Home / Self-improvement / GROWTH MINDSET VS. FIXED MINDSET

Ever wonder why some people succeed in life and some don’t? Ever wonder why people with almost similar backgrounds and starting points in life can end up on a completely different path? If so, we’re here to give you the answer, and the answer is about having a growth mindset vs. fixed mindset.

Of course, circumstances are the first thing most people blame, but have you ever wondered what impacts the way we react to our circumstances? Well, it all comes down to having the right mindset. This is the key, because in our reactions are within our power, and our reactions depend solely on our mindset. Our reactions are in our control.

People who use downsides as their advantages to learn and act upon are the ones with what has come to be known as a growth mindset. Having this mindset can literally change every single aspect of your life, and the purpose of this article is to show you how.

So, if you’re ready to learn about the differences between a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset, and how favoring the forming can improve you life, let’s dive right in:


Growth Mindset Versus Fixed Mindset

How Mindset Forms Our Life?

Two basic mindsets that form our life are growth and fixed mindset. You can also find them under the terms open and closed mindsets.

A growth or open mindset is about seeing failure as an opportunity to learn and improve, and about embracing challenges as a way to improve your skills.

Why is it so important to develop a growth mindset?

There are many benefits to having a growth mindset: increased happiness levels, better performance at work and school, higher self-esteem… the list goes on!

And who does not want that?

Having a fixed mindset you do not believe in change and: if you think you can’t change, then you won’t. If you believe in the idea of a fixed mindset, then you’ll never try to improve your abilities, because why would you when they’re already set in stone? But if you have a growth mindset, that means that you know that you can always get better—and that makes all the difference.

A growth mindset will:

  1. Push you further in life
  2. Help you develop resilience
  3. Ensure you have a bigger capacity for happiness
  4. Allow you to learn more because this will be your main focus
  5. Help you form more meaningful connections

How Do You Develop A Growth Mindset?

If you want to develop a growth mindset, start by challenging your beliefs about yourself and what you can achieve. If you have a fixed mindset, then every time you fail at something or are criticized for not being good enough at something, it reinforces those beliefs—you’ll see this as proof that there’s no point trying harder because you’ll never get better anyway.

But if you develop a growth mindset instead, then every time you try something difficult and fail or don’t succeed right away—or even if someone else tells you that they think your idea isn’t going to work—you take it as an opportunity to learn from them instead of letting their words define who you are.

  • Think about your goals for yourself and others. Don’t just think about what you want to achieve but also who you want to become as a person through achieving those goals.
  • Focus on effort rather than the outcome. When trying something new or learning something new, don’t just focus on the end result—focus on how much effort went into getting there instead. Even in setbacks, always look for something you can learn from them.
  • Be aware of your mistakes and failures and use them as opportunities to grow and learn even more than before!

How to start developing that growth mindset today, here are five simple steps:

  1. Remember that everyone has potential for growth.
  2. Practice being open-minded about things you don’t know yet (and maybe don’t want to learn).
  3. Think about what matters most to you, and focus on those things above all else!
  4. Stop seeking validation from other people. This is setting you up to seek approval instead of learning.
  5. If you do not know something that you wish to learn, practice saying: I do not know this, yet. The word “yet” here is crucial. It will set your brain up for learning.
Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
I cannot do this I am still learning
I have failed I can improve
I should quit I can ask for help
I don’t know how I can learn how
I give up I’ll try another way
I made a mistake I am learning

Growth Vs. Fixed Mindset Research

Psychologist Carol Dweck wrote a book on the topic titled, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

Growth Vs. Fixed Mindset

Her research shows how much our approach to problems defines our quality of life. It affects our lives a lot more than talent or intellect.

Our mindset affects every area of our life. Our beliefs are conscious and unconscious too, and even a small shift in them in a different direction can change our whole life.

A growth mindset is flourishing when you have problems and see the downsides not as a lack of intellect, but as an opportunity to grow.

During our earliest years, we form all of our behavior and our relationship with happiness and challenging situations based on these two mindsets. This impacts all the areas of our lives from professional to personal, and it determines our ability to be happy.

