With the widespread dissemination of mobile Internet and the rapid ascent of AI, humanity has entered the BANI era. BANI originates from the initials of the four English words Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, and Incomprehensible. BANI embodies a form of psychological fragility, restlessness, and perplexing fixation. It encapsulates chaotic psychological attributes. This is a bewildering and anxiety-inducing period. To thrive in such an epoch, one must possess a growth mindset.
What constitutes a growth mindset?
This notion derives from psychologist Carol Dweck’s seminal work, “Lifelong Growth.” Broadly speaking, individuals harbor two distinctive modes of thinking: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
Individuals with a fixed mindset falter under the weight of failure. They eschew exertion and fear the repercussions of defeat. Moreover, they harbor concerns that their efforts may prove fruitless. Conversely, those with a growth mindset perceive talent merely as a starting point, trusting that one’s intellectual capacities can be enhanced through diligent practice. They ardently believe that, through perseverance, they can surpass obstacles, rendering failure inconsequential.
How can one ascertain their prevailing mode of thinking?
Let us conduct a simple assessment and select the response that best aligns with your personal inclinations from the subsequent queries:
1. How would you react upon discovering that you failed an examination in a subject you excelled at?
A. Overwhelmed by despondency, unable to accept it for an extended period;
B. After a brief spell of sadness, swiftly rebounding and resolving to intensify efforts.
2. How do you respond when someone opposes your viewpoint?
A. Deeming them unintelligent, vehemently arguing against them;
B. Attentively listening to their perspective, acknowledging potential merit therein.
3. Presented with a project boasting a mere 50% success rate, how would you proceed?
A. Utterly rejecting the project, unwilling to be a scapegoat;
B. Assuming responsibility for the project, diligently endeavoring to excel.
4. When your superior assigns you to lead an unfamiliar domain, how do you react?
A. Refusing the responsibility, apprehensive about potential mishaps;
B. Consumed by curiosity, willingly accepting the leadership’s directive and swiftly acquiring knowledge.
5. Upon learning of another’s triumph in a novel project, what are your thoughts?
A. Marveling at their exceptional intellect and talent;
B. Recognizing that talent represents merely one facet and that the individual must have invested great effort into the project.
The evaluation process is straightforward. If your answers comprise more A’s than B’s, it suggests a tendency toward a fixed mindset. Conversely, an abundance of B’s indicates a growth mindset.
What advantages do individuals with a growth mindset possess?
Those harboring a growth mindset enjoy distinct advantages in their professional and personal lives. Let us delve into these advantages separately:
Within the realm of work, leaders with a growth mindset exhibit superior receptivity to constructive suggestions and evince heightened concern for the personal development of their subordinates. Companies and teams with a growth mindset foster inclusivity and foster open, uninhibited communication. Employees embodying a growth mindset thrive amidst arduous tasks such as cooperative negotiations.
In interpersonal relationships, individuals embracing a growth mindset demonstrate heightened empathy, proactively managing connections, and nurturing the belief that relationships can be cultivated. During social interactions, they prioritize others’ perspectives over external evaluations, facilitating the surmounting of social barriers such as shyness, thereby actively engaging with peers.
In the realm of education, children with a growth mindset derive greater enjoyment from the process of undertaking tasks, willingly seek assistance, exhibit tenacity in the face of adversity, and display resilience. Parents, educators, and coaches must serve as purveyors of the growth mindset, imparting knowledge through both words and deeds, and growing alongside their children and students.
Parents embracing a growth mindset excel in acknowledging their children’s efforts and teach them to embrace setbacks and challenges. Educators embodying a growth mindset prioritize guidance over judgment when interacting with students. A coach with a growth mindset esteems every player, effectively harnessing their enthusiasm.
Beyond these aspects, a growth mindset assumes a pivotal role in sports competitions, artistic pursuits, and various other domains.
Throughout my nearly two-decade-long career, I have encountered numerous exceptional colleagues. While not all of them hailed from prestigious institutions or boasted backgrounds at renowned companies, they all exhibited a growth mindset, propelled by an inner drive to incessantly evolve, ultimately achieving success in their professional endeavors.
It is noteworthy that, in reality, most individuals’ thinking modes encompass elements of both growth and fixed mindsets. The prevalence of these two modes varies with age and the specific circumstances at hand.
Thus, how does one fortify the growth mindset within their own thinking model?
