In the book Mindset, Carol S Dweck talks about the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. As Carol states in her book, the beliefs we carry about ourselves (Dweck found in her research) has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality.
A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static given which we can’t change in any meaningful way. And success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those give measure up against an equally fixed standard, striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.
A “growth mindset”, on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.
Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness.
I love what Carol has to say and it’s an amazing read. I like to think of cultivating a flexible mindset.
A mindset that is the solution-driven focus on Stoic, Socratic principles always looking for a win. The win is the solution to life’s problems. Using obstacles and our mistakes as our way to constantly grow and evolve. Knowing the more we learn, the more we haven’t learned.
Without principles, purpose, and values to live by, we get caught up in impulsive reactions to the non-stop chaos and calamities that surround us 24-7.
Cultivating flexibility in thought helps us become more compassionate, empathic and less reactionary.
We develop deeper relationships as we are able to understand other people’s perceptions and don’t over or under react staying present as we practice active, empathic listening.
With all the trigger, happy people in the world with a flexible mindset that helps us practice compassion and empathy will go a long way.