Fixed vs. Growth Mindset: Part I: The Differences

Have you ever heard the phrase “what you believe is what you will achieve”?  There is truth in that statement; your mind is powerful.  What you think about yourself and your abilities will shape your life…but whether your mindset is fixed or open to growth will decide on the outcome.

A fixed mindset is limiting; a person with a fixed mindset is constrained by their thoughts and beliefs. Failure defines you and prevents you from learning from mistakes. Instead defeated man at table with fixed mindsetof embracing challenges you avoid them and don’t look at the opportunities that can come from them. Rather than persevering in the face of challenges or trying new things, you give up easily out of fear of failure or believing you will never improve. Additionally, you have a difficult time accepting criticism even though it may be useful.

On the other hand, a growth mindset is freeing. You look at failures and challenges as opportunity for learning and growth. Constructive criticism is accepted and used to improve your skill-sets. Rather than giving up easily, you embrace challenges that arise and use them to propel you toward success. You understand that while each person is gifted with a unique skill set, you can still develop and improve skills through hard work and effort.

Here are a few key differences between these two mindsets:

Fixed Mindset:

  • give up easily
  • avoid challenges
  • ignore feedback
  • believe skills are fixed; you’re either good or bad at something
  • “I can’t”

Growth Mindset:positive thumbs up with growth mindset

  • perseverance in the midst of failure and setbacks
  • embrace challenges
  • accept constructive criticism; coachable
  • believe skill can be developed and improved
  • “it might take time and effort”