Imagine that you are a young adult having a really bad day. You go to your class and the teacher turns to you and gives your midterm papers. You got a C+. You are very disappointed. That evening on your way back home you get into a bitter argument with a stranger in the local train. Being really frustrated, you call your best friend to share your experience but your friend sorts of brushes you off.
What would you think? What would you feel? What would you do?
Researchers say that people react in two different ways in a situation like this; it mostly depends on what they believe to be true about them.
Dr. Carol S. Dweck in her book ‘Mindset’ says it is something to do with the mindset of people.
One of the most basic beliefs people have about themselves, Dweck found in her research, has to do with how they view and inhabit what they consider to be their personality. A “fixed mindset” assumes that their character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which they can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.
A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Out of these two mindsets, which they manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of their behavior, their relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately their capacity for happiness.
In a difficult situation as I mentioned earlier people with a “fixed mindset” will end up saying “I’d feel like a reject”, “I’m a total failure”, “I’m an Idiot”, “I’m a loser” etc. These set of people often tend to believe that they are worthless and react by saying “My life is pitiful”, “I have no life”, “Somebody upstairs doesn’t like me”, “The world is out to get me”, “Nobody loves me”, “Life stinks” etc.
They settle down with their limitations and never rise up to see the endless possibilities life has to offer.
On the other hand people with a “growth mindset” look at the brighter side of what those failures can develop in them. They end up saying “Guess I need to work harder to achieve an A+”, “I need to be careful dealing with people so they don’t hurt me”, etc.
In fact they see themselves the way God created them to be. A thriving human being with the creative and intellectual abilities just the way God intended.
For a person with the right perspective about themselves and life in general, the possibilities are endless. They go through the same problems we all go through but come out victorious because they see the brighter side of things.