A mindset is the view a person adopts. Whether their abilities and characteristics can change, the growth mindset, or whether they are set in stone, the fixed mindset. Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist, analyzes the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset “care so much about how smart they will appear that they often reject learning opportunities” (Dweck 2) instead of wanting to achieve their full potential. Other people, the ones with a growth mindset, seek for higher achievements in learning, wanting to develop their knowledge capacity. It’s either they give up on their selves or learn from their setbacks and try again. A person with a fixed mindset believes that they are born with talent while a person with a growth mindset believes that ability can be further developed. Because I have the tendency to try and expand my intelligence, I have a growth mindset. One reason why I have a growth mindset, intelligence that could be developed, is because I put in a lot of effort into my work. Carol Dweck, the author of the article of “Brainology”, states that, “those with a growth mindset had a very straightforward (and correct) idea of effort –the idea that the harder you work the more your ability will grow and that even geniuses have had to work hard for their accomplishments” (Dweck 2).
In this example, Dweck argues that people with a growth mindset will strive to achieve their full potential no matter how hard it gets. I figured I have a growth mindset when I was making a science project. I wasn’t that good at creating models, especially one that models the universe. At first I was going to create a poster and plaster it with information I Googled, but I thought about it… Only lazy, less creative people do posters. So why not make a 3D model? I put in more effort than I normally do, gathering materials that I have never used other than just a cardboard poster and colored paper. By turning in this science project, I knew that I could keep building up my skills and also had positive thoughts about my project. Dweck also brings up that, “as a growth mindset individual, you see effort as necessary to grow and master useful skills and knowledge… You are not turned away by fears that you might make an attempt, or even work hard, and that failure is possible” (Dweck 3). Another key point other than putting in effort is that setbacks or mistakes also further expand a growth mindset, resulting in success.
Marina Krakovsky, a journalist that writes mainly about mindsets in science, culture, and business, stated in her article “The Effort Effect” that, “Students with learning goals… take necessary risks and don’t worry about failure because each mistake becomes a chance to learn” (Krakovsky 2007). With that being said, challenging obstacles are opportunities that encourage people with growth mindsets to reach the highest level of achievement. People with a fixed mindset are unwilling to take on challenges, preferring to stay in their comfort zone, which results in failure. If it wasn’t for my 10th grade English teacher challenging me to write better, I wouldn’t be able to correctly write appositive phrases. I always went with the easy way out when I wrote essays, avoiding putting phrases that would improve my papers. Every time I turned in a worksheet about appositive phrases, it would always come back to me with comments on mistakes I did.
But that didn’t put me down, I just took that “chance to learn” from my little slip-ups. Dweck confirms that, “Those with growth mindsets reported that, after a setback in school, they would simply study more or study differently the next time” (Dweck 2) From then on, I always pushed myself to accept new challenges even if I end up failing. Our mindsets can define the type of person we are. Its either we want to stay at the same position and not put more of ourselves out there for success; or expand our learning and achieve for the highest position. Success is a motive for people with growth mindsets, putting all of their hard work into whatever their dreams and goals are. They see failure as a way to develop their thinking. Despite the challenges of having a growth mindset, it can really impact your success, health, happiness, careers, and relationships. Our focus is to better ourselves by thinking positive.