Mindset. . .
I have spoke and written about the growth mindset over the years and today I wis to revisit the ideas and concepts that often surround the energy we call a “growth mindset.”
Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and put more energy into learning. In contrast, people with primarily fixed-mindset often experience or participate in more mental cheating and deception to gain an advantage – this how their world looks and operates so it seems natural to compete in these ways.
A big part of having a growth mindset is not letting setbacks keep you from working to improve. It’s important to remember that setbacks can actually provide a way forward. A key to making progress and moving forward is self-advocacy. Speaking up when something isn’t working and asking for support can lead to solutions. And that can lead to improvement. Self-advocacy develops over time. Kids can start learning and practicing the skills at a young age. The earlier that happens, the better. But people can build self-advocacy skills at any age.
I personally thinks this is key to a growth mindset – self advocacy.
Most people have some idea of what “self-advocacy” is, but it helps to define it. At its heart, self-advocacy is the ability to communicate what your needs are to others and more importantly to your self. Being a good self-advocate has big benefits for everyone and it allows us to see, learn and think differently. People who know how to self-advocate are more likely to do well in school, work, and life. They often feel confident in what they’re learning and doing. Self-advocacy also creates independence. And it empowers people to find solutions to problems that others might not be aware of.
Everyone can learn to self-advocate. As with any valuable skill, it takes time and practice. The first step is to become more aware of your strengths and challenges. Ask yourself: What am I good at? Where do I struggle? What do I like and not like? Personal growth is rarely automatic, it takes attention and effort. It also requires a solid means for you to understand yourself. There is little growth or self advocacy without understanding, so start there. Remember you can learn anything, you are capable of growth and defining it!
Now that you’ve learned about growth mindsets, fixed mindsets and what can drive them which camp do you feel you fit into?
If you identify with the growth mindset concept, great! You’re well on your way to developing your own talents. Spend some time reflecting on areas where your mindset might be more fixed, though, as most of us are a blend of the two. If you feel like you’re more of a fixed mindset person, then the next question to ask yourself is: “Is this something I want to change?”
Peace and Love, Jim
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