The Cambridge Dictionary defines mindset as being ‘a person’s way of thinking and their opinions’. Often how we view ourselves and the world around us can lead to feelings of optimism or pessimism. Some people may believe that the way they are is set from the day they were born. A fixed mindset occurs when one believes that their abilities are fixed and unchangeable. This can lead to a very narrow world view that does not leave room for growth and expansion. If you have the belief that you can only achieve a certain level of success, often you will stop once you achieve that limit thinking that you have reached the highest standard possible. When we push ourselves to do more, we often discover that patience, time, and practice are inevitable factors in determining what we can achieve.
When thinking of having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset I often think of the following quote by Michael Jordan:
Having a growth mindset enables one to think that their knowledge, skills, and abilities can be developed and strengthened over time through hard work, commitment, and practice. When one is in a space where they have a growth mindset, the future holds limitless opportunities for one to grow and expand in ways that will garnish happiness and feelings of positive self-worth. When one has a growth mindset, they leave room to improve their intelligence and learn new skills through hard work, training, and perseverance. Having this mindset also enables one to accept failure as part of the process of learning that will lead to a better understanding of what works and what does not work and will help them integrate that knowledge to propel them forward to keep trying new things until they discover solutions and opportunities for success.
Amber Sanner, MS, LMFT