Overcoming Obstacles: Having a Growth Mindset
You may have heard of a growth mindset before. (if you haven't, don't worry we're gonna go over it in a sec) Where did this term come from? This term became popular when professor Carol Dweck spoke on the subject. Understanding what a growth mindset is can be the key to unlocking your potential and doing things you might not have thought were possible. (not a physical key, but that sure would be cool if there was) It can help you develop your abilities or even overcome addiction.
The Growth-Fixed Spectrum
On either end of the spectrum is a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. Having a fixed mindset stems from the belief that humans are born with gifts and abilities and that you may be good at some things and bad at others. Fixed mindsets place limits on what you can do. People with a fixed mindset look at challenges as a bad thing. It’s something that they can fail at, and they don’t want others to see.
A growth mindset is the opposite. It’s okay to fail! Failing is a good thing because you can learn. A growth mindset welcomes challenges. Through practice, you can get better and find solutions to problems. You can grow as a person and overcome anything! People who look at problems this way can improve more than those with a fixed mindset.
However, having a growth mindset is not being overly congratulating or optimistic to an unhealthy point. For example if you got a 20% on a test, having a growth mindset is not saying, “OH MY GOSH I GOT A 20% - THIS IS AMAZING!!” Instead, having a growth mindset is getting a 20% and saying “Okay, this is not me preforming at my highest potential but that is okay. I know that I can do better, grow from this, and use this as a learning opportunity for me, or use this as motivation to do better and reach my highest potential”. Having a growth mindset, can really transform the way you approach any situation and conquer it with confidence.
It’s essential to be honest with yourself about what weaknesses you have. At the same time, you need to have confidence that you can do it! If you recognize your weaknesses, you can target them as something to improve rather than being ashamed that others might see.
Telling your friends and family what your weaknesses are can be highly beneficial. They can help you by holding you accountable and assisting you in your goals. When you work on a large project like painting your house or cleaning out the garage, do you like to do it on your own, or would you rather have a couple of friends helping you? Obviously, you will take the help. It would be such a horrible time painting for a whole house alone! Utilize your resources and even find your friends or families strengths and see how those align with your weaknesses and use that to strengthen your weaknesses.
It doesn’t matter what the challenge is; take the help. If you slip up or fail, it’s okay! Tell your friends and talk about what you learned from the failure to help you succeed in the future.
A growth mindset may be entirely new for you. It isn’t something that you can switch on and leave on without any effort. It takes time and practice to change how you think and do things. Join the Doughp community in our effort to speak freely about the “raw” issues we all face daily and to promote mental health.