When I speak with people I am able to see that we all have a different way of coping with problems. Some people have a growth mindset, in which they feel that they are able to succeed. Others have a fixed mindset, in which they feel they are unable to succeed at anything, even if they try their hardest. What is the difference in the diverse mindsets? When you have a fixed mindset, you believe that “your qualities are carved in stone” (Dweck, 2007, pg. 6). Someone with a fixed mindset is always trying to prove themselves over and over again (Dweck, 2007).
Let’s take my situation with basketball for example. I played one year and decided that I was too short to play on a team. I had heard that short people couldn’t play well. I didn’t think I was capable of being on a team, and I decided to quit playing all together. Another person may not have coped with this failure in the same way. Having a growth mindset allows one to keep trying. “Growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things that you can cultivate through your efforts…everyone can change and grow through application and experience” (Dweck, 2007, pg. ).
People with this mindset believe that you cannot predict what a person is capable of. If we look at someone else (with a growth mindset) who was told they were not good enough to play basketball, they would react differently. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, but that did not stop him. He became a well-known basketball player for the NBA that people looked up to. If I had his mindset at a young age, who knows where I would be now! People with a fixed mindset do not cope well with failure.
They may get down on themselves and not be able to work through problems. This type of mindset sometimes has long-term effects and may lead to depression. People with a fixed mindset feel that a challenge is just another way for them to fail. They are not interested in learning new materials, or learning a correct answer when they get something wrong (Dweck, 2007). They believe they are who they are and cannot change that. They consider themselves “fixed” into society and their efforts will not change their destiny.
People with a fixed mindset thrive only when things are “safely within their grasp” (Dweck, 2007, pg. 22). They lose interest when a challenge is given. People with a growth mindset believe that there is no limit. No one can predict what may happen with effort, desire, and training over time. People with a growth mindset thrive on challenge and seek it out (Dweck, 2007). As I previously stated, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, only to become one of the world’s best known NBA basketball stars.
Patricia Miranda, an Olympic bronze medalist, was told at a young age that she was a joke. Actor Christopher Reeve gave hope to people with spinal injuries after being thrown from a horse and teaching himself how to move again. People with a growth mindset feel that anything is possible. They are able to take the negativity and make it into a challenge. When someone tells them that they cannot do something, they try their hardest to make it possible. By talking with others I am able to see that we all have a different way of coping with problems.
Some people have a growth mindset, in which they feel that they are able to thrive. Others have a fixed mindset, in which they feel they are incapable of success, even if they try their hardest. A growth mindset allows a person to challenge themselves and try harder. A fixed mindset will make a person feel incompetent and powerless. Having a growth mindset can help a person feel confident and unstoppable, and it will allow you to feel that there is no end to how much you can achieve! References Dweck, Carol S. (2007). Mindset: the new psychology of success. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.