Mindset focuses on the fundamental or typical ways we think about life. The core elements of our thinking are our views, behaviours, thinking habits and beliefs about ourselves or our surroundings. Therefore, “Mindsets consist of the set of ideas and beliefs that comprise the emotional health, tendency, behaviour or attitude that influences the interpretation and reactions of a person to certain situations, or contingencies ( Dweck, 2016).”
Hence, it would be quite clear from the above definition that our success, happiness, health, wealth and strength are highly dependent on what mindset or state of mind we are being pertained to. Because what we adopt in life will significantly contribute to predicting our future. On the other hand, having a poorly chosen mentality results in stress, anxiety, apprehension, disappointment and an overall high amount of failures ( Claro et al., 2016).
Under this topic, Dr. Dweck’s at Stanford University carried out a comprehensive study. Based on decades of research, Dr. Dweck has shown that often through how people are raised or on the verge of their experiences, many of the people usually are either of the “Growth Mindset” or have a “Fixed Mindset.”
People with a growth mindset believe that commitment and hard work will build and cultivate their most essential qualities, boosting their abilities and intelligence while assuming talent and brains as just the beginning ( Kaijanaho et al., 2018).
This viewpoint generates a love of learning and resilience, which is the key to success. They take on challenges, persist in obstacles, learn from critique, and seek motivation for the success of others. People with a growth mindset are conscious that learning anything new may be difficult.
At first, we could struggle or compete with new ideas, concepts and skills ( Sun, 2018). You remember you didn’t “got it.” However, they can stretch and develop their minds and progress to achieve their goals with regular practice and effort. On the surface, every great person we know today has had such qualities.” Another way to specify this viewpoint is that great people are made, not born.
People with a fixed mentality mostly believe that their essential attributes, such as intellect and abilities, are fixed traits. Instead of improving it, they document their talent or intelligence ( Andersen et al., 2016). People with fixed mindsets assume we have been born with all the wisdom we have in our lives, intelligence, athletic abilities, creative talent and social adaptability. In other words, you were born with either these traits or not. These people assume that without apparent effort, talent alone is efficient and much to add value.
Fixed-minded people often give up at the first sign of a fight. It’s like people who think they are “smart” or “talented” in their own right. They’re sometimes not even trying if they perceive that they may fail because failure may confirm that they’re not as intelligent, talented or talented as they think. And this notion is wrong ( Klein et al., 2017).
It is a natural part of being human to get a sense of the universe through our thinking. However, the consideration we have is not insignificant. In fact, we can change our reality by manipulating our focus, influence, motivation, and ultimately, with a mindset’s power.
With the help of many studies, it is found that there exists a strong relationship between mindset and mental health (e.g., thought, social skills, personality) and issues of mental health (e.g., aggression; depression).
We see at home, with colleagues, or in any environment, an individual’s psychological disorders typically arise from his or her mindset. As being realistic, all people must face some stressors (anxiety, depression or behavioural disorders), but we observe some people are more stress-resistant than others. This can be an internal mechanism for recognizing, coping, and answering reversals and adversities. This is, we believe, where mindsets can play their roles (Robinson, 2017).
Those of us who possess a fixed mindset don’t have a clear outlook on personal characteristics (i.e., assuming that, regardless of their efforts, they can’t be smarter, shy or socially skilled) may feel unable to handle stressful circumstances in our lives and are more vulnerable to anxiety, depression or aggression.
Ultimately, it induces unhappiness, deceit, melancholy, sorrow and an abundance of negative feelings. It reduces self-awareness and self-confidence. You can’t know yourself better if you don’t want to evolve constantly ( Murphy et al., 2016).
Think of it – no benefit can exist if there is no pain! And if people prevent short-term suffering by doing anything now, the long-term condition is the opposite. It decreases the chances. Individuals with a fixed mentality generally fear risks, which could “damage” their comfort zone. It facilitates mediocrity, and mediocrity contributes to low living. Fixed mentalities can also contribute to low-grade stress and mental health issues over time.
In comparison, the relationship between the growth mindset and mental health concerns a positive outlook. People see their traits as flexible and think they can modify or increase their results by employing effort rather than feeling powerless after reverse steps.
Stressors can be a chance for self-improvement for these persons — not a sign of fixed failure. Hence, by offering a justification to continue in the face of difficulty, growth mentalities for such people will shield them from inadequate coping and psychological distress.
Additionally, in particular, several critical studies have also shown that the students with the inclination of growth mentality have strengthened their ability to deal with anxiety and stress more than those who have not and a noticeable shift in the decrement of violence and lowered exclusion levels. In contrast, the student with a more fixed mentality exhibited low confidence, less concentration, and more significant mental illness signs ( Cooley et al., 2018).
It is observed that greater work insecurity was associated with higher depressive symptoms because of COVID-19 and due to more significant financial loss fears. The findings showed that the threat to job security produces depression and low cognitive performance.
Besides, especially women with or without jobs reported higher job insecurity than those employed during the pandemic. But as a matter of fact, it is not the situation but the response. In the context of COVID-19, and its emergence as a global pandemic, we observed people get divided into two categories; those who get stuck by it and, on the flip side, those who stood up and took this crisis as an opportunity ( Mosanya, 2018).
It means that even if your external conditions cannot be entirely managed, you have some power over this nervous internal speech. Many skills you can learn in times of crisis, like the growth attitude, can help you to cope with anxiety.
Interestingly, we can change our mindsets. The fast-changing and powerful effects of thought are one of its most substantial aspects. Compared to skills that must be exercised repeatedly, mentalities often show drastic changes.
Hence, as the Covid-19 crisis poses a range of new challenges, it also provides us with new opportunities to build an expanded growth culture in ourselves and the people connected with us. Though it may not be easy, teams will help collaborate more efficiently, innovate and have their future so that the crisis can be addressed and improved. Also, to reduce job instability and financial concern among workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers must discuss their mental illness effects and prepare a brief intervention.
Andersen, S.C. and Nielsen, H.S., 2016. Reading intervention with a growth mindset approach improves children’s skills. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(43), pp.12111-12113.
Cooley, J.H. and Larson, S., 2018. Promoting a growth mindset in pharmacy educators and students. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, 10(6), pp.675-679.
Claro, S., Paunesku, D. and Dweck, C.S., 2016. A growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(31), pp.8664-8668.
Dweck, C., 2016. What having a “growth mindset” actually means? Harvard Business Review, 13, pp.213-226.
Kaijanaho, A.J. and Tirronen, V., 2018, August. Fixed versus growth mindset does not matter much: A prospective observational study in two late bachelor level computer science courses. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research (pp. 11-20).
Klein, J., Delany, C., Fischer, M.D., Smallwood, D. and Trumble, S., 2017. A growth mindset approach to preparing trainees for medical error. BMJ Quality & Safety, 26(9), pp.771-774.
Mosanya, M., 2020. Buffering academic stress during the COVID-19 pandemic related social isolation: Grit and growth mindset as protective factors against the impact of loneliness. International journal of applied positive psychology, pp.1-16.
Robinson, C., 2017. Growth mindset in the classroom. Science Scope, 41(2), p.18.
Sun, K.L., 2018. Beyond rhetoric: Authentically supporting a growth mindset. Teaching Children Mathematics, 24(5), pp.280-284.