Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset| Which Mindset Should You Develop?
“It’s not how good you are; it’s how good you want to be”
There are two mindsets that are believed to shape our lives, one is fixed and the other is a growth mindset.
Most of the understanding of the growth mindset stems from the work of Carol Dweck. She found through her research that our belief system is largely colored by our view of our personality. Depending on this view there are two types of mindsets viz., fixed mindset and growth mindset.
Fixed mindset: Is based on the assumption that our creative ability, intelligence, and characteristics are static. They can’t be changed in any meaningful way. To maintain a sense of being skilled and smart, failures, challenges, and feedback should be avoided.
Growth mindset: It strives and thrives on challenges, feedback, and failures. Rather than viewing them as evidence of unintelligence they are considered as opportunities for growth and stretching our existing abilities.
Difference between Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
|Intelligence||Is static||Can be developed|
|Efforts||Are fruitless||Are the path to mastery|
|Trying New Things||Is scary||Is a way to new experiences|
|Life Challenges||Should be avoided||Should be embraced|
|Feedback||Are negative and should be avoided||Are insightful and should be taken proactively|
|Failure||Is a catastrophic scenario||Is a growing opportunity|
|Achievements||Less than the actual potential||Ever-higher achievements|
|Overall Impact on Life||Deterministic view of the world||A greater sense of free will|
Let’s understand the difference between the growth mindset and fixed mindset with the help of an example:
There is Mr. X who is always looking for new ways to develop and improve his talents through good strategies and input from others. Then there is Mr. A who believes that his talent is innate which can’t be really worked upon and has to be accepted the way it is.
Here Mr. X has a growth mindset whereas Mr. A has a fixed mindset.
(Which mindset do you have?)
But, wait why do I need to have a growth mindset?
Glad you asked! There are a lot of benefits that a growth mindset has to offer which makes our life better.
- A growth mindset allows us to exert the required effort
- We can break through the stuck-ness by having a growth mindset
- The feelings of shyness from making mistakes or accepting challenges are kept at bay by having a growth mindset
- We become more open to new experiences by having a growth mindset
- It allows us to enjoy challenges despite the risks associated with it
- Growth Mindset allows us to focus on value learning
- Having a growth mindset is like a wonderful way to improve ourselves
- Growth mindset is positively linked to higher motivation
- Our mental well-being improves by having a growth mindset as it lowers our stress and anxiety levels
- Growth mindset is also found to improve our self-esteem and make us more resilient
Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset
Breaking down our fixed mindset can be a little tricky as our mind itself determines our perceptions. But, with the right techniques, you can easily change it. Here are some ways for you to develop and nurture a growth mindset:
1. Focus on process over the end result
While we all sow seeds to enjoy the fruit it bears, focusing on the entire process is even important. The reason is simple, the process helps us learn and grow. By valuing the process we are able to find more joy and growth. So, next time when you create a to-do list, do focus on the ways of achieving it rather than paying attention to the end goal alone.
2. Perseverance is the key
An important part of learning is to be able to get up again after facing any failure and not giving up. Perseverance is the key here! But, don’t forget to be cautious. If you can’t achieve your set goal through method A, give plan B a chance! Don’t just stick with one way of processing and achieving your goal, explore different routes. Basically, be persistent with your purpose and keep looking for new ways of execution.
3. Grow with others
If you appreciate your growth then you can amplify it by sharing your progress with others. In fact growing with others is found to be linked with a greater sense of achievement.
4. Be open to feedback
By not accepting feedback we close our doors to communicate and willingness to change. Instead of looking at feedback as a criticism in fact change your lens a bit and take them proactively. Think of them as a new challenge and a growth opportunity. The sole purpose of receiving feedback is to aid in improving our overall performance by determining the areas that need improvement. So next time think of it this way, the more the feedback the better the chances of you succeeding in life.
5. Embrace the challenges of life
Rewire your mindset by looking at challenges as opportunities and replace the word ‘failing’ with ‘learning.’ Instead of hiding yourself in a shell or shying away from new challenges step out of your comfort zone. Throw yourself in the deep end and embrace the challenge that life has to offer you. But, at the same time be sensible, don’t do anything reckless or dangerous.
Carol Dweck’s Video on Growth Mindset
Now it’s time for you to work on developing a growth mindset. It will definitely help you lead a fuller and a meaningful life.