Hav­ing a growth mind­set is key to suc­cess

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - OPINION - CONALL

Grade 9 stu­dents in the Col­lec­tive Voice pro­gram at Aden Bow­man Col­le­giate share their lives and opin­ions through col­umns. Se­lected col­umns run each Mon­day in the StarPhoenix.

Two main in­gre­di­ents to suc­cess in life are ef­fort and hav­ing a positive at­ti­tude.

Max­i­mum ef­fort can­not be reached with­out a positive at­ti­tude. A positive at­ti­tude is also usu­ally re­quired for max­i­mum ef­fort.

Carol S. Dweck is a psy­chol­o­gist and ed­u­ca­tor. She is also a re­searcher in the field of mo­ti­va­tion stud­ies and wrote the book, Self-The­o­ries: Their Role in Mo­ti­va­tion, Per­son­al­ity, and De­vel­op­ment.

We all have mo­ments when we want to do some­thing, then sec­ond thoughts and self-doubt give us a glance at fail­ure. The thought of fail­ure is fright­en­ing and leads peo­ple to say to them­selves, “I can’t do it” or “I’m go­ing to fail.” This mind­set is a fixed mind­set. Your mind is a pow­er­ful thing. The sto­ries you tell your­self and the things you be­lieve can ei­ther hold you back or al­low positive change and im­prove­ment.

To get past the fixed mind­set, you first have to re­al­ize what’s hap­pen­ing. When a per­son has a fixed mind­set, the ef­fort re­quired to suc­ceed is not au­to­mat­i­cally present. A fixed mind­set means a per­son is pre­vent­ing im­prove­ment and positive change; it even lim­its the goals a per­son sets.

The op­po­site of a fixed mind­set is a growth mind­set, when a per­son has the abil­ity to tell them­self positive in­for­ma­tion, which lets them move for­ward, try new things and achieve goals. Hav­ing this mind­set also means the per­son can set goals that are dif­fi­cult to achieve and will re­quire a lot of ef­fort. While fail­ure is still a pos­si­bil­ity, it does not par­a­lyze the per­son to the point they won’t try.

We have all had times in our life when we say “I can’t,” or “I won’t be able to,” or maybe even, “I think I’m go­ing to fail.” I will share some of my own ex­pe­ri­ences in the hopes it will help you be­come more aware of your own self-talk and work more on de­vel­op­ing a growth mind­set and rec­og­nize when you are suf­fer­ing from a fixed mind­set.

A cou­ple of years ago be­fore soc­cer games, I would en­vi­sion a bad game, screw­ing up, and tell my­self I wouldn’t play well, which pre­de­ter­mined how I was go­ing to play. Coaches and sports ed­u­ca­tion helped me re­al­ize what I was think­ing be­fore games was dras­ti­cally harm­ing my per­for­mance. Once I knew my mind was that pow­er­ful, I would en­vi­sion the op­po­site — mak­ing great plays and hav­ing suc­cess­ful games. This led to my con­fi­dence in­creas­ing dra­mat­i­cally, which greatly im­proved my per­for­mance, more than train­ing seven days a week ever could. If you tell your­self you can and you find a way to be­lieve it, you will.

Dis­cov­er­ing how to de­velop a growth mind­set is es­sen­tial. What worked for me was notic­ing I had a fixed mind­set and how that mind­set made me feel ap­proach­ing games, which was ner­vous, wor­ried and anx­ious. I played ten­ta­tively and with­out con­fi­dence. When I learned I needed to take note of what I was think­ing and ad­just, I started to tell my­self positive things.

Notic­ing what you are say­ing to your­self is key. What you tell your­self and think of your­self is far more im­por­tant and pow­er­ful than what any­one else thinks of you or says to you.

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