Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

There are two types of mindsets that shape our attitudes towards the actions we do every day. These are growth mindset and fixed mindset. In this article, we are going to explore what these mindsets are and how they can influence our learning experiences.


What is a Growth Mindset?


Individuals who have a growth mindset have a passion for learning and focus on the process of learning, not only the outcome. The growth mindset is based on the foundation that your skills and qualities can be cultivated and improved through effort.


A growth mindset is not discouraged by failure, as these situations are seen as learning experiences. People with a growth mindset thrive on a challenge and see failure as an opportunity for growth and expand skills and abilities.


Having a growth mindset positively impacts choices you make and activities you do every day. As when faced with a challenge or when something doesn’t go to plan, having a growth mindset will help you see the opportunities this challenge has for your personal growth.


Continuing to develop your skills and abilities will not only positively impact your personal life but also your professional life. Having a growth mindset will assist you coping with everyday challenges better and learn more from these experiences than an individual with a fixed mindset.


Examples of a growth mindset are:

  • There is more that I can learn
  • Feedback is an opportunity for learning
  • Failure is a learning curve
  • Expanding skills and repertoire is a good thing
  • There is always room for improvement


What is a Fixed Mindset?


Individuals who have a fixed mindset have the assumption that our intelligence and skills are set in stone, and we can’t change the way we are. These people strive for success and avoid failure at all costs to maintain the belief that they are intelligent and have a strong skill set. Failures are seen as a setback. Success to them is about validation and proving their intelligence and skills over and over.


Effort is seen as a bad thing, as if you had the skills, you wouldn’t need to put in effort. Fixed mindset is defined by result, so if they fail, that failure defines them as they can’t change the way they are. Having a fixed mindset can block potential opportunities and learning experiences that would have otherwise improved and expanded your skills.


Examples of a fixed mindset are:

  • I already know all I need to know
  • Feedback is criticism
  • I don’t want to try if I’m going to fail
  • There will always be someone who is better than me
  • I can’t improve in this area


To conclude, we don’t necessarily fall perfectly into the category of growth or fixed mindset; everyone has a little bit of both. Being aware of these two mindsets is important as the same experience can be taken differently depending on whether you are thinking with a growth mindset or a fixed one. Thinking with a growth mindset will positively impact your skills and learning experiences but thinking with a fixed mindset will prevent you from what could have been a valuable learning opportunity.

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