Keys to Success: Growth Mindset

Keys to Success: Growth Mindset

Madison Conner, Contributor

By: Madison Conner 

Here at Calvert High School, students are constantly finding success and conquering obstacles. As the school year is winding down and big decisions are arising, the Courier will be featuring a series on the keys to find success. In this edition, the importance of mindset will be explored.  

In all aspect of life, there will always be a challenge. Whether it is a class at school, an application for a job, or a pursued relationship, overcoming obstacles is a challenge that all students face. It is how these challenges are faced that makes the difference.  

Psychology Professor, Carol Dweck introduces the idea of mindset, and identifies two types, fixed and growth.  

A fixed mindset reflects the idea that all intelligence and ability is given at birth and cannot be changed, and that talent is the key to success.  

A growth mindset reflects the ability to improve natural skills through “dedication and hard work”. 

Though some people do have natural talent, most people must work for the success and accomplishment that they want to achieve. Sometimes the idea of having natural talent can keep you from moving forward and advancing your skills, slowing the road to success.  Dweck said, “Brains and talent don’t bring success. . . They can stand in the way of it.” 

Learning to use failure to learn and grow is a key part of the growth mindset. Failure should not be a negative thing, only a learning experience. If there wasn’t failure, there would be no growth. Without growth, there will be no success. 

Author, and Country Radio icon, Bobby Bones said, “Knowing that you can improve is an undervalued form of intelligence” 

 If you give effort, improvement is possible no matter where the starting point is. Bones said this mindset “creates a love of learning and resilience essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have these qualities.” 

 In Professor Carol Dweck’s newly published book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she said “I always thought you coped with failure or you didn’t. I never thought anyone loved failure.”  

Resilience is also an important element to a growth mindset. Bouncing back from failure and having a new, positive perspective on the challenge opens the opportunity for success.  

If your mindset is not pointed towards resilience because you did not get the job, the high grade, or the date you wanted, the opportunity for success dwindles and begins to get harder to reach.  

“If you can flip the idea of rejection on its head and turn it into a chance to improve your algebra or your pick-up lines then you aren’t stuck at the bottom of the heap but at the beginning of a long, optimistic hike up the mountain,” said Bones.  

The ability to use “yet” is the final piece to having a growth mindset. If a challenge is approached with an I am not good at this attitude, chances for success grow slim. Being able to say I am not good at algebra, yet or I didn’t get the job, yet changes every perspective and increases the chances taken and success reached.  

It is difficult to keep a positive and open mind when faced with adversity, but the important part of life is the ability to use failure as a motivator for being resilient and having a growth mindset.  

This concept of a growth mindset is only the first part of finding success. Be sure to look for the next installment of this series for how to set and achieve your goals.