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“With a growth mindset, people don’t necessarily think that there’s no such thing as talent or that everyone is the same, but they believe everyone can develop their abilities through hard work, strategies, and lots of help and mentoring from others.” – These words are by Stanford psychologist Dr Carol Dweck, the propounder of ‘growth mindset’ theory.
A growth mindset, as conceived by Carol Dweck and her colleagues, is the theory that a person’s capacities and talents can be worked on and improved over a course of time. This mindset is especially critical during the pandemic, as millions of people across the world have experienced financial, social, and health-related setbacks.
Growth mindset is a term in the field of human motivation. This term signifies a state of mind, in which people believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This theory focuses on intelligence and talent as mere starting points of a journey that will lead to a person fulfilling their desires and achieving their goals. A growth mindset is based on a liking for learning, and a resilience that is critical to accomplish great things in life.
A growth mindset is different from a fixed mindset. A person with a fixed mindset has diminished belief in their capacity to learn and improve over time. Therefore, people adopting a growth mindset should be aware that this theory takes time to see fruition amongst its practitioners and believers.
Covid-19 is unprecedented, leaving people to work and study out of their homes as social distancing norms are mandated. A certain degree of push and ambience that enhanced our motivation, and productivity is therefore missing. Also, the unpredictability and anxiety as a result of the pandemic have made a lot of people develop self-doubt, putting a heavy toll on mental health.
A growth mindset can help people overcome their inhibitions and anxiety, and take the following incremental actions towards leading better lives:
1. Upskill yourself
“The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things.” — Dr. Carol Dweck
Imagine a future self, where you are more skilled than you are in the present, and take actions to build on the hard work you have already put in. During the pandemic, you may rekindle the thought of taking up online courses that will help you upskill or learn a new skill altogether. A number of educational and vocational training institutes are offering online courses that will benefit your professional credentials, and help you develop skills that will boost your confidence. All this, while you are amidst a raging pandemic.
2. Focus on the process, not the outcome
Maintain a growth mindset for finding stability in an unstable world. Take a moment to reflect and focus on how you plan to achieve a certain goal, rather than how it will feel when you end up achieving it. For example, when taking a course, think about the network you will build and the learning modules you will get to go through, rather than the convocation ceremony or how you can use the credential to get a job. This approach will inadvertently improve your quality of input, and will positively impact the output as well, without you stressing over it all the time.
3. Be patient
Try developing patience and persistence, as a growth mindset can help in self-improvement and make you more likely to persist in the face of challenges. Remind yourself that it takes time to develop skills, and results can be seen only by being consistent and disciplined. Gardening is a good example, as it can take months before you see any positive results of the seeds you sow. However, by constant watering of the plants, and providing adequate conditions such as sunlight, you can ensure that your plants will grow and bloom.
So ladies, take positive steps towards improving your abilities, to lead a happier and fulfilled life!