Our mind is incredibly powerful. In fact, it can turn your dreams into reality, if you learn how to use it well. The problem is that in today’s world, most of us struggle with mental stress and problems, which decreases our brain’s ability to be its best version. This is where we need to understand the importance of a fixed vs growth mindset.
Most people are stuck with a ‘fixed’ mindset, where they believe that they are either naturally good at something or they will never be good at it. On the other hand, a ‘growth’ mindset is when you know you will eventually be good at anything you want if you work for it.
Nonetheless, people still do unbelievable things with their minds. As a matter of fact, there is just one thing that can make or break your life—your mindset.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset – The Origin
Carol Dweck is the researcher behind the origin of fixed mindset vs. growth mindset. She explains why people may resist growth in different environments.
As per researcher and motivator Carol Dweck, who is also a psychologist at Stanford University, there are two mindsets, namely, a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
According to her, changing one’s beliefs can have a great impact on an individual’s personality. She says that if you know that you have a good personality, moral character, and a certain amount of intelligence, then, you should prove that you have a healthy dose of the same.
When comparing a growth mindset vs fixed mindset, she also explains that people are often stuck in the mindset that’s culturally desirable. So, when they face a situation whose outcome is growth—in the classroom, career, and relationships—they start questioning themselves that if they are good enough, or will they succeed, or will they be accepted or rejected, etc.
If they do not meet the desired outcome, they feel ashamed. This is a fixed mindset derived from social conditioning. You become afraid of challenges since they don’t want to look stupid.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset – The Meaning
Carol’s book focuses on teaching people how to develop a healthy attitude that is geared towards growth on a personal and professional basis.
Carol says that it’s normal to be afraid of challenges, but there is another way to look at it. Your morals, personality, and intelligence aren’t fixed traits. You can challenge them and other characteristics of your being from time to time. People with a growth mindset know that new talents and abilities can be developed.
They know that with a good effort, teaching, and persistence, they can face any challenge and develop a growth mindset.
In her book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,’ she takes people on a powerful journey to guide themselves from their fixed beliefs to a growth mindset. If you are stuck in a fixed mindset, then you must read this book.
The number of people with a fixed mindset is far more than those with a growth mindset. The reason behind the same is their limited belief that they can become better by creating better with their minds. You have one life, why wouldn’t you want to become your greatest version.
So, focus on the good things, become grateful for everything (failures included), be around people who have a growth mindset, and try to learn something new every day! Keep up with these habits and soon you will see the difference in your thoughts and actions.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset – How to Differentiate Between the Two?
A person with a fixed mindset is focused on hiding their mistakes and they also tend to stay afraid. On the other hand, someone who has a growth based mindset is aware of their flaws and is always pushing forward to make positive changes.
Here’s an exercise for you to solve—how many times have you spoken a sentence similar to this, ‘I am so bad at math. I just don’t understand the numbers.” This is a fixed mindset. Speaking something similar to the aforementioned sentence means that you are preventing yourself from failing in the short run—which could sabotage your growth and abilities in the long run.
When you are in a growth mindset, you lead your life facing big challenges and smashing success out of them. In the above case, instead of saying that you aren’t good at math, you can make yourself believe that you are. In this case, even if you fail, you would be willing to give yourself another chance.
Fixed mindset examples
- You hide your flaws because you are afraid that you will be judged.
- You choose to stay with what you already know, instead of trying new things to enhance your growth.
- If you are attracted to someone, you think he or she should share the same views as yours.
- You stay in the energy of fear.
- You think you are born with a fixed level of intelligence.
Growth mindset examples
- You know you are flawed and yet you push forward and work with them.
- You want to try new things and take up new challenges.
- When you are romantically involved with someone, you accept them for exactly who they are.
- You are constantly in the energy of love.
- You know intelligence is one of the basic qualities of your personality and you can always get better at it.
These abilities profoundly affect the life of an individual. Thus, it is very important to identify your fixed traits and transform yourself completely.
The best way to change your mindset is to understand it first. Learn about your mindset, take a mind quiz or meet a brain coach.
You won’t believe but people these days hire brain coaches exclusively to train their mindset to be better and attract a magnificent careers and relationships. You can also monitor your reactions to things, people, and emotions—what makes you happy, what triggers you, what fuels you with passion—do this and start focusing on things that make you feel good.
How to Create a Growth Mindset
There are some things that can help you develop a better mindset that is geared towards growth. It may mean becoming more curious about things or replacing the fear of new things with excitement. You should also know your boundaries well, and focus on learning things thoroughly instead of quickly. Additionally, you should not seek others’ approval and persist with better habits and actions.
You must adopt for yourself profoundly if you want to move towards a growth mindset. It will seem like an uphill task when you are starting but after passing this mindset, the view you adopt will completely change your life.
