No doubt that failures can be painful. Does it restrict you from taking opportunities? Or, do you learn from them and make pick yourself together? Our brain has a significant role in the way we think. When you read about any successful people, what do you tell yourself? They are more talented than others and more gifted. Or, do you believe that success comes from hard work and practice. So, how do we shift ourselves from being limited by our attributes and intelligence to finding freedom in building them? How do we commit to a path of learning and growth? Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the concept of a Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. Two belief systems that result in how we motivate ourselves to get our daily tasks done.
In a fixed mindset, people believe that qualities such as talent and learning are static. This means they think that they are born with a certain level of intelligence which will remain the same throughout life. Research says that people with a fixed mindset usually avoid challenges and give up early. This is due to the reason that people with a fixed mindset think that intelligence is not something that you can develop or could be changed over time. Let us understand through an example. A person repeatedly fails in a task, even though he has been trying hard. With a fixed mindset, they will think that they are not smart enough to achieve this and give up. Therefore, people with a fixed mindset believe that some of the traits are constant. As their belief system does not allow them to think beyond the box, they often lack the motivation to achieve great things.
A growth mindset perceives intelligence and learning as attributes that can be developed through continuous training. That does not mean that every person with a growth mindset is one of the next Einsteins, but they do possess the motivation to become him. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve their skillset through their actions and hard work. In this mindset, people see failures as temporary and that can be changed. That is if we take ahead the example of the previous section, a person with a growth mindset would take failure as a lesson to practice more.
This term was first termed by Dr. Carol Dweck. The studies of Dweck and other researchers examine the positive effect of a growth mindset. Therefore, the studies show that it also has a positive effect on motivation and individuals’ performance.
Let us discuss the study of a growth mindset. Researchers examine the motivation of college students after learning about the neuroplasticity of the brain. Therefore, students were taken to the session on brain functioning. However, the control group was taught the types of intelligence. Therefore, the result shows that students were highly motivated after learning about the neuroplasticity of the brain than the control group.
The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset
Some scientists have recognized the electrical activity of the brain to understand the correlation between the brain and the growth mindset. Therefore, the result shows that there is a link between a growth mindset and two areas of the brain. Those areas are the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, which involves the functioning of learning and control. However, other is The Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex, whose function involves error monitoring and behavioral adaption. However, researchers find that the brain of people with a growth mindset is more active when someone told them about the improvement they need. Whereas, the brain of people with a fixed mindset is active when someone is told about their performance i.e. result. Therefore, people with a fixed mindset are focused on the result, whereas, of a growth one on the process.
Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset
- People with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges in every aspect. Therefore, this becomes their behavior and stops them from achieving anything in their life. Whereas people with a growth mindset are ready to face any kind of challenge in their life.
- People with a fixed Mindset start to hate the person if he criticizes them for their performance. Or, worse they can spiral into self-doubt and finally into depression. They tend to completely ignore them. However, people with a growth mindset do not ignore their criticism. Therefore, they welcome all the feedback and learn from them.
- People with fixed Mindsets start thinking negatively after one failure. They start to believe that they are not smart enough to get success. Whereas people with a growth mindset take each failure as a new opportunity.
- People with a growth mindset believe that learning and intelligence can change with time. People realize that their effort and hard work have an immense effect on their success. However, people with fixed mindsets things that their talent and qualities are constant traits. Therefore they are not able to change it.
Can a Person’s Mindset Change?
As a person can develop their intelligence and learning, similarly, they are capable to change their functioning of the brain too. Intelligence is an inherent state, is a myth. However, neuroscience shows us that our brain continues to develop and change with the flow of time. According to neuroscience, our brain is just like plastic that can remold over time. Some studies show that our brain develops new connections and also improves the speed of pulse transmission. This suggests that a person can change their fixed mindset to a growth mindset gradually with time.
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