have passed the halfway point in our journey at Hult, I’ve come to realize that developing a growth mindset is hard work, and we have to put in conscious effort to correct our mental habits. Here is the thing: when situations are good, or when you are all caught up with your assignments and life, then having a growth mindset comes naturally. The real problem arises when it’s the last three weeks of the module and you have 4+ major submissions due, presentations, three weeks of sleepless nights, and an unbalanced diet. This is when you are most likely to fall back to your old habits and revert to a fixed mindset. You might start working hard to get the grades without actually using the opportunity to learn; you may be less likely to think outside the box and provide creative solutions, as that involves risk. All you are interested in is doing what’s needed to get the grade and move on to the next assignment.
It’s the journey, not the destination
The more I read about growth mindset, or listen to TED Talks on the topic, the more I realize no one really has a growth mindset all the time. It is an ongoing process of learning, of becoming self-aware, and redirecting our thoughts and energy towards a more productive outlook.
“The only way to achieve the growth mindset is through deliberate practice.”
Only when we stop caring about how our thoughts, actions, or results will affect those around us, and start using that energy to enhance our own knowledge and skills, learn new things, and be better versions of ourselves, do we really free ourselves from the shackles of the fixed mindset. The only way to achieve the growth mindset is through deliberate practice, and surrounding ourselves with others that are striving towards the same goal.
A learning process
As a student, embracing a growth mindset has enabled me to accept that my talents, skills, and capabilities have massive room for improvement, and that failure isn’t really a bad thing after all. In fact, failure is an excellent opportunity to learn. Moreover, by actively seeking out more learning opportunities, I’ve been able to network with talented individuals from varied industries and backgrounds who are also striving for improvements. The more I think of my experience, the more it feels like a Super Mario game. Just like Mario and Luigi, we are constantly trying our best to level up despite the challenges thrown at us. We may fall a few times, but we use those opportunities to learn what didn’t work so we don’t repeat the same things again. In the process, we train our brain to process and retain new information faster and in a more efficient way.
The benefits of a growth mindset aren’t limited to students, but rather can and should be applied to anyone and everyone. Adopting this outlook will help with both your professional and personal life. So, what’s stopping you from leveling up?
Learning to adopt a growth mindset is an integral part of the Hult education. For more information on our school and degrees available, from undergraduate to executive level, download a brochure today.
Hult offers a range of highly skills-focused and employability-driven business school programs including a range of MBA options and a comprehensive one year Masters in International Business. To find out more, take a look at our blog Why every leader needs a growth mindset. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.