Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset- Adjust Your Thinking
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The quote below is a great example of having a growth mindset. Wondering what that is? No worries. Many people are unaware of fixed vs. growth mindset, though people around them are likely aware of the category they fall into.

“Don’t tell me how talented you are. Tell me how hard you work.”

Artur Rubenstein

According to Carol Dweck,- psychology professor, researcher, and author,- there are two categories that people can be grouped in with regard to their behaviors and mindsets. There are the fixed mindsetters who believe their intelligence and success is based on innate ability. And there are the growth mindsetters who believe their intelligence and success is based on learning, training, and most importantly, hard work.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

Here are a few points that distinguish the two mindsets. They may help you reflect upon how you were taught/raised and your thoughts now.

Fixed Mindset

  • Believes he/she is born smart or dumb and nothing can change that.
  • Fears failure.
  • Avoids things that are challenging to him/her.
  • Feels shame at not knowing something that others know.
  • Thinks if he/she is not good at, there’s no use trying.
  • May be insecure at seeing someone else succeed.

Growth Mindset

  • Believes he/she needs to work hard in order to learn different concepts and become better.
  • May not take failure as personally.
  • Tries to persevere through challenges.
  • Takes note of what he/she doesn’t know so that he/she can learn.
  • Discovers learning strengths and styles to aid him/her in acquiring new knowledge/skills.
  • Is inspired by success.

So, what are your thoughts about intellectual abilities? Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed one?

My Fixed Mindset

Ever since I could remember, I loved to read. My ideal afternoon as a child was going to a bookstore and reading several books to determine which one I wanted. My mother would tell me I could just look at the cover and back of the book to decide. But that wasn’t good enough for me. So, she sat and sat and finally I would make a decision.

In elementary school, I was a straight A student and usually caught on very quickly. I was what most people would call “smart.” But unbeknownst to me and probably many others, that kind of thinking was not positive but actually very detrimental to me. Clearly, I had a fixed mindset!

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.

Dale Carnegie

Because I had been called smart my whole life, I felt like failure wasn’t an option. If I didn’t do well at something, I would feel shame and attempt to hide it at all costs. I developed a perfectionist mindset and avoided things I was not immediately successful at. If I knew then what I know now, I would probably have enjoyed my childhood a bit more and gained great new skills.

Doing it Right

I may not be able to go back and tell my 12-year-old self that it’s okay to make mistakes and that I won’t be naturally good at everything. However, I have the opportunity now to teach my children, students, and the children I mentor to look at thinks a different way. I teach them that it’s okay to fail because it means they tried. I tell them that hard work pays off and that we all have certain skills we naturally excel at and other skills we need to develop over time. But most importantly, I tell them that they are wonderfully made and have a great purpose that only they are equipped to fulfill. I hope this article will encourage you to be a little intentional about teaching this to those dear to you as well. <3

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

Samuel Johnson

I would love to know what mindset you grew up with and how you see yourself now. You can share in the comment section below. If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at [email protected] Also, subscribe below for access to the member resource library which includes a growth mindset printable.


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