Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

After I watched this video by Hank Green of the vlogbrothers, I felt compelled to write.

The video is about how we see people and their skill.

You’ve probably said something like this before: “My friend, X,  is really good at Y. It’s like they were born to do Y.”

There are two mindsets, according to Carol Dweck:

1) A person and her skill is a snapshot that stretches forward and backward, infinitely. This is the way we usually see it. You’ve probably said this:“X is born with it.” Innate skill, otherwise known as the fixed mindset.

2) There are innate traits that make the acquisition of skill easy, BUT it’s a continuum. Everyone starts out bad, but can work toward getting good at a skill. This is known as the growth mindset.

What’s the verdict? Growth mindset is the correct mindset!! And with the growth mindset, you have a better chance at acquiring more skill.

But the fixed mindset lingers within a lot of us. We think, “You never get good at stuff. People are good at stuff because they’re good at stuff; and people are bad at stuff is because they’re bad at stuff.”

Skill and talent are not innate.

I try to remind myself, everyday.

As I navigate through new waters, I often think things with a fixed mindset, and I know that it limits me. I KNOW THIS. I’m aware of it, but I still struggle with it everyday. You look left, you look right- and you feel inferior. That maybe you’re “not meant or born with Y skill.” This is how I see myself with the new waters I see ahead of me: latte art…and design. Two vastly different skills, but two new skills for me.

But I see proof of it, I’ve proven myself with the growth mindset. So, why is it so hard to keep that mindset? Habit? Societal reminders? Failures? In attempt for resolve, I try to take small victories. Even if it’s as small as learning an InDesign Keyboard Shortcut, discovering how to change the color swatch or steaming the milk close-to-perfect- I try to take it as a win. And I try to remind myself that through my failures and struggles- I’m on the right path as long as I keep navigating forward.

As my most memorable professor would sign off,

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