How Do Students with a Growth Mindset See Their Mistakes?

Everyone experiences bad days, but it’s essential to keep our performance in mind when thinking about the likelihood of winning or losing, passing exams or failing them. The question is, how do students with a growth mindset see their mistakes?

In these situations, focus on what you did right instead of paying too much attention to what you did wrong.

Learners with a growth mindset view mistakes more positively than their peers with a fixed mindset. They see it as a learning opportunity and embrace them, unlike others who prefer to avoid such mistakes.

When shown that mistakes are a platform for learning, students gain confidence in consulting their peers and getting support from each other.

They ask questions for clarity and gather more knowledge in areas they are not conversant with, supporting other team members. This helps them learn new techniques and methods to approach a situation differently.

First Things First: What Is a Growth Mindset?

Carol Dweck is the brain behind the development of the growth mindset concept. However, the idea has been around for a long time.

Carol and other experts researched different mindsets and how people reacted to challenges. Some believed they could handle any challenge and improve in areas they had failed. However, others refused to take up challenging tasks because it was impossible to improve their skills further.

When one has a growth mindset, they believe that they can increase their abilities by working hard and being dedicated to activities. Such individuals also believe their talents and brains mark the beginning of human potential. This view helps people become resilient and understand their limits.

For instance, some learners may get low grades in essays, resulting from writing challenges. However, if they remain convinced that their failure in essay writing is due to their poor writing skills, they may retain this mindset and lose hope of being better essay writers.

On the other hand, if the students fail in writing essays but don’t dwell too much on the failure, they may work harder to make the necessary amendments, leading to a growth mindset. 

So How Do Students With a Growth Mindset See Their Mistakes

Learners showcasing a growth mindset view mistakes as a chance to grow their brains and learn. From this point of view, they always feel the need to work harder and get better results in their next tasks.

Repeating specific tasks leads to perfection. In other words, a student must challenge themselves through persistence and withstanding problems. They should continue acknowledging the possibility of developing their intelligence, abilities, and talents in more ways than one. This is called brain training, an exercise that boosts mental muscle growth.

Students with growth mindsets are focused on making progress in their endeavors. Failure and making mistakes are essential aspects of moving forward and improving life for these students.

So, how do students with a growth mindset see their mistakes? In essence, these students don’t view mistakes as a failure but as an introduction to new subjects and diverse methods of making corrections. They also view mistakes as a first step to reaching their goals.

When two students, one with a growth mindset and another with a fixed mindset, are tasked with a math problem, they may both give wrong answers.

However, when asked to provide their views on the problem they solved, they might give the following opinions.

The learner with a fixed mindset will say the problem was complex and beyond their ability. As such, they did not know the answer and couldn’t solve it.

In contrast, the learner with a growth mindset would say that they made a mistake despite the problem’s difficulty because they were not yet familiar with the problem. Additionally, this student was ready to try a different approach to get it right on the next attempt.

After making the first mistake, the learner whose mindset was fixed gave up on the math problem, believing that it was too hard for them to handle. However, their peers with a growth mindset used the term “yet” to show that despite failing the question on the first attempt, they could correct the mistake and manage the math problem with additional effort.

That said, the following points show how students who have a growth mindset view their failures and mistakes:

  • Noting down their mistakes: The first and most important thing for students with a growth mindset is identifying where the issue is. For example, when they feel pain in their bodies, they first seek the wounded part before getting medication—on that note, knowing the cause of their mistakes enables them to know the remedies and how to correct them.
  • Mistake acceptance: A student should learn to embrace their mistakes after identifying them. Through acceptance, they can make plans on improving and moving in the right direction. It also makes them understand the options they have in making amendments.
  • Analyzing: After embracing the mistakes, the students should analyze them, discover the cause, and reflect on what went wrong when handling the task. With that realization, the student can then analyze what they need to do. They’ll also know whether it’s possible to make these corrections independently or by seeking guidance from other people.
  • Remedy: The next thing to do is seek a remedy for the mistake. This may require a combination of skills or learning new ones. The student can also include other steps they may have missed during their first attempt, realizing this at the analysis stage.
  • Developing an action plan: Creating a plan to follow when executing a remedy to mistakes ensures that the student fills all the loopholes that can lead them to make another mistake or remain on the same spot without making progress.

The student must make a thorough action plan to ensure that they have more than one technique to solve the issue if one approach fails to work as expected. The plan should be comprehensive, understandable, and helpful whenever required.

How Does Someone With A Growth Mindset View Failure?

When one has a growth mindset, they view failure as another step to success and an opportunity to continue working harder.

Individuals can easily rely on talent alone without paying attention to the effort required to make things work. Such people also refrain from handling complex tasks because they fear making mistakes and failing.

On the contrary, someone with a growth mindset is convinced that intelligence and learning do not stop at any point in life. You can expand these aspects through effort, experience, and time.

People who want to be more intelligent must remember that effort has a significant role in making this happen. They should also dedicate more time to achieving their goals and correcting their previous mistakes.

