To me, knowing the difference between fixed and growth mindset is important. Read through this entire blog post to find out why.
I am passionate about this topic because this is not something that is always taught in school.
Growing up, I believed that if I failed a subject in class, that meant I am dumb.
I remember in elementary and high school, the classrooms are arranged in a certain way. The ones with the highest grades in academics were in the first section. The second, third, and fourth sections are arranged as follows. And now reflecting on it made me realize that we are segregated and judged at a very young age. Because of that, it instilled a mindset that we are not as good as the ones in the first grade. That’s sad, ain’t it?
At a young age, we were taught that if we are not as good as the ones on top, we will remain at the end of the herd. A mindset that ruins our confidence in every aspect of our lives. Now, this is my observation though.
What is mindset?
My mindset was one of the things that I needed to improve in my personal development journey. But what hit home for me was learning about the difference between the fixed and growth mindset. Carol S. Dweck beautifully explained the concept of mindset through her book, Mindset. In it, she defined it as, ” “the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”
To me, Mindset means how you view life through your own lens. It consists of your own beliefs, values, and knowledge. And the type of mindset determines how you will live your life.
What is it like having a fixed mindset?
Having a fixed mindset means no growth. A fixed mindset means having limitations. And fixed mindset will result in feeling stuck. I can say this because I was there too.
I’ve always believed that I cannot improve my skills. If I don’t know how to do it, I cannot learn it.
Let’s use confidence as an example. I lost my confidence in myself years ago. I moved to a completely different country without knowing its culture. It was a culture shock. Which resulted in an inferiority complex.
I lost my confidence when I divorced my husband which made me think that I will never be good enough. Or I am too much for someone.
Reminiscing my thoughts then makes me want to hug the old me. It was a devastating period of my life.
The thought of being not good enough made me feel uneasy about a lot of things. My work. How I carried myself. And how I treated myself.
I used to dim my light. Thinking that I will not measure up. I’ve always been shy and in the back of a room just observing and listening. Instead of giving my thoughts and ideas. And I beat myself up emotionally whenever I made mistakes. All that made me feel anxious.
Having a fixed mindset resulted in me taking criticism as personal. I always felt attacked when someone tells me their opinions about my work or me personally.
And the worst part of it all was, that I had the mindset of I am good enough where I am and I will not grow out of there.
What is it like having a growth mindset?
A growth mindset is just exactly what it is, growth.
Instead of thinking, I am not good enough. It is thinking, how can I improve?
It is the opposite of “I can’t”, it is saying, “how can I learn”?
Having a growth mindset looks at failure as an opportunity to grow. This was huge for me because I hated failing. I hated making mistakes then. Failing and making mistakes made me feel inadequate.
Remember when I said, I would beat myself up emotionally? It is true.
Have you tried playing the scene or situation in your head? And tried to figure out ways on how you could have done it differently? Or what could you have said differently? I did that. Many times. It gave me anxiety because I know I cannot change that situation at all. I’ve called myself names. Stupid. You suck. Dumb. Which again affected my confidence.
Do you want to know what opened my eyes in all this at the very beginning? It is when I found out that confidence is not a personality trait. Confidence is a skill. A skill is something you can learn. It is something you can improve. And I have been obsessed to learn and improve my confidence since.
Comparing the fixed and growth mindsets
Henry Ford had said…
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t. You are right!Henry Ford
Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are right! It is true! Because it is all based on your mindset!
I said earlier that having a fixed mindset will result in feeling stuck and based on my past experience, it is true.
I used to be so unhappy with my job. The politics. The stress. And the anxiety it gave me. I felt stuck. And I settled because I thought nothing is better out there.
I was also scared of starting new. I also thought that if I leave, I could fail. This was all because I had a fixed mindset.
But I had this burning desire inside of me. The desire of being happy. Being at peace. And just being me. I am not saying I wanted to live a perfect life because what is the fun in that right? I am saying that I don’t have to live an unhappy life. That, I have a choice.
So, I took a leap of faith and quit. I packed and changed my environment. Learned so many things along the way. And found a job where I felt like I mattered. The bonus part was, that I get to influence my team
And if you are not happy with your job today. If you asked me what you should do? I would tell you to do just that. Quit!
I don’t care if you are making a ton of money with your current job. I don’t care if they have a great retirement plan for you. Nor if your employers give you a lot of perks.
Money can be earned somewhere else! Your retirement plan will be useless if you end up being sick. And most importantly perks are nothing compared to being happy. Happy where you are and doing what you love to do.
So again, a fixed mindset will limit you. If you are content where you are, by all means, you have my support. But if you want more. If you want growth. if a change is something you seek. Learn how you will get there. Grow your way. And I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
If you are doubting yourself, read my blog post, “Gorgeous, How to know that you are the strategy”. There I shared why you have what it takes to do anything you put your mind to.
Feel free to take this knowledge and apply it in your life gorgeous. And if you found value in this post, please share it with others. This is how this blog will grow, that way we can spread positivity and confidence with others.