Why is mindset so important?

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/07/2020 (817 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Do you believe that you can develop new talents and abilities, or that what you have is all you’ll ever have in that department?

In 2006, psychologist Carol Dweck took the world by storm with her concept of two kinds of mindset. In a 2012 interview, she described those two mindsets as follows:

“In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.

“In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

If you were told as a child how smart you are, you might have developed a desire to keep that praise going — so learning new things and appearing dumb might have been threatening for you. Maybe you tried something once or twice, was not an instant prodigy at it, and decided it wasn’t for you. A fixed mindset is not likely to be a recipe for happiness in life, although it can certainly lead to a fair amount of success, if you stick to the things you know you can do well and never venture outside your comfort zone.

If that stings, don’t feel bad. Many of us grew up as “the smart one,” with a big investment in keeping up those appearances, very likely at the expense of our growth. But the great news is that it’s never too late to develop a growth mindset and throw off the shackles of appearing smart rather than truly being successful and happy.

So how do we do that? By doing something completely terrifying. We need to fail repeatedly, in public, in front of all the people who think we are the bees knees at whatever it is we are known for.

But Hadass — I hear you cry — why would I want to do something like that? Why would I deliberately make a fool of myself like that? Surely people will lose all respect for me!

Here’s the answer. If you are perfectly happy and comfortable doing what you are doing right now, that’s awesome, and you don’t have to make any changes. Just keep on trucking, and I wish you all the best.

But if you are reading this, chances are you are interested in growing, learning new things and becoming the best version of yourself you can possibly be. That requires you to break out of your shell and grow. That might be painful, but it’s worth it, just to stop stifling that little voice in your head that keeps complaining that there has to be more to life than what you are doing right now.

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. Check out her blog at: http://hadasseviatar.com/blog/

Hadass Eviatar

Hadass Eviatar
West Kildonan community correspondent

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan.

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