Growth mindset or Fixed mindset?

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Do you know that most of what you think you understand about your personality is a product of your mindset? Whether you’re conscious of it or not, your most basic beliefs determine much of what comes to you. Thus, your mindset has the potential to either propel or prevent you from fulfilling your potential.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck identifies two mindsets common to all men; the growth mindset and the fixed mindset.

Today, we characterize the different types of mindset and their implications on life and productivity.

Creative Ability

Hard goals notwithstanding, a person with a growth mindset believes that abilities improve by practice while a person with a fixed mindset thinks it is innate.  

Consequently, people with a growth mindset easily embrace the challenge of a new task or a new skill. Contrarily, one with a fixed mindset concludes he can’t learn simply because it proves difficult to learn at the start.

Challenges and Obstacles

A growth mindset embraces challenges and works hard to improve at the tasks. Instead of challenges, a fixed mindset chooses the easier option, believing that success is impossible at the hard.

In a similar vein, while a growth mindset seeks obstacles as a chance to experiment, solve problems and thus gives no excuse, a fixed mindset is likely to give up when faced with obstacles.

Concept of failure and risk

Someone with a growth mindset sees failure as a chance to learn and pivot to success. If failure gets to you, or you allow yourself to be labelled by it, you have a fixed mindset.

People with a growth mindset see risks as an opportunity for innovation and continual improvement. Those with fixed mindsets are less likely to take creative risks and instead focus on measurable accomplishments.

Critical feedback

While most people agree feedback is necessary, not everyone appreciates critical feedback. You’ll see critical feedback as a chance to improve and develop if you have a growth mindset. Otherwise, you’ll see it as a personal attack on your project and person.

Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset?


In the end, what is interesting is that regardless of the mindset you have, you’re right. You cannot rise above the definitions you have given to life; things become what you call them. Also, some people exhibit growth mindsets over some matters only to exhibit fixed mindsets over others.

The idea is to ensure that predominantly, what you have is the growth mindset. That way, you can continue to forge ahead, through thick and thin, conquering your goals one step at a time.

Growth mindset or fixed mindset? You choose.


(P.S: There’s an interactive quiz by the London Academy of IT to determine if you have a fixed or growth mindset. Find it here.)

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