Growth Mindset And Fixed Mindset In My Life

There are two mindsets someone can have about a subject whether it be related to work and school or something in one’s personal life and the difference directly affects one’s ability to succeed in any. Carol Dweck explains the two mindsets known as a growth mindset and a fixed mindset in her article “Brainology”. The fixed mindset is where one believes that there intelligence and skill levels at certain subjects are fixed from birth and they can’t be improved or evolved and a growth mindset believes skill and intelligence are improved with work and practice. There have been a few areas in my life where I have struggled with a fixed mindset such as when I was in geometry class in high school and also when I played golf during my sophomore year of high school and I believe both issues could have been resolved with work and a growth mindset.

An area of my life in which I struggled with a fixed mindset was my geometry class in high school. In classes such as geometry the best thing to do is study and practice a lot with homework and other examples. I did not do this and eventually ended up with a fixed mindset about the subject. In her article, Dweck states how those with a fixed mindset are less resistant to setbacks and put forth less effort with each setback. This was definitely true for my case as I didn’t bounce back with each setback that came my way and eventually thought of myself as “dumb”, which is a result many with a fixed mindset come to. Dweck also talks about how someone with a fixed mindset tends to give up easily rather than keep trying and working hard. This one was also unfortunately true as I started to give up on myself in the class and ended up having to switch at the end of a semester and retaking the class my next year. I believe most people tend to have a subject or certain area in school where they have had a fixed mindset and did not believe they could push forward and succeed. The only way to succeed and push through the parts one struggles with is to change to a growth mindset and believe with the work and practice one can improve their skills drastically over time. The fixed mindset keeps you in a hole that is hard to dig yourself out of mentally and when it comes to catching up and workload. This growth mindset can definitely help on a path to improvement and success.

Another area of my life in which I struggled with having a fixed mindset was when I played golf sophomore year of high school. It is a difficult sport and takes a lot of patience and practice to improve. In Dweck’s article, “Brainology”, she states how a person with a fixed mindset often tries their hardest to not look “dumb” or uninformed. This was definitely the case as I tried to play things off casually when I made a mistake or act like I didn’t care. Although I did originally play as a random decision and just for fun with my friend, I definitely did care and tried to put maximum effort into it. Dweck also states how those praised with reinforcement of how talented they are seem to end up with a fixed mindset rather than those who are praised based on effort. This is definitely relatable as when I first played the coaches were telling me how I was naturally skilled in the sport even though I just started playing, I was even a captain of our junior varsity team at our first tournament even though it was my first tournament. But as I started then continued to make mistakes, I started to shy away and strive to get the least attention. I would only practice what was enjoyable to me and didn’t plan on playing more than that one year. Having this fixed mindset that I was not good and couldn’t improve at certain aspects definitely hurt me during that time and even lead me to not play anymore. With a growth mindset I could have used the amount of athletic ability I had and ended up being a great athlete in the sport and could have continued playing.

In retrospect, both topics I have written about would have been drastically improved had I employed a growth mindset. About halfway through her article, Dweck talks about how as a society we often praise natural talent over working hard. I believe if my coach told me how I can be the top player maybe with certain practice drills and such rather than telling me I was a naturally good golf player, that could have contributed to me working harder and trying to be a great player. Being told I was naturally good definitely contributed to that stagnant mindset I had and having the growth mindset would have definitely helped the longevity of my golf career and my skill levels. Dweck also writes on growth mindset stating how students who had a growth mindset seemed to score higher on tests and earn higher grades than those with a fixed mindset. I have seen this within myself, as the times I have had a growth mindset, classes tend to be a lot easier and more reasonable than classes in which I had a fixed mindset and seemed to be stuck in the way of thought that I couldn’t improve. The example I gave was my geometry class and how I had the fixed mindset about the whole class and ended up having to retake it the next year considering I gave up. That next year I implemented the growth mindset and told myself I was going to do well and ended up doing much better than I had before. There are many instances such as that one where I implemented a growth mindset and saw direct results. The growth mindset definitely affects your ability to be successful or not in different aspects of your life.

There have been a few areas in my life where I have struggled with a fixed mindset such as when I was in geometry class in high school and also when I played golf during my sophomore year of high school and I believe both issues could have been resolved with work and a growth mindset. My fixed mindset negatively affected the two instances I put forward and ultimately led me to failure with both. I implemented the growth mindset into the geometry class I struggled with when I took it the next year and ended up doing well, this is directly showing how something as simple as your mindset can lead to success or failure. I have tried to implement a growth mindset in everything I do and will continue to because having a growth mindset is a great way to take things head on and eventually bring success.

10 October 2020
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