Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

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Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

Do you have a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset”?

The answer to this question can help determine how successful people are in life.

In this blog, let’s discover some of the differences between these two mindsets and show how having one over another can have an impact your success in life.

What are Fixed and Growth Mindsets?

A fixed mindset is when an individual believes that they cannot change who they are and that success depends on innate talent and their level of intelligence.

On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that anything is possible if they put enough effort into it.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck first introduced the concept and basic abilities of “mindset” in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006). 

In this book, she explains how individuals with either a fixed or growth mindset can impact daily life.

According to the author, Carol Dweck, our fundamental attitudes about where talent and ability come from significantly impact how we view all sorts of everyday experiences.

These mindsets shape what level of talent and skills you think are worth learning or having. It dictates whether people believe that they have the potential for growth to change their abilities to better themselves for future success.

This involves continuing education past high school and taking up a new hobby such as painting classes at local art galleries, etc.

These views also dictate one’s self-esteem levels and how they can affect interpersonal relationships with others.  These mindsets shape how we view all kinds of ordinary experiences and also shapes the true potential we could be missing out on if we have a negative based attitude.

Here are some examples:

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

•  Your Flaws And Imperfections

Fixed mindset: Hide weaknesses and try to make them go away. 
Growth mindset: Acknowledge what needs improvement and work on it.

The nature of the growth mindset chooses to acknowledge their weaknesses and work on them while the other mindset deny the problem. Those who have a fixed mindset think that they can conceal or compensate for any weakness, but those with a growth mindset know better than this. 

A person’s outlook of themselves is crucial in how they feel about life as well.

• Learning Strategies

The fixed mentality will give up easily once they realize that their strategy isn’t working because they believe they’re unable to learn new material.

A growth mindset or “nothing is impossible” mentality believes in trying something else even if their first attempt didn’t work out as planned. They know anything can be learned given enough time and consistent effort (overcoming such obstacles often leads them into developing more resilient personalities.)

• Failure

Growth Mindset: Failure, is not a sign of the person being a failure. Instead, it gives the individual opportunities that they need to grow and learn more about the world that surrounds them.

Failure may seem like it’s just revealing your limits, but instead, it provides you with an opportunity to try again or find out new things. Especially if it’s a skill that can complement your future success with a bit of daily practice of positive brain training techniques and methods.

Fixed Mindset: Often manifests itself in a person’s reaction to failure. Their basic beliefs can make them feel that their initial talents and abilities are limited or because they previously failed.  They have no or minimal desire, because of this fear to act and believe toward any future challenges or endeavors from this perceived limitation or past experience.

Unfortunately, a fixed mindset usually translates into avoiding new challenges. 

Many of us maybe conditioned to have a simple belief that failure means we’re fools. The truth is, it’s not our intelligence level in question. It could come from either a lack of education about a particular topic or skillset or a lack of tools and resources at hand, in order to move forward, so we can cope and move on from disappointments.

 

• Approval

Approval means different things to people with a fixed and growth mindset.

Fixed mindset: Approval is the only thing that matters. So with a “fixed” mind frame, approval can affirm their value. 

Growth mindset: Always looking for ways to improve their work, so approval never stops them as they feel they are learning all the time. So for those that have the “growth” mentality, it’s an affirmation of what they’ve done and learned through a period of time.

• Effort

Effort can be a powerful tool to help you gain skills and abilities if your mindset is pointing in the right direction.

Fixed mindset: They believe that without natural ability, nothing else matters. It’s not worth putting much effort into anything. They also think that certain people have a special talent and do not need to work hard because it’s their destiny to succeed.

Growth Mindset: They start with believing no matter what level of skill or knowledge one has now, there is always room for improvement through working harder and smarter than before. 

So as soon as new things come up, instead of giving up instantly due to lack of experience or innate talents, they find ways of professional learning the skill set they need to move forward to achieve their goal.

• Negative Feedback And Criticism

We all have a choice. We can choose to see criticism as evidence of our shortcomings or use it as constructive feedback for improvement and growth.

Fixed mindset: Will interpret negative feedback and criticism to indicate their lack of abilities or skills.

Growth mindset: They are more likely to see it as a healthy dose of information that can lead them on the path towards improvement.

 

• The Success Of Others

Many people are motivated by the success of others.

Fixed mindset: It was easy for them because they are so talented and probably had things fall into their lap easily. This mindset is one in which someone believes that intelligence or talent cannot change. They see other’s successes as confirmation of their own limitations.

