Fixed mindsets refer to the unshakeable belief that our views in a certain context are absolutely right and we refuse to deviate from this stance. We develop fixed mindsets for a few reasons.
One of these reasons usually involves receiving consistent inputs that resonate with a certain context. The context could be political, wellness related, about parenting and more.
These consistent inputs also tend to resonate with a self image most of us actively maintain, are quite attached to, and also fairly dependent on for our sense of self worth. For instance, if I believe myself to be a good parent and that’s a significant part of my perceived self worth, and I have some maxims that I follow to be a good parent, then the resonance of those consistent observations will only further fix my mindset in the context of parenting best practices.
Of course I look the other way when some observations contradict my notions of good parenting, but that’s another story for another day.
Therefore, we have context, self image, self worth and observations (data) as variables that contribute to my fixed mindset. Continuing in the same vein, in order for my fixed mindset to change, a few variables need to change.
- Reduce dependence on self image for sense of self worth.
- When #1 happens, my self image will be more fluid and therefore open to change.
- New data must be introduced for the given context.
The last one, #3, is where external elements such as people come into the picture. When I encounter a mindset different from mine, I must either ask questions to understand their point of view better or they must explain their perspective in detail. Both will likely introduce new data into my personal mindset equation.
Since we now have an environment conducive to a changed or growth mindset, through the implementation of points #1 and #3 above, my fixed mindset in the context of parenting is likely to be more conducive to change. A similar process applies to fixed mindsets in different contexts.