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Mindset exercises

Do you believe that intelligence, artistic ability, character and personality are something fixed? Qualities that you’re born with and that you can’t really change? Or do you believe that each of us can fundamentally develop and improve many of our qualities over the course of our life?

In her book, Mindset – How you can Fuel your Potential, Carol Dweck shares her research about what she calls fixed and growth mindsets. She explains the fixed mindset as a belief that your qualities are carved in stone, where the growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.

Dweck believes that although people have vastly different talents, aptitudes, interests and temperaments, everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

Fixed Mindset
Growth Mindset
Afraid of being judged with a tendency to
• take feedback as criticism
• be sensitive about being wrong or making mistakes
• avoid trying new things
• give up easily
A desire to learn, which means that you
• embrace challenges
• keep going when things get difficult
• see effort as the path to mastery
• take feedback as an opportunity to grow and learn

Which personality mindset do you have?

Look at these statements about personality and character and decide whether you mostly agree or mostly disagree with each one.

  1. You are a certain kind of person, and there is not much that can be done to really change that.
  2. No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially.
  3. You can do things differently, but the important parts of who you are can’t really be changed.
  4. You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are.

Questions 1 and 3 are fixed-mindset questions, and questions 2 and 4 reflect the growth mindset.

Which did you agree with more?

Mindsets in Practice

Personal reflection

What mindset do you operate from? How has this impacted what you have achieved in life so far? If you worked on cultivating a growth mindset in all areas of your life, how might things change?

Can you identify people you know with a fixed mindset? What do they do and say? How has this mindset impacted them?

Think about a time when you felt incredibly motivated and inspired to work hard and contribute your best… What was it about this environment that motivated you to give your best, to perform at your peak?

“Becoming is better than being” – Carol Dweck

Source: Claire Holden, Change in Mindset

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