So, here are a few ways to create a growth mindset–
The first step towards growing your mindset is to replace fear with curiosity. Be like a child, ask questions, ask for help, and do new and creative things for one sole reason—find the answer. Do not attach any outcome to the task you have opted to perform and just do it, without any expectations. The result might surprise you. Be passionate, be curious.
Replace fear with excitement
So, you have an important interview tomorrow? It’s normal to feel anxious about it, but isn’t that’s how every time you face a challenge? People with a fixed mindset feel the fear and give in to this emotion. Intelligence a certain personality in you that replaces the fear with excitement. Tell yourself that this is a great opportunity and imagine how amazing you’ll feel after you nail that interview.
Know yourself well
This might come as a surprise to you but knowing thyself is important. When you know yourself well, you also find your inner strength. You understand that you are more than your challenges. You also figure out what works with you and what doesn’t. It’s incredible, the belief that your basic qualities can develop beyond your imagination.
Be a thorough learner, not a fast one
When you are in a growth mindset, the hand must work with mind, but not quickly for that causes anxiety in the long run. Take more time in learning and be a thorough learner. Do not copy others. Stay patient when it feels like you are taking more time in learning a skill because once you learn it well, you will be at the top.
Stop seeking approval from others
Probably the hardest thing to do for people with fixed mindset is to train themselves to stop seeking someone else’s approval. You are living your own life. So, if your life looks exactly the same as your colleague or friend, well, there is a problem. Do not copy—create.
Develop new habits and persist on keeping them
It is not easy, changing your habits, and there is no way that you will get into the mode in a day or a week. However, if you persist on changing your habits and focus on the result that you want, you will definitely transform yourself. All you need to do is stay optimistic and take your brain to the point where it gives in and starts taking orders from you.
For example, in case you pull all-nighters, perhaps, you can decide to change this habit and wake up early. Set the next 30 days for the same and get up, no matter what. Once you start waking up in the morning effortlessly, reward yourself. It will set your tone to the next trait you want to develop.
Here’s the thing, you cannot transform your mindset in a day. So, it is advisable to take one habit at a time to change your mind. Then, you can take things one at a time and slowly develop better habits.
If you think you aren’t in your best mindset, then play the hand you’re dealt, for now, and figure your way out through this. Whether you have a fixed or growth mindset, you can always be better and grow beyond your imagination.
All of us suffer from some kind of trauma in our lives, mostly childhood, but as we grow, we must try to accept the fact that we aren’t in the past. Tell yourself over and over that you deserve the best things in life. Think good, get better, and never give up on yourself. Remember, geniuses are those who fail time and again, yet, find their way to great success, all because they embrace challenges and keep a great attitude towards life.
Fixed vs Growth Mindset FAQs
What are the characteristics of growth mindset?
1. Knowing that even though you are flawed, you should accept them and work towards overcoming them,
2. Willingness to try new things and take up new challenges.
3. Accepting people around you for who they are, not who you want them to be.
4. Knowing that intelligence can always be improved.
What is the importance of growth mindset?
When it comes to discussing the importance of growth mindset, it is imperative to look at how it can improve the quality of our lives and have a positive impact on your personality. A growth mindset can help you break out of a rut, social conditioning, and help you learn new things. It can also help you grow in all aspects of life, whether it is in the classroom, career, or personal life. Indeed, growth and change mindset for success in life, in general.
What creates a fixed mindset?
When talking about fixed mindset and growth mindset difference, the one thing that is extremely noticeable is the fact that people who stay within a fixed mindset do so out of fear of failure and rejection. Indeed, fixed mindset is the creation of a brain that cares too much about the results, and is afraid that failure or rejection will be too painful or humiliating to bear. That is why such a person prefers to remain within their limited circle, instead of adopting a growth mindset.
Is having a fixed mindset bad?
Yes, fixed mindset is bad. It forces you to stay within your limited comfort zone, instead of exploring the rest of the world. This type of behavior will ultimately result in regrets in later life. It will also prevent you from progressing in relationships, career, etc.
How to change mindset from fixed to growth?
When comparing fixed mindset vs growth mindset, you will notice that the people with a growth mindset tend to be more curious about life in general. So, if you want to change your mindset, you have to start with breaking out of your comfort zone and be more curious about things. You need to replace the fear of rejection or humiliation with excitement, and stop seeking the approval of other people. Try to learn new things slowly, and develop new habits.
Namrata is a Doctor i.e. dentist turned writer and a clinical researcher. Eager to learn about anything and everything, she is what you would call a jack of all trades and master of none. With a zeal for reading novels, books, and anything she could get her hands on ever since she was little, she embarked into a writing career purely out of luck. After indulging in a freelancing career for nearly two years, she can now write on anything - from dentistry to decor, travel to technology, medicine to management - but the psychology remains her first love. Having dealt with mental health issues in the past, she hopes to raise awareness for the same and help people with her work in association with The MindFool team