What Do You Mean By Mindset?
"Mindset" refers to a series of beliefs that people hold about themselves and the world. It's the reason people think and act the way they do and it influences their outlook on life. Your mindset has a big impact on your overall wellbeing and sense of achievement in life.
Types of Mindset
There are two different types of mindsets. People who possess more of a growth mindset are likely to stick with a task even when it proves difficult. They tend to believe that they can learn and develop through dedication and hard work. They are also more likely to:
- Welcome challenges
- Be open to new ways of learning
- View mistakes as opportunities for learning
- Recognize their weaknesses and work to improve them
People who possess more of a fixed mindset are likely to shy away from challenges. They tend to believe that traits like intelligence or talent are set at birth, and as a result, likely unchangeable. They are also likely to:
- Engage in negative self-talk ("I can't")
- Avoid tasks where there is a risk of failing
- Struggle to accept setbacks
- Try to hide or justify their mistakes
Changing Your Mindset Is Possible
Feel like you could be stuck in a fixed mindset? Here are some tips for developing a growth mindset.
- Instead of "I can't do it," try "I can't do it…yet." If you believe that you can, you have a better chance at succeeding, even if it doesn't happen right away.
- Challenge accepted! The next time you are faced with a tricky task, try to embrace it. You might struggle along the way, but each new try will lead to more success.
- Work hard. Many of the goals you set for yourself won't come easily. They will require hard work. But, when you work hard for something, the rewards feel really good.
- Setbacks are opportunities for learning. Believe it or not! Making a mistake does not mean you have failed, but you may need a different strategy. Achieving perfection on the first try is often unrealistic.
- Be open to new ways of doing things. By tackling a challenge in a new way, you may be very surprised (and happy) with the outcome.
Mindsets can change over time and we as individuals are not typically all growth or all fixed, all of the time. However, fostering a growth mindset from an early age can help children and youth to experience and enjoy life to its fullest. When children and youth learn that putting forth effort, accepting challenges, and overcoming difficulties can make them smarter or stronger, they tend to try harder and achieve more. When children and youth know that their brains are capable of growing and improving, they can unlock their full potential and amazing things can happen!
For updates and to follow along with the work of the PDSB Mental Health Resource Team, find them on Twitter @MHRTPeel.
Adapted from Reach Out Australia (2018).