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Teaching Our Children To Have A Growth Mindset Is The Most Important Lesson They Will Learn In Life
Psychologist Dr Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that our attitude is way more important for our success than our IQ. She is a professor for Psychology at Stanford University. Her primary research interest is in studying: Motivation, Personality, and Development.
With a fixed mindset, we believe that we are who we are and we cannot change.
This creates a problem for us when a challenge arises since anything that appears to be more than we can handle makes us feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.
It is paramount to teach our children how to develop a growth mindset from early childhood on. When children learn that their brains physically change with effort, it leads to increased motivation and achievement.
Being smart, inspires confidence! That is true, it does, but only while life challenges are easy to handle. The deciding factor in life is how we handle our setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.
The difference in thinking between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset
I will try something different
Mistakes make me stronger
I will learn how to do this
How can I do this
It does not matter how long it takes
I give up
I am not smart
I am not good at this
This is too hard
According to Dr Dweck, success in life is all about how we deal with failure.
“Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”
We should try not to complain when things go wrong.
Complaining is a sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything.
We should aim to be flexible, everyone encounters challenges in life.
Empowered people with a growth-oriented mindset embrace adverse life situations as a means for improvement and growth.
Dr Carol Dweck’s definition of fixed and growth mindsets from a 2012 interview:
“In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits.
They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time.
In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can progress if they work at it.”
This is important because (1) individuals with a “growth” theory are more likely to continue working hard despite setbacks and (2) individuals’ theories of intelligence can be affected by subtle environmental cues.
For example, children given praise such as “good job, you’re very smart” are much more likely to develop a fixed mindset, whereas if given compliments like “good job, you worked very hard” they are likely to develop a growth mindset.
In other words, it is possible to encourage students, for example, to persist despite failure by encouraging them to think about learning in a certain way.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
by Carol S. Dweck
Now updated with new research — the book that has changed millions of lives.
After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but ground breaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset — those who believe that abilities are fixed — are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset — those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.
Link : Carol Dweck
Mindsetonline.com: Carol Dweck