Establishing a Growth Mindset

Guidance Counselor

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Growth Mindset

Dear Students.

Many students think that it's impossible to change the way you learn. You think it's okay I'm failing math class " Maybe I'm just not good at math". You receive a bad score on a math test and quickly put it in your folder and laugh at the kid who did worse than you did. Many students think that intelligence is a fixed characteristic. But I'm here as your guidance counselor to tell you it's NOT. Students who think this way have a fixed mindset, they believe that intelligence is static, they avoid challenges, give up easily and ignore useful negative feedback.

Your job as a student is to realize that intelligence can be developed. Your low IQ score shouldn't have the power to define your future, YOU should. I encourage you to think with a growth mindset. When you receive a low score on a test, instead of looking at the person who did worse than you, take it upon to yourself, to go home and study until you get the highest score possible. Embrace challenges, don't run away at the thought of leaving your comfort zone, expand your comfort zone and face challenges head on. Instead of giving up, try again until you succeed.

Growth and Fixed Mindset

Carol Dweck, a Stanford professor studied the fixed and growth mindset. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are things which we can’t change, ; 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 springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.

Ways to Develop Growth Mindset

Acknowledge and embrace your imperfections. If you don't recognize your weaknesses, you will never overcome them.

Disassociate improvement from failure. Just because you have to work harder than the kid next to you to get the same end result doesn't mean you failed. It means you didn't give up in the face of a challenge.

Place effort before talent. Hard work should always be rewarded before inherent skill.

Use the word "yet". "Not yet" should become the most favorite phrase of anyone who values a growth mindset. Instead of saying that you'll never pass your next science test. Use the phrase "not yet". With perseverance and effort, anything is possible.

Learn from other people. For example, instead of comparing yourself to the girl who always gets the highest score on the test, learn what she does to achieve her goals and use it in your own life. Humans learn from each other all the time.

Cultivate grit. Students with that extra bit of determination are more likely to seek approval from themselves and not others.

Highlight the relationship between learning and "brain learning." The brain is like a muscle that you should work out. Challenge yourself, and instead of doing the bare minimum, go above and beyond.

Associate with "positive" people. High achievers rub off on anyone associating with them.

Fight the Voices in Your Head

Everyone has a fixed mindset voice that stops you from following your dreams and reaching your full potential. Instead of listening to that fixed mindset voice answer back with a growth mindset voice.

If you are approaching a challenge, and can hear your fixed mindset voice saying, "Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you just don't have the talent." Instead of listening to your fixed mindset voice, answer back with your growth mindset voice saying, "I'm not sure I can do it now, but with time and effort, I can learn."

As you hit a setback and your fixed mindset voice says, "You wouldn't have hit a setback, if you really had talent.", answer back with your growth mindset voice saying, "Success isn't linear, you're going to experience setbacks, and the more you experience, the better you know how to deal with it."

As you face criticism and your fixed mindset voice says, "It's not my fault. It was something or someone else's fault.", answer back with your growth mindset voice saying "If I don't take responsibility, then I can't learn from my mistake. Listen to the criticism, no matter how painful it is."

Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on the growth mindset voice.

See how you can make it for you. The more you choose the growth mindset action, the easier it will be to use it, time and time again.