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Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

You’ve probably heard the term “growth mindset” for years, but never really understood what it means or where it comes from.

The truth is, the growth mindset is critical to help you build the mental habits that help you overcome obstacles and manifest your desires. Today, we’ll explore these crucial mindsets, and find out how to shift your thinking and transform your life.

What Are Fixed And Growth Mindsets?

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The terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset” were developed by American psychologist Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University. In her revolutionary book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, published in 2006, Dweck says that:

“A fixed mindset is the belief that success is due to innate ability. People with a fixed mindset believe that traits like intelligence, talent, and ability are innate, and that they don’t change over time.

A growth mindset is the belief that talents and ability can be developed over time. People with a growth mindset believe that their abilities can be cultivated over time with effort and persistence.”

Dweck performed much of her research in the classroom, where feedback like “You did well! You are so smart!” fosters a different mindset than feedback like “You did well! You worked hard!” She found that these attitudes take root early in life and shape all our future behaviors and aspirations.

In the years since her book came out, life coaches, productivity experts, and psychologists have embraced her mindset theory.

Fixed Mindset Vs. Growth Mindset

While this fundamental attitude toward where talent and ability come from may seem like a small thing, it affects every aspect of our lives.

These mindsets shape how we view all kinds of ordinary experiences. Here are some examples:

• Your Own Flaws And Imperfections

Fixed mindset: conceal and compensate for them

Growth mindset: acknowledge weaknesses and work on them

• Challenges

Fixed mindset: avoid challenges

Growth mindset: embrace challenges

• Learning Strategies

Fixed mindset: if my strategy isn’t working, it’s because I can’t learn this

Growth mindset: if my strategy isn’t working, try something else

• Failure

Fixed mindset: failure reveals the limits of my abilities

Growth mindset: failure gives me an opportunity to learn

• Approval

Fixed mindset: approval affirms my value

Growth mindset: approval affirms my efforts

• Effort

Fixed mindset: effort doesn’t work if you don’t have natural ability

Growth mindset: effort can help you gain ability

• Negative Feedback And Criticism

Fixed mindset: this shows my failure

Growth mindset: this is information that can help me improve

• The Success Of Others

Fixed mindset: it was easy for them because they are so talented

Growth mindset: I may be able to learn from their experiences

• Ambition

Fixed mindset: I should stick to what I am good at

Growth mindset: I should explore new things

The examples can go on and on, but you get the idea. A growth mindset is prepared to change, learn, seek challenges, and take risks, while a fixed mindset believes that they have natural abilities and limits, and seeks to showcase their strengths and hide their weaknesses as much as possible.

Benefits Of A Growth Mindset

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People with a growth mindset behave very differently than people with a fixed mindset. Generally speaking, people with a fixed mindset spend their energy looking for confirmation of their ability, intelligence, character, and other traits.

They seek approval and worry that failure reflects poorly on themselves as people. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset are more likely to:

  • Embrace challenges
  • Persist when they experience setbacks
  • Use effort to achieve mastery
  • Learn from criticism and feedback
  • Find inspiration in the success of others

Most importantly, the growth mindset gives people a sense of free will, a sense that their decisions are meaningful, and that they have control over their lives.

How To Develop A Growth Mindset

Dweck points out that many people read books about the secrets of successful people, but don’t understand how to adopt and apply those lessons to their own lives, because a fixed mindset makes you believe that successful people are “naturally” successful.

According to the Ultra Manifestation program, first, you need to change your mindset to a growth mindset, and then you can more easily learn from the examples of others, as well as your own experience. Dweck’s research showed that it is possible to change your mindset and take control of your thoughts and your destiny. Here are some ways to cultivate a growth mindset:

• Abandon The Idea Of “Genius”

Science has proven that there is no such thing as innate genius; most people achieve success by hard work, and with the resiliency to persist in the face of failure.

• Learn About Brain Plasticity

The brain is remarkably capable of change, at any age. Research has shown that people are capable of learning and doing amazing things with their minds, despite disadvantages and setbacks. Your brain is just as flexible and capable of change.

• Acknowledge Your Imperfections

Admit that nobody is perfect and accept yourself for who you are. If you lack natural talents or abilities, acknowledging them is the first step toward working on your weaknesses.

• Focus Less On Receiving Approval

The approval of others doesn’t affirm your innate value as a person and isn’t necessary. When you receive approval, try accepting it as something you have earned, rather than as something you deserve.

• Appreciate The Process, Not Just The Result

Particularly when learning or doing something new, appreciate the process of trying and learning as you go. If something isn’t going well, try different processes and look for something that works better for you.

• Share Your Experiences With Others

If possible, cultivate relationships where you can discuss your experiences, your setbacks, your progress, and your successes. Find people who will support you when you need it and try to be genuinely happy for their successes.

• Look For Lessons In Your Mistakes

Instead of regarding mistakes as failures and attempting to conceal them, spend some time examining your mistakes. Try to find lessons in them that you can use to improve your future attempts.

• Recognize Actions, Not Traits

In yourself as well as others, pay attention to the actions they do that lead to success or failure. Remember that these things are the results of what they have done, not who they are.

• Listen To Feedback And Criticism

This one may be hard. Most people with a fixed mindset tend to stop paying attention when feedback becomes negative. Instead, listen to all feedback, and take it as an area for future improvement.

• Accept Challenges

People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, but you can start with accepting them. Try to think of challenges as an opportunity to learn something along the way, even if the end result isn’t what you hope for.

• Set New Goals

If you have accomplished a goal and achieved success, set a new goal that challenges you a bit more. Keep on setting new goals and challenging yourself.

• Use The Word “Yet”

One of Dweck’s favorite phrases is “not yet.” When a student says that they can’t do something, or don’t know something or haven’t learned something, she adds: “not yet!” Remind yourself that you can achieve mastery over these things, you just haven’t done it yet.


The truth is, failure, setbacks, and mistakes are inevitable. They happen to everyone, at any age and ability level. In the moment, they may feel like the end of the world, but they don’t have to be.

Having a growth mindset helps you turn those setbacks into opportunities, learn all the lessons that mistakes have to teach, and make failure into just another step on the path to success.

People with a growth mindset can take advantage of all the opportunities life has to offer, because they aren’t paralyzed by a fear of failure.

And they are able to set ever more ambitious goals, seeking ever bigger challenges, and achieve almost anything they can imagine.

Remember that the brain is plastic and highly capable of change. You can transform a fixed mindset into a growth mindset, with patience, persistence, and a little courage.

Changing your mindset is the first step in changing your whole life for the better, so start this incredible journey today.

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