From Stagnation to Success: Cultivating Growth Mindsets for High and Low Achievers

A fixed mindset leads people to think that they cannot grow or develop new abilities. However, neuroscience tells us that this isn’t true- our brain keeps growing and developing. Those with fixed mindsets tend to avoid challenges and have negative reactions to setbacks.

According to psychologist Carl Dweck, 60% of students have a fixed mindset. This manifests in different ways for different students.

How does a fixed mindset affect a high achiever?

  • They believe that they don’t need to put in as much effort because they believe they are innately good at academics.
  • This decreased effort becomes a problem as students proceed to higher classes and are faced with more challenging content. Often, such students experience a drop in grades and heightened anxiety.
  • They may start cheating to ensure good grades.

How does a fixed mindset affect a low achiever?

  • They don’t put in much effort if they believe that they aren’t good at something.
  • Instead, they justify the decreased effort by saying that its better allocated in an area that they have an aptitude for.

A simple reflective technique you can start incorporating in everyday is identifying and reframing limiting beliefs.

For example, rather than thinking that you’re just not good at something, think about what you’re missing. Rather than thinking that you’re amazing at a certain task, tell yourself that you’re on the right track and look forward to more growth!

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