Inspiring Positive Change: How Universities Can Inculcate A Growth Mindset
A mindset is the attitude of a person with fixed ideas that are usually difficult to change. To put it in simple words, your mindset is a collection of ideas, beliefs, emotions and feelings, that shape your thoughts and actions.
Mindsets are of two kinds –Fixed and Growth – and both shape an individual’s personality differently. In a fixed mindset, intelligence is static. People with a fixed mindset often close their eyes to criticism or never accept criticism positively or constructively. Additionally, fixed mindset people usually avoid challenges and tend to give up easily during any circumstances. One of the biggest downfalls of people with a fixed mindset is that they feel threatened by the success of others. All in all, the person in a fixed mindset has a deterministic view.
Now, let us know what exactly a growth mindset is:
People with a growth mindset have an attitude to develop new skills and learn new aspects regardless of failures or challenges. They perceive obstacles and hurdles as learnings and endeavour to overcome them rather than being in despair. These people believe the key to success is hard work, continued perseverance, and pure intent. People with a growth mindset exhibit the following characteristics and traits:
- They perceive challenges as opportunities
- They are eager to try various learning methods
- They are patient with the process
- They stay persistent and motivated always
- They learn from failures
- They appreciate constructive criticism
- They believe in themselves
How does it help in career success?
We are all well aware that during the period of learning or building a career, at times, ships do sink – failures occur and this is a part of life. Here, having a growth mindset will help you turn over a new leaf for achieving your goals and reaching your desired destination.
A growth mindset will let you carry a positive attitude towards failures and will keep you motivated towards the crux of the matter. Acceptance of new learning and skill development will broaden opportunities and let your performance level climb higher. Furthermore, the stress and anxiety will be over the hills and far away from you, which will let you focus on your goals without any hurdles. With a fixed mindset, the creative ability and character will be static and it will result in career stagnation. Developing a growth mindset is advisable to all aspirants as this kind of mindset will provide you with many opportunities and will help you grow truly.
How universities can help students inculcate a growth mindset:
There are three key things that universities must opt to inculcate a growth mindset.
Introduce Students to Creative challenges
Proffer students various challenges that will help them transform from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Expose them to different creative challenges such as thinking out of the box for any project/product, give them case studies that will help them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, discuss different news stories with them and ask for their opinions and analyses. Also, conducting group discussion activities and debates is a healthy way of developing students’ mindsets as these activities will enable them to listen to other’s viewpoints and perspectives.
Make them listen to failure stories
Universities need to imbibe in students the age-old saying, “Failure is the stepping stone to success.” In today’s world, when everything is about sharing your success on social media, students must understand that failures can also teach them a lot. Share with them the failure stories of successful people – students need to be aware not only of their successes but also their failures. Make them pay attention to their real-life struggles. This will let students broaden their thought processes and help them change their perspective by understanding how to overcome such difficulties without giving up.
Improve Core Skills
Ensure you conduct various exercises with students to keep them motivated and active. Set out assignments and practical sessions that will not let students keep their mindset stagnant. Activities such as role-playing or presentations can help students develop a growth mindset. Ask the seniors to share their criticism/opinions with the juniors to make them ready for a world where they will take criticism positively. This will also lead to improving their core skills, to expand their mindset from a fixed mindset to one of growth, while pushing themselves to stay persistent towards their goals.
Remember, we all are capable of change, and a positive mindset can help us overcome all our hurdles. So, set goals, embrace challenges, be open to criticism and success will be yours!