I couldn’t believe it when I found this! Yay! I need this on a shirt, now. 🙂 Are you or your children back in school? Maybe you are beginning a new job? Maybe you are managing or teaching others? If you haven’t learned about having and encouraging a growth mindset yet, please read on.
The concept of growth mindset was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck. In recent years, many schools and educators have started using Dweck’s theories. Carol Dweck explains “In a fixed mindset people believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They also think talent alone creates success, without effort.” Alternatively, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
When you embrace a growth mindset you realize that your effort and perseverance will lead to learning more and becoming smarter. You will also view challenges and failures as opportunities for your learning and growth. I can only speak of my own experiences with this. I can say for certain that I have made positive changes in my life by having a growth mindset for myself and my children. In fact, I typically had a growth mindset for my own children, but not for myself. I really kept myself from new experiences for reasons like I’m not that smart, I can’t learn that at my age, I don’t want to fail…It also made me realize that I wasn’t being a good role model for my children thinking that way.
As I tried to keep this mindset when encouraging my children, I found it difficult not to tell my children they were smart! I think It’s okay to still say those things as long as you explain to them that their hard work and effort help them become smarter. My children love to draw and color. When I praise their work I try to be specific about what they did. Instead of just saying “What a beautiful picture”, I would say “Wow, I really like the way you used all those different colors!”, or “I can see how much time you took coloring in that background so carefully.” Another point I have made with my children is that it is okay to make mistakes or even fail at something. It helps us to learn and grow. My older son was pursuing his black belt in karate and at one of his tests he failed. He did not earn the next belt. It was a very difficult experience for him and myself, to be quite honest. It is difficult to see your child struggle, but it is a learning experience. He learned that he needed to practice more and not give up. He did both of those and did go on to receive his black belt. ( Let’s Talk about Karate )
After reading about Carol Dweck’s research regarding growth mindset, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s with Kristina Tracy Unstoppable Me 10 Ways to Soar Through Life came to mind. This is a wonderful book to read to your children to encourage them to have a growth mindset and of course, it also ties nicely with ways to cultivate happiness and mindfulness. 🙂
- You’re Great-No Matter What!
- Persistence Pays Off!
- Welcome the Unknown
- You Have a Choice
- Farewell to Worry
- Peace Begins with You
- Enjoy the Here-and-Now
- Healthy Me!
- Creativity is the Key!
- What Can You Give?
Each point includes an example and an illustration showing how a child might apply the concept in his or her everyday life. Dr. Dyer also includes questions at the end of the book to help begin conversations. My children have been captivated by the stories and illustrations. Great book to share with your children or children you care for.
I also found this simple chart that explains the two ways of thinking:
Older children will appreciate this simple chart to encourage their understanding of the concept of having a growth mindset.
Again, having a growth mindset encourages a love of learning and resilience. It helps us to connect with others in a positive way and gives us all the opportunity to reach our full potential. If you are interested to learn more I have a more detailed chart and a video on my Happiness Page which is currently my home page. You can also go right to the source at http://www.mindsetonline.com
Stay Calm and Growth Mindset….