Growth mindset learners are open to challenges, drawing their mental strength from such situations and turning failures into growth opportunities.

A growth mindset does not stop people from failing, but it guides them in gaining essential tips on handling failures or mistakes. This helps them succeed in the long run, despite the challenges.

People embracing a growth mindset know the benefits of increasing their efforts, adding new skills, and practicing more hours. They also know their weak points and areas they need to improve in life.

The Parenting Style that Enhances a Growth Mindset

As Dweck explains, parents can adopt a parenting style that helps their children develop a growth mindset as they grow. This ranges from the words used to encourage these children to their reaction when they succeed or fail in certain areas.

When you want to create a growth mindset in your kids, you should offer comments that encourage perseverance and record concrete results without tying their entire personalities to their failures or mistakes.

After noting some improvement in your child’s results, praise the efforts they put into the achievement instead of basing it solely on their intelligence and ability.

On the contrary, a parent nurturing a fixed mindset praises their children’s gifts, talents, and intelligence instead of referencing the efforts they may have put into the achievement. They use phrases like, “You’re a very intelligent and clever kid,” instead of, “Your effort in handling the task is remarkable, and you can do more.”

For children with a fixed mindset, failing makes them feel anxious or like a fraud. They’re intolerant to failure and errors since they already showed people their ability and intelligence. Failing makes them feel like they’re not good enough or that there is no chance other people will believe in them again.

Children raised with encouraging remarks or messages portraying dynamic intelligence without emphasizing their skills and talents are more likely to engage in challenges that require more effort. They try difficult things without worrying about failing or appearing imperfect. They are also tolerant of failure and mistakes, enabling them to try new things.

Developing a Growth Mindset in Students

An essential element of implementing a growth mindset is facing challenges instead of avoiding them. One comes across many hurdles which can limit their progress, but they have to know that overcoming them is crucial as it marks forward movement.

Additionally, students should learn that asking for help does not show weakness, and they should look for alternative solutions when things fail to work as intended.

Another way to gain a growth mindset is to keep trying over and over again until one accomplishes their objectives.

Some tasks look hard at first but become manageable and easy to handle with time. Multiple attempts at the task provoke the mind to look for more techniques until the goal is achieved. The road map becomes clearer as the vision gets less vague as one proceeds to the next steps.

Self-confidence and belief in skills give individuals the willpower to accomplish the goals attached to the task at hand. Here, the term “yet” should be incorporated to push such people when they are stuck at a certain level.

It helps them remember that despite being unable to perform at that time, there is a hope of making progress and doing better with more effort.

Give your students practical examples to differentiate between fixed and growth mindsets. Elaborate on the importance of making mistakes and viewing failure as an essential growth element.

Additionally, show how these aspects affect the learning process and how it would be if one avoided or did not encounter them at all. Teach them the concept of productive failure, which plays a significant role in determining the growth of your students’ personalities.

Remind learners that their brains are dynamic and prone to change.

You can train a human brain to accommodate attitudes and thoughts that determine how one will be in the future.

People are not born with a fixed amount of intelligence or skills, but anyone can learn new things and excel in them. However, this calls for open-mindedness, practice, and the dedication of time and effort.

Persistence makes the difference between someone who excels in tasks and those who fail before starting.

People are inclined to react positively to encouragement, motivation, and appreciation.

Words used in each case are important in raising our morale and improving our growth processes. However, when we encourage, motivate and appreciate ourselves, we can create an internal growth mindset that helps us gain success more smoothly and climb the ladder faster.

Why Is “Yet” Powerful In A Growth Mindset?

Using “yet” in your conversations shows that you are aware of the progress that awaits.

Students who use this word are sending a positive message to their minds, assuring them that despite their inability to solve a problem at the moment, they will do it eventually.

Continuous learning ensures that one’s mindset grows and develops with every problem solved.

By using the term “yet,” you are telling your mind that it may have failed to perform with one attempt, but you are willing to put effort into learning more skills to enable you to do better in your next attempt.

“Yet” helps your mind remain open to learning and uphold the growth mindset.

When eliminated from a phrase, it encourages a fixed mindset by creating a false belief that there is no room for improvement or second chances.

Bottom Line

When attached to old routines, you resist change and prevent the growth mindset. The human brain is psychologically inclined to resist unwanted change, and it’s up to you to prepare it to accommodate the adjustments you make in life.

Mindset change, lifestyle changes, or other adjustments in people’s lives lead to an emotional rollercoaster that needs to be handled carefully.

Additionally, shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is challenging. You may find yourself stuck in some areas, causing you to question your decisions. However, persistence and positive affirmations can make a big difference and help you move forward.

Create an action plan on developing and maintaining a growth mindset. Make efforts to retain it by implementing the tips offered in this article, and choose activities and a language that reflects a growth mindset.

Influence children into having a growth mindset, read and find out How Can Growth Mindset in Education Be Used?

Introduce growth mindset to students, read these 15 Growth Mindset Lesson Plans You Can Use and 25 Easy Ways to Instill Growth Mindset for Students


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