Fixed mindsets and/ or a lack of experienced agency
Cieco’s second ambition is to challenge fixed mindsets and/ or a lack of experienced agency.
A mindset, according to Carol Dweck, is a self-perception or “self-theory” that people hold about themselves. Carol Dweck: “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them.”
Fixed mindsets cause people to see challenges as fundamental threats to their identity since a failure in dealing with them would establish a lack in their basic qualities. The alternative is to attribute the failure to external forces. Growth mindsets cause people to see challenges as learning opportunities.
Since failure will occur in any life, fixed mindsets cause defensive lifestyles, low self-esteem and often a lack of experienced agency.
Agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.
A lack of experienced agency causes learned helplessness: forces outside one’s control seem to steer one’s life.