Developing A Growth Mindset

Life can be challenging. We are put into situations that challenge us mentally and physically all of the time. The mindset that we have going into these situations can significantly affect the outcome positively or negatively. In this post, I'll share my takeaways from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck which focuses on using a growth mindset to navigate difficult situations.

Aaron Bos | Monday, July 31, 2023

First, I would definitely recommend this book to those who struggle with mindset, don't believe mindsets can change, or those who are looking to understand the impact that a mindset shift can have on their life. The book is packed with examples and stories that support Carol Dweck's extensive research on mindset, which helps drive home the point while also making it an exciting read.

Growth vs Fixed Mindset A person with a growth mindset will be more willing to embrace challenges, learn from criticism, and generally value effort over outcomes. Whereas someone with a fixed mindset will avoid challenges for fear of failure, neglect criticism, and value outcomes over effort. These mindsets can be surfaced in any aspect of our life including careers, relationships, and interests.

Our mindset can be multi-faceted. Prior to reading this book, I assumed that everyone mostly took on a singular mindset. "I am either a growth-minded or fixed-minded person." Through this book I learned that individuals can have a growth mindset in some areas, but a fixed mindset in others. For example, I may have a growth mindset in how I approach my career, but a fixed mindset in how I approach personal relationships. Understanding this is important because it can help identify areas we should improve. It may also be worth trying to learn why some areas are easier to have a growth mindset than others to shed light on ways to improve.

Mindsets are linked to identity. Most people will find an identity that acts as a guide for the decisions they make throughout their lives. For example, many people will identify themselves based on their talents or successes. For the longest time, I identified myself as an athlete. Sports dominated my life from my youth through college, but what happened when I had to stop playing? There was a period of time when I felt like I had lost my identity, but in time I came to realize that it wasn't necessarily the athletic successes that I identified with. It was the effort and pursuit to be great at something. Once I realized that I was able to shift my mindset from being an "athlete" to being a "learner". Someone who is constantly looking to improve and grow. Because I didn't find my identity in the outcomes, I was able to make the transition without completely redefining my purpose and identity.

As always thank you for taking the time to read this blog post!