Enter year 2019 with a Growth Mindset

As we say goodbye to 2018 and move into a new year, many people are casting an eye to what 2019 will bring and setting goals (or New Year resolutions) for what they want to achieve. Most people know that making goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) is instrumental in giving yourself the best chance to achieve them, but what if a change to your own mindset could boost your chances even further? Have you ever wondered why some people give up when challenged while others thrive under the same circumstances? Why some regard effort as essential for success while others regard it as a weakness? Renowned psychologist and Stanford Professor, Carol Dweck studied these questions, the main contributor? Mindset.

Meditating Lady

In the decades since, studies have shown that having a growth mindset as opposed to a fix mindset can increase student’s ability to improve cognitive function as well academic grades. For the growth mindset individual, failure is an opportunity to grow, feedback is constructive and they believe in themselves to achieve anything they want. For the fixed mindset individual, failure is the perceived limit of their abilities, feedback and criticism is taken personally and their potential already predetermined by their current abilities. What these studies show is that through our own positive actions and mindset we can increase our resilience in the face of adversity or difficulty and therefore our chances of success.

“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during the most challenging times in their life”. -Dweck 2006

Researchers in neuroscience have shown that due to brain plasticity it is actually more malleable than ever thought. Learning and practicing can change the connectivity between neurons in the brain, help grow neural networks with new connections and strengthen existing pathways in the brain. Resilience programs incorporate these fundamental aspects of neuroscience into practical activities and training. Growth Mindset workshops are delivered to educators and families in order for them to be able to lead from the front and guide students through the processes of facilitating a growth mindset. This is because the impact of the practices of a teacher or parent on a child’s mindset can be substantial. Even studies on praising children have found that praising a child’s intelligence only can lead to a fixed mindset, whereas praise of their effort and hard work fosters a growth mindset.

What topics are covered in a Growth Mindset workshop?

What are the expected outcomes?

The research is clear that having a positive and growth mindset increases resilience and grit through long or difficult times, which in turn helps individuals achieve their goals. When you sit down to list your resolutions for 2019 take a pen and underline “ Growth Mindset ” at the top of the page. Focus on what experiences in the past you can learn and grow from rather than any real or perceived failure to achieve them. By using the positive aspects of adversity you will greatly increase your chances of achieving your goals in 2019.

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