An average of 17 years are spent in education for each individual, depending on further education choices, but the learning doesn’t have to end there. As you enter adulthood you must continuing exercising your brain and absorbing information.
The brain requires mental exercise just as much as the body needs physical exercise. The brain is a complex organ producing our every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience, and so we mustn’t do it a disservice by forgetting its abilities as soon as we graduate.
How you perceive intelligence and your mindset towards it affects your overall likelihood of succeeding. Do you believe intelligence can be improved with hard work and effort? Or that you’re born with an innate intelligence ability that cannot be changed in any meaningful way?
This stems from the two different mindsets identified and researched by psychology professor Carol Dweck, these are the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. You may find yourself identifying with one mindset more than the other, or you might have mixed ideas about them.
What is a growth mindset?
The individual believes they can always be learning and improving themselves with hard work and effort, meaning they are more likely to succeed in life because they understand they can expand their knowledge and level of intelligence. It’s likely as a child the individual has been praised for their effort, motivating and encouraging them to continue learning.
What is a fixed mindset?
The individual believes they are born with a certain level of intelligence that cannot be improved and is set in stone. This means their ability to progress and succeed is unlikely, it stems from being praised at a young age for being intelligent. They develop high expectations of themselves and feel a need to prove themselves over and over.
The good news is with some dedication and hard work you can change your mindset. If you happen to fall into the fixed mindset, there are ways of developing a growth mindset but it’ll take time. When you start to incorporate the actions of a growth mindset you’re retraining your brain to view learning in a new way. You will begin to challenge yourself with new tasks, which will help your brain form newer, stronger
How can you start changing your mindset?
1. Step out of your comfort zone.
Take risks, challenge yourself and try new things. This will help your personal growth. Don’t become too comfortable with your surroundings or your life will remain the same. Change is good! Always be actively seeking out new things and experiences.
2. Accept feedback and criticism.
Constructive criticism should be helpful and useful. It can be difficult to accept, especially if the feedback is aimed at something you take pride in. Learning to accept criticism is important, it allows you to grow, learn and see different perspectives. As a creative writing student I’ve had to learn quickly that criticism isn’t there to upset you but to help you make improvements and make your work the best it can possibly be.
3. Trust failure.
Failure is never necessarily a bad thing. Use this experience as an opportunity to grow and prosper. Learn from your mistakes and use them to your advantage for next time. We also recently wrote a post about failure here!
4. Be curious.
Remember when you were a child and you wanted to know how everything worked and why? Never lose that curiosity. Being curious about everything and everyone around you. Ask questions. Listen and learn.
5. Develop your self-awareness.
Become aware of your skills, talents, and strengths and weaknesses, this can reinforce your belief in yourself which ultimately will help you succeed. Having a better understanding of yourself will aid your productivity and success. Yondur can help you with identifying your skills and talents, and provide a detailed analysis into who you are and how well you perform.