Human potential is nearly limitless. Your mindset determines the trajectory of your life. If you change your belief to one that believes in your unlimited abilities, you can radically change how you adapt to difficult situations. Carol Dweck describes fixed vs growth mindset in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Here is how she breaks it down:
What is a fixed mindset?
A person with a fixed mindset holds the belief that their qualities and abilities are static and immutable. They believe their natural talent gets them places instead of persistent effort. A fixed mindset person counts on their innate ability and seeks people's approval as a way to validate their intelligence.
What is a growth mindset?
Growth mindset is the belief that intelligence, skills, learning, and creativity can be developed through time and experience. A growth mindset acknowledges and embraces failures as an opportunity for learning. People with a growth mindset are more able to adapt to change, embrace lifelong learning, and move forward from failure. They are more likely to commit to the process and hone their ability to learn.
Fixed vs. growth mindset
|Fixed Mindset||Growth Mindset|
|1. Qualities are locked and immutable.||1. Abilities and intelligence can grow with experience.|
|2. Talent, creativity cannot grow.||2. Everyday situations create opportunities for learning.|
|3. Talent takes you places, not effort.||3. Anyone can develop and grow with time and effort.|
11 Examples of Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets
11. 'I already know everything' vs. 'I am excited to learn more'
The fixed mindset denotes that your learning is already complete, and therefore there is nothing more to explore. The growth mindset sees the opportunity for learning, constantly adjusting to the changing environment ahead. People with a fixed mindset often find a loss of their sense of purpose since they are no longer excited to get up and learn. They stop exercising their critical thinking abilities and rest in the comfort zone.
10. 'Feedback breaks me' vs. 'Feedback is an opportunity to improve'
The growth mindset takes feedback in stride, understanding that they are not perfect but can take the right steps to get better. The fixed mindset sees feedback as damaging to their ego.
9. 'Failure means I am not good enough' vs. 'Failure allows me to get better'
If you fall, get back up and try again. Everyone fails, but the person that embraces failure and sees it as a learning opportunity to improve the next time around. Remember, the first time is always the hardest, but it only gets easier with time and effort. In the bigger picture, little failures only teach you how NOT to do it in the future. Like in Edison's famous quote, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
8. 'It's pointless to learn new things' vs. 'I'm excited to expand my skill set'
Everyday situations give us an opportunity to continue growing. It's the process of continuous improvement. By understanding that you are never a finished product, you are able to hone and finesse your skills every single day.
7. 'I'm comfortable where I am' vs. 'I want to take my career to the next level'
With a fixed mindset, it's easy to fall into a comfort zone and not want to leave because you believe your innate ability fits where you are. With a growth mindset, you understand with time and effort, you can radically improve your qualities.
6. 'People's success diminishes me' vs. 'People's success gives me a roadmap towards success'
Successful people look around and see opportunities everywhere. Broke people look around and see danger around every corner. Be someone that raises people up instead of someone that needs to outshine others. People's success does not diminish your value, but rather makes the world better as a whole.
5. 'My talent took me here' vs. 'My efforts took me here'
People with a fixed mindset believe that their talent took them there. People with a growth mindset acknowledge that through persistence over a long period of time, they were able to achieve the impossible.
4. 'This is not my area of expertise' vs. 'Even though this isn't my area of expertise, I can always help'
Learn to take a leap of faith as you go. We were not born with the knowledge of things like accounting or video editing, but we can learn through rapid iteration and experimentation. The Internet is full of the information required to grow your repertoire of skills.
3. 'It's too late for me to learn' vs. 'I'm am always growing'
Growth is a neverending journey. You will never be a complete product. There are always opportunities to get better, so keep looking for them.
2. 'I'm bad at this so I won't try' vs. 'I'm willing to try and learn as I go'
Be willing to give things a try. Be someone that provides value to the world, instead of a person that refuses to do things that they are not inherently good at.
1. 'I'm am not good enough' vs. 'I will get really good over time'
Invest in yourself. No one else will if you are not willing to do it first. Believe that you are the best investment for your time. With hard work and persistence, you will be more than good enough.