Fixed-mindsets run away from problems because they believe that if they truly are as talented as they think they are, then success shouldn’t take so much effort. Believe it or not, it has actually been shown through various studies that a fixed-mindset person’s brainwaves only fire up as the answer to a problem is given. They want to know if they are right. Period. Don’t care about the rest. If they aren’t right, according to Dr. Dweck, then they aren’t interested anymore in the activity.
Fixed-mindset is a huge problem in the adolescence years because during this time of our lives we already feel awkward and judged, as well as feel that everything has all of a sudden become more difficult. Now imagine how a fixed-mindset adolescent naturally multiplies all these negatives and you can imagine a scenario that is unbearable to them, and usually results in them turning off to education. Sad. And avoidable.
It doesn’t get easier though for these fixed-mindset kids after school is over. Teens with fixed-mindsets usually grow up to be adults with fixed-mindsets. In professional sports fixed-mindsets can be identified pretty easily because they are the ones always saying, “I”, “I”, “I”. They act like they won the game all by themselves and they don’t need teammates.
Some fixed-mindsets end up as CEOs. They are the ones that develop CEO disease and are more bosses than leaders. This CEO disease tends to eliminate competition, silence critics, squash employee development programs, and put themselves up on a pedestal to be admired by all at the expense of their co-workers and even the company.
Finally, many fixed-mindsets end up as parents, teachers, coaches, or just adults who interact with kids on a daily basis. Most of the time these adults will create an atmosphere of judging, punishing, and labeling kids. And if any other adult should challenge them, or heaven forbid, if a mate were to leave them, they would be devastated, believed they have been judged, and label themselves as unlovable or unworthy, and then they would usually want some kind of revenge on the other adult.
Next month’s article will explain what a growth-mindset looks like.
Daniel Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator!