In many different areas of life, we can take advantage of the concept of growth mindset. In education, for example, people with such beliefs are able to teach better, motivate students, and even apply the lessons they learn in different scenarios. Such leaders have an advantage when it comes to their jobs – not only because they know how to motivate people, but also because they genuinely believe in the value of their work.
In regards to learning and intelligence, however, the concept of growth mindset does not quite fit. In decision theory and so-called cognitive skills theory, a mindset – also called an attitude – is simply a set of beliefs, tactics, or theories held by one or a group of people. A mindset, then, can also often be seen as emerging from a person’s personal world view or philosophy of life, rather than coming from an education or training program. Such a perspective, which I call the intelligence mindset, requires a different sort of motivation.
For those who hold the intelligence mindset, education and training are not necessary. The acquisition of new knowledge, for example, is not part of this equation. Those who possess this belief also believe that intelligence and talents come from the mind and not from the body. For them, the best way to develop these abilities is to fortify the mind with positive thinking and positive activities, rather than trying to make do with less. And this leads inevitably to the second point that needs to be made about developing growth mindset: That there is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve more than you are able to.
Those who possess the growth mindset feel like they can handle whatever comes their way, because they know that they are going to get better. They recognize that sometimes they will fail, and they don’t let that deter them. They know that they will fail, but if they try again, eventually, they get better. These people are willing to accept setbacks and failures with grace and humility, knowing that they were going to get hit with a brick wall at some point, but they keep on going. In other words, they don’t complain or look for excuses, they just keep going.
They also understand that sometimes it will take more than intelligence, talent, and hard work to succeed. It may require that they have fortitude, persistence, and the willingness to learn from their mistakes. They understand that there will be times when they won’t be able to figure out something, and they are okay with that. Instead of blaming someone else, they accept responsibility and continue to strive for their potential.
So, the next question that arises is: What does one do to acquire the growth mindset? Those who possess the mindset are aware of the gap that exists between potential and actual. They recognize that sometimes they will encounter challenges along the way, and they do not let those challenges define them as people; rather, they view those challenges as opportunities to expand their capabilities. If they had the intelligence, talent, and hard work to pursue their goals, they would view those challenges differently-they would see them as challenges that helped them grow.
The best growth mindset is one that includes intelligence, hard work, persistence, humility, and creativity. By putting all of these elements together, you will create the person you want to be. This combination of intelligence, hard work, persistence, humility, and creativity is what makes up the person most capable of reaching his or her full potential. Of course, each of these components requires effort, which is another component of the personality. Nevertheless, when all of these components are combined, you will have the person you always wanted to be.
So, in closing, learning how to face challenges, and overcoming the fear of making mistakes will go a long way toward enhancing your growth mindset. This will set you on the road to becoming the person you want to be. And this will definitely help you achieve the success you desire.