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Having a fixed mindset throughout one’s educational career can prove to be detrimental to their learning capabilities. A fixed mindset means that they think learning and intelligence are something that have limitations, and that they might not have the capability to continue growing as a student. A growth mindset on the other hand is where one believes that they can change their levels of intelligence with hard work.
Upon taking the growth vs. fixed mindset test, I have mostly a growth mindset. I feel that this accurately reflects my learning style. I approach most of my learning with the attitude that with hard work will come positive results. There are, however, some cases where I have a fixed mindset. Sometimes when I hit a roadblock I think that my capability of learning stops, similar to a cup full of water that cannot be filled anymore. This usually happens when I feel overwhelmed with something I am learning at the moment. This has happened to me when I was musically inclined in high school. I would practice and practice, but had the mindset that I could no longer grow as a musician because my talents did not reach as far as I personally wanted to grow. This was frustrating because I wanted to get better, but felt both physically and mentally strained from the stress of trying to get better.
I have noticed a pattern in my learning where, if I am in a positive mood, I usually have a growth mindset. At other times, I show signs of a fixed mindset when I fell that I don’t know what I am doing or don’t understand something. The phrases that come to mind are “why can’t I do this?” or “what is wrong with me?” This obviously does not help my state of mind when these things run through my mind. It makes it even more difficult to get back to a growth mindset once engrossed in a fixed mindset.
I have also proven to handle some hard educational situations very well. Usually when I am faced with something big, or something I feel that I cannot handle, I first make a plan. This plan consists of what I want to accomplish in a certain amount of time. This usually helps me stay calm and allows me achieve what I need to do in a timely manner. This is definitely one of my many ways of coping with stress and school anxiety. Other things I haven’t yet tried are things like getting active to relieve stress, or maybe just not procrastinating. Having better time management could help me keep a better growth mindset.
Being able to better manage my time might help the way I handle my mindset. It seems that when I understand something before a lecture, I find that I have more of a growth mindset. On the other hand, when I don’t understand something I find that my mindset is usually fixed, and agitated. If I find ways to better manage my time, I could use that extra time to study or read ahead before class so that I make sure that I know is what is going on. This improved time management could consist of using a planner religiously, and sticking to my plans to doing assignments before they are due.
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