The research that Dweck conducted showed that people do differ in abilities and preferences, but everyone can change and grow if they put in the required effort.

So, Can We All Become Einstein?

The results of her research are that not everyone can become Einstein. However, people with a growth mindset think that the real potential of a human is not predictable. We cannot predict what a person can achieve with years of hard work, dedication, and learning.

The main benefit of a growth mindset is its focus on learning and developing, and not on the approval of our surroundings. Its main characteristic is the profound belief that human qualities, like intelligence, creativity, and even the ability for love and friendship, can be developed with effort and with conscious practice.

The thought process in the growth mindset looks something like this:

“Why would I waste time trying to prove again and again my worth when for the same period I could get better?

Why would I hide my flaws, and not work on them?

And why search for stable ways instead of an experience that would lead me to growth?”

If it sounds familiar to you – good, if not – no worries, you can develop this kind of mindset!

To challenge yourself and to do it constantly, especially if the things in your life are not working as you expected, is one of the bold characteristics of a growth mindset.

This is the mindset that allows you to succeed in the hardest times of your life.

Related: How a Scarcity Mindset Can Limit You

How Fixed Mindset Impacts Our Lives?

People with a fixed mindset see risk and effort as a lack of their abilities as if they are lacking something to solve the problem.

If you believe that your qualities are not going to change through life, it will lead you to one particular set of thoughts and actions. However, if you believe that your abilities are prone to develop, you will have different thoughts and actions, which will lead you to a completely different life. We are returning to the beginning of this writing – why people with similar backgrounds and starting points can lead completely different lives?

In one world – the world of fixed abilities – achievement is connected to the need to prove oneself, to prove you are intelligent and talented. This is self-affirmation.

In the other world – a world where your abilities can change – everything is calling you to learn something new. This is self-development.

People with fixed mindsets will not want to risk losing their reputation and will decide to work on the same project to prove their intelligence. The definition of success for those with a growth mindset is achieving more and more by constantly challenging themselves.

Related: Change Your Mindset Change Your Life

Mindset And Feedback

A fixed mindset listens to feedback that demonstrates their current competency but ignores information that could help them grow and learn.

If they didn’t do something correctly they had already added this to a list of failures.

People with a growth mindset are open to hearing information that could help them widen their knowledge, regardless of whether they have done something successfully or not.

Their goal is to learn, not to define right and wrong.

Ability or Effort?

There is an interesting study, again conducted by Dweck, they had two groups:

One was praised for their abilities, the other for their efforts.

The conclusion is surprising:

Complementing abilities led students to have a fixed mindset. They did not want to solve more complex assignments, and they did not want to do anything that could affect their self-image.

The other group, which was praised for its efforts, behaved very differently. 90% of them wanted new complex assignments to learn more.

For the fixed mindset success was a sign that they were intelligent, lack of success means that they are lacking intelligence.

The students that were praised for their efforts – challenges, and problems are all just a sign that they need to try harder. This is not a sign that they are unhappy or unintelligent.

A fixed mindset is accompanied by an internal monologue with constant evaluation. In a growth mindset, the inner monologue is constantly looking for new ways to learn and grow, discovering creative ways to act.

Does this sound familiar?

Final Thoughts

Mindsets have a critical role in what people can achieve.

People with fixed mindsets believe that abilities are not changeable, whereas those with growth mindsets believe that abilities can be developed.

People with a growth mindset collaborate more readily, and they will readily support others. This is because they believe that everybody can achieve their goals, regardless of their starting point if they work hard enough. A growth mindset sees failure as an integral part of life.

Individuals may approach different situations with different mindsets. It is not one or the other mindset, a certain fluidity exists in all of us.

Mindsets are crucial in self-regulation and the ability to improve. We can all start developing a growth mindset today, why wait to flourish? After all….

Till then,


PS – If you enjoyed this article about having a growth vs. fixed mindset, then you’ll likely enjoy reading these growth mindset quotes to help you level up your life as well.

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