Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

Researcher and professor Carol Dweck uses the term “mindset” to describe the way people think about ability and talent.

Dweck delineates between two different mindsets that exist on a continuum.

The first is the fixed mindset which suggests that your abilities are innate and unchangeable. The second is a growth mindset, which views it as something you can improve through practice. In a fixed mindset, you view failure as permanent. But with a growth mindset, you see failure as a chance to learn and even pivot.

Those with a fixed mindset are more likely to view critical feedback as a personal attack while those with a growth mindset will see it as a chance to improve and develop new systems.

With a fixed mindset, you’re more likely to choose easier tasks and put in minimal effort.

After all, if talent is fixed why bother improving? Why even try? But with the growth mindset, you’re more likely to embrace challenging tasks and work hard to improve.

Those with the fixed mindset are likely to give up when they face an obstacle. Meanwhile, those with the growth mindset will view obstacles as a chance to experiment and solve problems.

In a fixed mindset the focus is on measurable accomplishments. But with the growth mindset, the focus is more on a journey of continual improvement.

With a fixed mindset, you’re less likely to take creative risks. But with a growth mindset creative risks are simply a way to innovate and improve.

Ultimately your mindset influences everything from creative risk-taking to how you view feedback to whether or not you finish difficult tasks. In the end, it’s one of the greatest factors in determining whether or not you grow and improve in your abilities.


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