The Difference Between A Growth Mindset And A Fixed Mindset

The terms ‘growth mindset’ and ‘fixed mindset’ have become more and more popular over the last few years. Despite becoming more common, there is still some confusion about what these phrases mean. Understanding them can help you to understand yourself better, allowing you to improve your life and mental health.

Growth Mindset

A growth mindset refers to the belief that an individual can improve their skills, intelligence and abilities through effort, practice and perseverance. This means that when challenges arise, or attempts are met with failure, those with a growth mindset don’t simply give up. Rather, they understand that they are able to improve themselves and then try again. This thought pattern is the opposite to those with a fixed mindset.

This theory was first introduced by Dr Carol S. Dweck, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Her work initially focussed on learning in childhood, however, it has since been applied to a wide range of contexts, including career success.

Fixed Mindset

This phrase is used to describe the opposite of a growth mindset and these individuals believe that their skills and talents are innate and fixed qualities. Therefore, if they are unable to do something after a few attempts, or even just one, they believe that they are naturally inept at it and so will give up rather than choose to try to improve.

As you can imagine, a fixed mindset is a detrimental way of thinking if you are trying to improve your life. Those who give up so easily are unlikely to make much significant progress as they only focus on things that they are already good at. Fortunately, with some effort, you can change your mindset!

Moving From A Fixed Mindset To A Growth Mindset

Let’s have a look at some ways you can move from a fixed to a growth mindset.

Set Clear Goals – To avoid going off track, try to set small, SMART goals. SMART goals are those that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. This will help you to keep making progress – even if it is slow and steady, it’s still moving forward!

Embrace Failure – Everyone has setbacks, even the most talented person that you can think of! The key is to think of these as lessons to learn – rather than letting mistakes derail you, think of them as opportunities for growth.

Become A Lifelong Learner – Don’t stop learning when you leave school, university or have mastered your job. Individuals who truly excel keep on learning throughout their lifetime. In fact, 85% of successful people read two or more self-improvement or educational books per month. Don’t let a fixed mindset stop you from improving!

Learn From Others’ Mistakes – As well as looking to other people to inspire you to succeed, you can look to them to encourage you to overcome mistakes. You can directly learn from them and see them as strong individuals for trying in the first place.

How Dr Jan Can Help Your Mindset

Dr Jan’s work is based on helping individuals to change their mindsets, allowing them to achieve more and be happier. Your first step is to book your FREE 20-minute Discovery Call to let Dr Jan understand where you could use assistance.

You can also learn more about him and his techniques on our website. If you wish to start taking up reading more self-improvement/education books, you may also be interested in Dr Jan’s best-selling publication.

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