This post’s topic is on the Growth Mindset and how to adapt to one. (I think the title is straightforward enough to explain that, right?) But! Not only is it about the Growth mindset, it’s also about different ways to help you get into one and maintain it.
What is a “growth mindset”? Simple: it’s internal positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is the use of compliments and rewards (of some sort) to promote an action or behavior. It’s also included in constructive criticism.
“I like what you did here, but I think the word choice is a bit confusing. Does it mean this, or am I misinterpreting?”
This is a form of positive reinforcement. It’s not just compliments and rewards; it can also be acknowledging that the reinforcer could be at fault for something related to criticism.
Contrastively, negative reinforcement is encouraging beneficial behavior or actions by means of pointing out flaws and errors. Such flaws and errors could also be out of the person’s control. Examples of negative reinforcement could be ableism, argumentation, and “pretty” insults.
“You shouldn’t do it this way.”
“Your project is so useful!”
“It isn’t that hard!”
(Granted, I’ve caught myself saying these kinds of things every so often. I try to refrain now.)
I didn’t always have a growth mindset. Even now, when I get stressed out I start internally screaming at myself and micro-managing, but I eventually get back to my self-forgiveness that comes from the growth mindset.
Even if you have a “little demon” that lives in your head, like anxiety or depression, for example, a growth mindset is still possible. That voice could be screaming at you, but I will always believe in you and the opportunities that Life holds for you, in spite of the little demon and its nasty ways.