- “I can’t do it!”
- “It’s too hard!”
- “If I fail, I don’t know what I will do.”
The above statements all have something in common: They display a negative fixed mindset. They hold a person back from growth by stating that growth is impossible. Mindset should not be a fixed thing. Our lives are ever changing, providing us never ending opportunities for growth. Our mindset should be the same.
As Albert Einstein stated: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
We sometimes need to change our thinking to help us find solutions. If our mind cannot set itself in a new direction, we cannot find such solutions. Thus, the mind should be able to set itself in a new way to help us deal with the changes and challenges that we face. If we view “mindset” as a verb, then we realize that our thoughts can be arranged to help us grow. We can change our thoughts and statements into ones that allow us to grow, instead of holding us back.
Growth Mindset activity
Circle true or false for each of the following statements. Then, read the directions afterward to help find more about how you think.
- If I have to work hard at something, it means I am not smart. T F
- I improve with lots of practice. T F
- When I make a mistake, I get embarrassed. T F
- Doing my best makes me proud, even it it is not perfect. T F
- Even if I try, there are some things I will never be good at. T F
- I stick with things and don’t give up easily. T F
- I believe people are born smart or stupid, and can’t change it. T F
- I don’t mind making mistakes, because they help me learn. T F
- I usually quit if things get too hard. T F
- When I fail, I say, “I can’t do it yet”, and try again. T F
You probably noticed a patter in the above statements. Give yourself 1 point for each “True” for the odd numbered statements. Then, give yourself 1 point for each “False” on the even numbered statements. You will come up with a score between 0 and 10. The lower your score, the more of a growth mindset you have. The higher the score, the more of a fixed mindset you have. If you have a high score, this is your first opportunity to grow and help open your mind to changing.
“Instead of” statements to help you mindset your way to growth!!
The following are examples of statements that people say every day. There is a pattern here. The first statement is a done deal, a fixed mindset. And, as we will discuss next week on youIQ, our statements (either verbal or non-verbal) become our reality! The second statement can be used instead of the first to change how your mind views the situation. It comes down to positive self talk that eventually works its way into your subconscious and changes your mindset.
- “I can’t do this” becomes “I can’t do this yet”
- “If I try, I might fail” becomes “If I fail, it gives me a chance to improve when I try again”
- “I just can’t handle all of the things going on in my life” becomes “I have a lot going on, so I will prioritize and make sure I do a little at a time until it is all resolved”
- “I don’t have the knowledge to do this” becomes “I will do my best and learn in the process”
Take a few minutes and write down some statements that you have said that are fixed and holding you back in some way. How can you change those statements to growth statements instead?