In the world of education, “growth vs fixed mindset” is a hot topic right now. It’s what we want all of our students to achieve. If I get all my second-grade students to have a growth mindset this year, I would be over the moon.
So what is a growth mindset? A growth mindset is a mindset that you can learn. People who keep trying and practicing something because they believe that if they keep working at it, they will eventually get it.
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The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. These are people who use “I can’t,” or “I don’t know”. They believe that no matter how hard they work at something they won’t be able to achieve it. So they often don’t even try.
Carol Dweck is a leading researcher of motivation. She is on a mission to teach people more about a growth vs fixed mindset. If you have the time, I would highly recommend checking out her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Sucess. This book digs deep into how you can learn to fulfill your potential in a variety of settings (parenting, business, school, and relationships).
So, what if you have a fixed mindset? The good news is, you can change your mindset. There is also a range, it’s not black or white. Most people don’t have one mindset 100% of the time. Which means that you can slowly and gradually shift closer towards having a growth mindset 100% of the time.
For example, I would say I generally have a growth mindset. However, thinking back a few years ago, I had a hard time taking risks. I would feel a fixed mindset creeping into my mind and telling me all the things that could go wrong or my inadequacies that would keep me from being successful. Thankfully, over time, I have shifted this mindset.
Growth vs Fixed Mindset: Changing Your Mindset to Growth
How did I change my mindset? With yoga.
You may be wondering how in the world yoga can change a mindset.
A lot of the inadequacies that I felt I had were physical. I didn’t trust my body. For example, if I had to jump over something or jump down off of something, I always froze thinking that I wouldn’t be able to do it.
Yoga has 100% changed this. For one thing, I have gotten stronger. But I have also learned how to push past the feeling that I can’t keep going and that my body can do things that I used to keep were impossible for me (arm balances, headstands, etc.).
This hasn’t just helped me trust my body more, but also my mind. When I have a fear that I will fail or feel inadequate, my mind reminds myself that I am able to grow and learn. One year ago, I would have never believed that I would be doing headstands today, but I am! That tells me that if I worked at anything long enough, I can change or learn anything I choose. It’s a very empowering feeling.
There are a ton reasons why I love doing headstands and arm balances; it furthers my yoga practice, it has made me physically stronger, it’ good for my body. But, my favorite reason is that is has shown me that I can accomplish difficult things. I have shifted some of my last pieces of a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. I truly believe that yoga can help everyone shift their mindset.
Interested in mindsets? Check out my post Why Feeling Busy is a Mindset.