What are Mindsets?

Posted by Michael Dean on

Welcome back to our series of Blog’s covering a range of Personal Development topic’s.

In the previous posts we covered the topic of Stress and Stress Management techniques, and so today I will cover the MINDSET and how this relates to our lives.

What are Mindsets?

 Our mindset is our mental attitude and our self-perception that has taken shape, based on our life experiences, our environment, our education and the ideas and beliefs we have absorbed from those people we have most interacted with in our lives.

 Whether we are aware of it or not, as we go about our daily lives, we all keep a running account or self-talk of what is happening to us, what it means, and what we should do about it. Our mindset is that inner voice or conversation that is continuously taking place in our heads.

Our minds are continuously seeking “meaning” and we are constantly interpreting,  and monitoring events and stimuli so that we can reinforce or modify our internal ‘map’ of ourselves and the world as we have come to understand them.

Based on these beliefs and self-perceptions, our mindset is responsible for how we interpret and react to what happens to us and around us.

Depending on whether your inner voice is based on a positive empowering mindset or a negative limiting one, will largely determine how you will interpret challenges, setbacks and criticisms in life as well as contributing significantly to the actual outcomes and results you create.

Two main mindsets have been identified by Carol Dweck, (Professor of Psychology at Stanford University). A fixed mindset and a growth mindset (Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House Inc). It can be shown that people can have both types of mindsets, a growth mindset in some situations (for example, towards maths) and a fixed mindset in others (for example towards sport).

What is a Growth Mindset?

A Growth Mindset is where a person’s self-belief is centred around the notion that, “…their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Brains and talent are just the starting point.” (Dweck, 2006)

What is a Fixed Mindset?

A Fixed Mindset is where people believe traits such as talent, or intelligence, are seen as fixed traits, set at birth. A person with a fixed mindset will allow failure or success define them. If a person has this fixed mindset, a lot of time is spent by the person documenting their talents and less time working on developing them.

People with a fixed mindset will describe themselves as either ‘smart’ or ‘dumb’ with no way to change this and they will shy away from challenges. When faced with failure or a different challenge, they will tell themselves and others, ‘they can’t do it’ or will make excuses to rationalise the failure (Example: 'I didn't pass the test as I was too busy doing my homework for another subject').

Why a “Growth Mindset” is important for young people

  • A growth mindset allows young people to embrace failure and learn from it.
  • A growth mindset is critical to adopting learning-oriented behaviour.
  • Beliefs held by young people about learning and failure when they begin year 7 have a strong influence on their achievement over time.
  • People who believe that effort matters respond with more positive, sophisticated strategies to tasks and increasing their learning as time goes on.
  • Learning from failure causes substantial changes in the brain throughout life and is vital for resilience.

 As you can see from the above list, it is very important in the healthy development of young people that their mindset is one of “Growth” rather than a “Fixed” or limiting mindset.

 I look forward to covering more topics of Personal Development in our future posts.



← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Blog Posts


Navigating Stress in Relationships: A Guide to Building Strong Bonds

By Michael Dean

Navigating Stress in Relationships: A Guide to Building Strong Bonds The Impact of Stress on Relationships: Discover how stress can strain relationships, leading to conflicts...

Read more

Exploring the Power of Meditation in Strengthening Relationships

By Michael Dean

Exploring the Power of Meditation in Strengthening Relationships How stress impacts relationships and how meditation can be used to alleviate its negative effects, including improving...

Read more