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Mindset – you are what you think

Did you know that your mindset plays a significant role in regard to how well you manage your study programme? And do you know what mindset you have? This page provides you with knowledge on the importance of mindsets and gives you insight into how you can work with your mindset.

Mindset – you are what you think

Did you know that your mindset plays a significant role in regard to how well you manage your study programme? And do you know what mindset you have? This page provides you with knowledge on the importance of mindsets and gives you insight into how you can work with your mindset.

The two types of mindset

The American psychologist and researcher Carol Dweck has shown that a person's attitude towards challenges and adversity has a major impact on how they live their lives. In short: you are what you think.

Carol Dweck distinguishes between two types of mindset - the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

The fixed mindset

Students with a fixed mindset experience their intelligence as immutable. These students tend to react negatively when they face challenges and adversity, and are more prone to quit than taking up the challenge. Students with this mindset tend to believe that hard work does not pay off, and their intelligence to be inherent and thus something that cannot be changed. With this mindset, students can find it hard to appreciate other people’s success, and they often compare themselves to others.

The growth mindset

Students with this mindset believe their intelligence to be dynamic and adjustable. These students see challenges and adversity as an opportunity for self-improvement and intellectual development. With this mindset, challenges are educational, and students are less likely to give up. Students with this mindset believe hard work is a necessity for improvement and development, and typically find joy in other’s successes.

It is important to point out that your mindset depends on the situation you are in. You may well have a fixed mindset in one situation and a growth mindset in another. For example, you may have a growth mindset when practicing your favorite sport, but a fixed one when studying. A growth mindset is not necessarily more right than a fixed mindset and vice-versa. But it has been proven that the path to better learning is linked to facing challenges and making mistakes.

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Did you know that you can work with your mindset?

It is possible for you to change your mindset – that is, of course, if you are willing to work on it. There are several ways in which you can work with your mindset. For instance, you can stop thinking “This is too challenging, I give up”. Replace that thought with something like “I cannot figure this out yet, but I will learn it when I keep practicing". See your mistakes along the way as educational, because they all lead to development and success.

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