Growth mindset: They may see this as a learning process from other successful people’s experiences. Also, this mindset realizes that it was probably not easy for them, and they had a challenging time to get where they are now.

• Ambition

Ambition is the fuel that drives people to go beyond what they have previously achieved.

Fixed mindset: I should stick to what I am good at. It can be tempting for someone with a fixed mindset who knows their strengths and weaknesses well. So will not try new things to avoid failure and/or embarrassment.

Growth mindset: I should explore new things. Individuals with these mindsets know this is an important step towards success, because one never sees where they might excel until trying something new!

The examples can go on and on, but you get the idea. In contrast, a fixed mind believes that they have natural abilities but are very aware of their limits and fear going beyond these limits. The growth  type of mindset is prepared to change, learn, seek challenges, and take risks.

Benefits Of A Growth Mindset

As you can see, people with a growth mindset behave very differently than people with a fixed mindset. Generally speaking, people with a fixed mindset spend their time and energy looking to confirm their limited ability, intelligence, character, and other traits.

Fixed type of mindset 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 and build resilience when they experience setbacks
 Use effort and learning process for new skills to achieve mastery
 Learn from criticism and feedback
 Find inspiration in the success of others

 
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Most importantly, this mindset gives people a sense of free will, a feeling that their decisions are meaningful and that they do 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 adapt and apply those lessons to their own lives. Because a fixed mindset believes that spending extra time is a waste, as successful people are just “naturally” successful.

Dweck’s research showed that it is possible to change your mindset and take control of your thoughts and your destiny.

Having a growth mindset is not the same as having an “I can do anything” attitude.

It’s about knowing you’re capable of learning and adapting to new situations.

Think back on your life….. has there been any time when you’ve learned something so well, that now it feels like second nature?

Probably many times, right?

That means we all have what it takes for developing this kind of mindset. With focus, mindfulness, and hard work, anybody can be successful in whatever they want to achieve or contribute.  Simply by believing in their inherent ability to grow wiser each day toward achieving their goals.

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 with some deliberate practice.

Self Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis is a powerful tool for cultivating a positive new mindset, especially when growing and developing a healthier way of thinking. Many self-hypnotic audios can support healthy mindset change, and here are some audios you can check to help cultivate a “growth mindset.” 

These recordings are both easy on the ears and extremely relaxing, which helps make them ideal tools to bring about positive change through training our brain and not get stuck with negative thoughts, but rather focus more on what we want instead! 

They are also written by professional clinical hypnotherapists. 

appreciate

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 based on who you are.

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 techniques and look for something that works better. 

Remember, we all learn in different ways, for example, visual learners who love learning via videos or avid readers who need to learn via a PDF.

Share Your Experiences With Others

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

Look For Lessons In Your Mistakes

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

Recognize Actions, Not Traits

In yourself and others, pay attention to their actions that lead to success or failure. Remember that these things are the results of what they have done whilst learning, 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 in some area of your life. 

After all,  you know when you hear genuine feedback, right? 

Accept Challenges

People with a growth mindset embrace challenges. You can start with accepting them as well, start with small challenges, something that isn’t that hard initially, and work your way up with more confidence and self-esteem. 

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, always acknowledge and recognize your achievement! Then set a new plan that challenges you a bit more. Keep on setting new goals and stretching yourself beyond your limits. 

One of the best methods for setting new goals and giving yourself recognition is by using your daily journal (one with prompts makes it so much easier.) A great thing about a journal is that you can see changes as they happen without relying on mental recall or comparing days from weeks ago. 

Seeing how far you’ve come (even though they could be baby steps, remember you are moving forward) it gives more self-assurance to continue with the growth mindset journey, whilst getting closer to success.

Use The Word “Yet.”

One of Dweck’s favorite phrases is “not yet.” When a student says they can’t do something, 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 that’s all.

Final Take

The truth is, failure, setbacks, and mistakes are inevitable. They happen to everyone, at any age and ability level. At 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 us, and make failure into just another stepping stone on the path to your success.

People with a growth mindset can take advantage of all the opportunities life offers,as a fear of failure doesn’t paralyze them. They can set ever more ambitious goals, seeking even bigger challenges, and achieve almost anything they can imagine.  

Neuroplasticity (brain plasticity) shows us that our brain is highly capable of change. Which gives us more confidence to shift from a fixed mindset into a growth mindset with some patience and persistence. 

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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