Changing Your Mindset to Growth Can Change Your Life

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“The mind is just like a muscle- the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand” says Idowu Koyenikan. Having a fixed mindset is thinking that your level of knowledge is all that you can have. On the other hand, having a growth mindset means that you realize you might not have as much knowledge or talent now, but by working hard and continuing to try you can accomplish the things you want to. Before learning about having different mindsets and how they can affect you, I hadn’t realized how much having a fixed mindset has hindered me in my life. There were many times where if I wasn’t good at something, I would just give up. I figured if I wasn’t good at it, that was it- I just wasn’t good at it. I didn’t try harder and get better at things I struggled with. Failing was something I was terrified of, so I never continued trying to the point where I could fail. Growing up with a fixed mindset has kept me from achieving things I could have, such as enjoying sports, finding hobbies, or in public speaking.

The first thing I have had a fixed mindset about is sports. I have played volleyball, basketball, and softball, but never stuck with any of them. I would play these sports for a while, and eventually become uninterested because I wasn’t as good as I thought I should be. Seeing other girls who had played the sport since they were little be super dedicated and athletic made me feel embarrassed. I didn’t have as much talent or experience as they did when it came to knowing all the plays in basketball, hitting each pitch in softball, or perfectly spiking the ball to the other team in volleyball. My family never pushed sports or activities on me, they didn’t think they were very important. If I wasn’t good at them, I was told it was fine, I wasn’t told to try harder or keep with it. My coaches and teammates would encourage me and tell me to keep trying, but I was so discouraged that I didn’t even want to try. As I got older, I would eventually quit the team that I wanted to be on, because I didn’t think that I could get better. If I would have approached these sports with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset, I could have had a lot more fun and eventually had as much talent as the girls I wanted to be like.

In addition to sports, there have been many hobbies I have been interested in. After trying them out, I ended up giving up because of my fixed mindset. Arts and crafts have always enticed me, but it’s hard for me to think of creative ideas to work with. I enjoy looking at DIY’s of knitted blankets or creative decor for my room, art projects made from melting crayons with a blow dryer, and drawings of Disney characters or nature scenes, but have trouble thinking of my own ideas. Usually I try to copy ideas I find on the internet, but don’t follow through with the project because it doesn’t turn out how the original artist did it. This leads me to think I just don’t have artistic talent like they do. Another hobbie I have been interested in is doing makeup. I really enjoy doing makeup but seeing posts from girls on social media where they have colorful eyeshadow, perfect eyeliner, and long eyelashes has made me not want to practice my own because I’m not as good at doing it as they are. Sometimes I still engage in these activities, but not as much as I would like to. If I dedicate more time to these things that I enjoy, I could be as talented as the people I admire who have a growth mindset in these activities.

Another situation where I have had a fixed mindset is in public speaking or giving presentations. I really struggle with talking in front of groups of people, I still try to avoid doing it if I can. Every time I have to do this, I start feeling shaky and my face turns bright red. When all the attention is on me I feel uncomfortable and anxious. I remember feeling that way the first time I had to give a presentation in 4th grade, my knees felt wobbly and my hands felt clammy. Now I am eighteen in college, and this still happens to me. I am not naturally good at doing things like this, and I have thought that I never would be. An old teacher of mine told me that she used to feel the same way I do, and with years of practice she can now talk in front of people without getting anxious. Someday I know I’ll be able to give presentations or even speeches without feeling anxious and instead feel confident while doing it. If I put myself out there with a growth mindset and do it more often, I know I can feel better about it too.

Finally, I have realized that having a fixed mindset in my childhood has held me back from many opportunities and experiences I could have enjoyed if I had a growth mindset. As I reflect on my life so far, I realize there are many things I have missed out on, but I also realize that by changing my fixed mindset to a growth mindset, I can still achieve many things with more confidence and openness to learn. There are still so many opportunities coming my way, and I’m grateful to have learned that I can change the way I go about them. Now I believe that failing isn’t a negative thing, it just means I tried and didn’t get it the first time, but I can definitely try again and get better the second time. Having a fixed mindset won’t hold me back anymore, because I know that my mindset can change to be more positive, dedicated and resilient. Perhaps it’s time for everyone to change their mindset as well.


Cite this paper

Changing Your Mindset to Growth Can Change Your Life. (2021, Oct 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/changing-your-mindset-to-growth-can-change-your-life/

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