When we have a fixed mindset, stressful social situations can make us feel so threatened and overwhelmed, that we may become unable to cope. The more we view ourselves and others as incapable of change and think about social battles as if they will last forever, the more likely we are to experience chronic emotional and physical stress from the challenges of daily life.

A subtle shift in mindset can make an enormous difference in all aspects of our lives. How about a mind-shift to a social growth perspective?

There are many benefits to having a social growth mindset:

• We stop the habit of worrying all day
• We have healthier physiological responses
• We reduce social, emotional and chronic stress
• We are less likely to perceive challenging tasks as threatening
• We keep calmer and perform much better on many levels
• Social stress do not affect us - this can have many unexpected benefits
• We experience positive feelings about ourselves and our performance
• We see stressful social situations as challenges to be met and overcome
• We inevitably promote a healthy social mindset in others

To develop a social growth mindset, it helps to learn and internalise the concepts - here are a few of them:

• See the bigger, more dynamic picture
• No one is doomed to shame and exclusion
• Solution focus: focus more on what already works
• Everyone is complicated and capable of change
• Those who do the excluding are not inherently bad 
• Getting excluded doesn’t mean we have a personal deficit
• Find examples of unlikely social growth that happened – people/situations
• Add the word ‘yet’ when describing a social challenge
• Our judgements are meant for learning about our needs, nothing else
• Discuss learnings with others, as to internalise it
• Keep learning about how to think more flexibly

Find reading materials that support tried and true wisdom about a growth mindset. Ongoing learning about the social growth mindset will keep increasing the positive impact – this is especially true for students of all ages.

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