Which of the following sentences resonate with how you think about yourself?
- Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you cannot change very much.
- You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.
- No matter how much intelligence you have you can always change it quite a bit.
- You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.
So, a question you should ask yourself is this, which did you believe in the most from the above sentences? Which phrase resonated strongest for you? You can also replace the Word intelligent in the above sentences with artistic, business acumen or sports ability. If you chose the first two options above then you have a fixed mindset versus the second two options which means you have a more growth mindset.
This isn’t just an important question for you, but how do your kids think? When we are babies, we have to learn the most challenging lessons of our lives, to walk and to talk, and never consider that it may be too hard. They just try without fear of failure or making a mistake. As soon as kids learn to evaluate themselves, they develop this fear and so the fixed mindset manifests itself in them. Instead of being open to learn and grow as quickly as when they were infants. When a test of completing a puzzle was given to 4-year old’s, the ones with the fixed mindset wanted to redo the same puzzle versus trying a harder one. The kids with the growth mindset felt it was silly to do the same puzzle that they just solved and embraced the challenge. It’s not such a big deal when the decision is to do a harder puzzle or not, it’s another to pass up on a decision that’s important to your future! Is your priority loads of compliments or judgment or are you more interested in learning how to improve?