Firstly, let us comprehend the characteristics of the human brain. Succinctly put, our brains, akin to our muscles, possess remarkable malleability. The “synapses” responsible for transmitting signals between neurons continually reshapeand reconfigure in response to environmental stimuli and learning experiences. Each acquisition of new information engenders the formation of fresh synapses, while reviewing existing knowledge consolidates synaptic connections, fortifying them.
Scientific research affirms the brain’s plasticity, which endures throughout our lives. Consequently, our thinking patterns, talents, and more can be perpetually molded and nurtured through deliberate practice.
Moreover, our brains exhibit heightened activity when we acknowledge our mistakes or confront challenges. In essence, errors foster cerebral development, constituting a transformative process that shapes a superior self. Thus, we must alter our perspective on mistakes, transitioning from a fear of erring to the audacity to attempt and learn from our missteps.
In the book “Lifelong Growth,” the author presents a four-step methodology to acquire a growth-oriented mentality:
Step 1: Embrace
Initially, embrace and acknowledge your fixed mindset. Most individuals possess a blend of mindsets, exhibiting a fixed mindset in certain circumstances and a growth mindset in others. However, acknowledging its existence does not imply accepting its frequent occurrence and the detrimental consequences it brings forth.
Step 2: Perceive
By perceiving yourself, you can discern the catalysts that trigger your fixed mindset. When does it typically manifest? Perhaps it emerges when confronted with significant challenges, coaxing you to retreat. Or maybe it materializes when confronted with failure, abruptly dousing you with discouragement.
Observe how you interact with others while in the grip of the fixed mindset. Do you frequently pass judgment on their talents? Do you consistently exert pressure on your children?
Furthermore, reflect upon the most recent incident that triggered your fixed mindset. What were the words spoken at that time, and how did you feel? Initially, observe without hasty evaluation.
In the realm of psychology, this process is referred to as self-awareness, whereby the brain transitions from “autopilot” mode to “manual driving” mode, allowing for genuine contemplation.
Step 3: Designation
Assign a name to your fixed mindset persona. Subsequently, depict its attributes: when it manifests, its character, and the impact it has on us.
For instance, I have christened my fixed mindset persona “Jack.” When faced with adversity, Jack materializes. He compels me to be overly critical of others, rendering me domineering and exacting.
Encourage your team members to adopt this approach and designate their fixed mindset personas. You will observe transformations taking place. Each individual will conscientiously manage their Jack, much like me, fostering a more inclusive and unspoken understanding within the team.
Step 4: Enlightenment
Following the assignment of a name to the fixed mindset persona, we can commence the process of enlightenment.
The specific approach entails remaining vigilant when encountering situations that may incite the emergence of your fixed mindset persona. When it surfaces and attempts to deter you, endeavor to persuade yourself by presenting reasons why it should not prevail. Engage it in facing the challenge alongside you, saying, “I understand that failure is a possibility, but I am prepared to attempt it. Can you not exercise more patience with me?”
Drawing from personal experience, it may not be necessary to complete all four steps. Yet, the moment you become aware of your fixed thinking model, something magical has already occurred.
Your task is to enable the frequent manifestation of growth-oriented thinking, allowing it to swiftly transition into “autopilot” mode. By aligning with your subconscious mind, you will progressively become more open-minded and tolerant, approaching failure with a positive outlook, embracing novelty and fresh challenges, thereby gradually improving your life.
In conclusion, we have delved into the concept of a growth mindset. Let us recapitulate the contents discussed within this section:
The idea of a growth mindset originates from the renowned psychologist Carol Dweck’s seminal work, “Lifelong Growth.” Broadly speaking, individuals possess two distinct modes of thinking: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
Those with a fixed mindset are unable to withstand the impact of failure. They eschew diligent effort and harbor a fear of failure. Conversely, individuals with a growth mindset believe that talent merely serves as a starting point, and one’s intelligence can be enhanced through practice. With dedicated effort, they can achieve better results, thus remaining unafraid of failure.
Subsequently, we have examined the benefits of a growth mindset in various domains, including the workplace, interpersonal relationships, education, and parenting.
Lastly, we have outlined the four steps to cultivating a growth mindset: acceptance, observation, designation, and enlightenment.
A growth mindset is an indispensable attribute for workplace elites. It is not an innate quality but rather a skill that can be progressively mastered through deliberate practice.