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1.2 Your Mindset

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

How we think about failure and making mistakes can influence our behaviour and success. We learn patterns of behaviour from the day we are born, and sometimes the patterns which were useful at one time, become less useful to us further down the line.  It’s important to understand that there isn’t one right or wrong answer and that this programme is a process of exploration using evidence-based practice, trialling and testing what works for you.

New to climbing outdoors and testing out new ideas: Amy

Carol Dweck is a world-leading psychologist and researcher in motivation and professor at the world-class Stanford University.  She coined the terms ‘Growth Mindset’ and ‘Fixed Mindset’.  Here’s how she describes her work:

‘My work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the mindsets people use to understand themselves and guide their behavior. My research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.’

In this 2012 interview Dweck identifies the differences between a fixed and growth mindset:

“In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”

Exercise: Video // Duration: 10mins

Please watch the following 10-minute TED video.  I think you’ll be surprised by what happens when a growth mindset is used.

TED: The Power of Believing You Can Improve

Exercise: Reflection // Duration: 10mins

Think about rock climbing.  How might a fixed mindset or a growth mindset affect someone’s climbing? If you can think about your own climbing, this can help to spark new ways of thinking.  Use the comments box to give your perspective on these ideas, in relation to rock climbing and confidence.