Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: What's the Difference?

Are you prepared to unlock your maximum potential and achieve success in every area of your life? It all starts with understanding the power of mindset. In the battle between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, how we view our abilities can profoundly affect how far we go on our journey toward personal and professional growth.

Having a growth mindset means believing that skills and intelligence are not fixed traits but can be developed through effort over time. Having a fixed mindset holds us back by making us think that our abilities have been predetermined and won't change.

In this article, we'll delve into the stark contrasts between these two mindsets—and see how they shape our actions, behaviors, and even outcomes. Learn why adopting a growth one could set you up for more considerable accomplishments (and lots more fulfillment) down the line!

Short Summary

Understanding Fixed And Growth Mindsets

A mindset is a key to personal growth. It means believing in the power of our natural abilities and intelligence. We can distinguish between two common types of mindsets - fixed and growth. But what do they represent?

What Is Fixed Mindset?

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A fixed mindset means that you believe that your abilities and intelligence are fixed traits that can't be changed. People with this mindset tend to avoid challenges because they think they won't be good enough, give up easily, or see extra effort as pointless.

Criticism can also feel like a personal attack for them – so instead of taking it on board to improve next time around, those with more static (fixed) mindsets may avoid situations where feedback is possible altogether. They don't want others to find out their flaws!

Do you know people who constantly compare themselves negatively against someone else while feeling threatened by other people's success? That would fall squarely into a fixed-mindset territory, too.

Ultimately, having such limited beliefs about oneself limits what one might achieve overall, whether specifically related directly to personal growth areas alongside general day-to-day activities we all carry out regardless.

Fixed Mindset Examples

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In a fixed mindset, people believe their abilities and intelligence are set in stone – they can't improve them via effort or learning process. This leads to behaviors or attitudes that stop them from reaching their potential. Here are some examples of fixed mindset tendencies that might surprise you:

What Is a Growth Mindset?

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A growth mindset views intelligence and talent as changeable traits that can be improved with effort. People who think this way know that learning involves setbacks.

When they have a setback, they don't think it means they aren't smart enough or talented enough. They believe they can make progress again if they keep trying hard and find another solution.

Having a growth mindset helps you enjoy the process of learning (even when it's hard!), work harder to get better at something, and understand that putting in lots of effort is how most people become experts at things!

Another cool thing about thinking this way? Instead of feeling really down or giving up when faced with something complex, individuals with a growth mindset embrace challenges as chances to grow personally!

They also love feedback—whether it's from themselves or others—as it helps them learn even more. By developing a growth mindset, people may improve their qualities and increase their happiness levels in school, sports, arts, friendships, and family life!

Growth Mindset Examples

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Examples of growth mindset are common in people who always want to improve themselves and view challenges as chances to develop further. Here is a list of friendly, relatable examples that capture what having a growth mindset looks (and sounds) like:

The Impact of Mindsets on Learning And Achievement

Mindset is critical when it comes to determining how we learn and what we accomplish. Our beliefs about our intelligence and abilities—whether fixed or can grow and change—have an astonishing effect on our motivation, productivity levels, and success rates in different areas of existence. Let's take a closer look:

The Impact of Growth Mindsets

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Adopting a growth mindset has the potential to transform how we think about learning and accomplishment ultimately. Those who have a growth mindset believe that they can expand their new skills and intelligence through hard work – so when they see something challenging, they embrace it as an opportunity to grow.

Take schoolwork: Instead of hearing, "Here's some constructive criticism on your essay because you didn't do well enough," people with a growth mindset hear, "Here are some tips on how to boost your understanding that bit further."

And if they're given something difficult? They don't assume it's because teachers think they're rubbish; instead, they take this chance for progress in stride – whereas someone without such beliefs might give up!

Having this kind of positive attitude might be helpful at work, too! If employees think there is always room for improvement (like those with growth mindsets do), then surely asking questions when necessary becomes second nature.

The Impact of Fixed Mindsets

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On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset often struggle when it comes to learning new things or achieving success.

Because they believe their abilities have been predetermined, individuals with this way of thinking may pass up chances for personal growth—and, when faced with obstacles, throw in the towel.

For example, consider students with a fixed mindset: They might avoid taking difficult classes because they're worried about looking dumb later on—a choice that could limit how much they learn in college overall.

Similarly, at work, someone with a fixed mindset may not volunteer for new projects requiring them to pick up fresh skills if there's no guarantee everything will go perfectly immediately. This can end up hindering their professional development over time.

Can a Person Change a Mindset?

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Yes! People can change their mindset. The brain is able to rewire itself through a concept known as neuroplasticity — and this applies to patterns of thinking as well. Scientific studies have shown that the brain is adaptable. It can make new connections and pathways.

By actively participating in activities that challenge them to question their own fixed beliefs (things they think will never change) — individuals may gradually develop what's called a growth mindset instead. This means believing that abilities can improve with time and effort.

For example, someone might work on this by regularly taking on fresh challenges or seeking input from others. They could also learn to see failures not as signs of personal incompetence but as helpful information about how to do better next time.

Another approach could involve cultivating optimism specifically about improvement: focusing attention deliberately on examples of progress made so far rather than dwelling (thinking a lot) about how much further there still seems to go!

With practice over weeks or months, these behaviors often become habits – ways we automatically respond to situations without thinking too hard. And when such behavior changes occur, there tend to be noticeable shifts accompanying thoughts and feelings.

The Benefits of Cultivating a Growth Mindset

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Cultivating a growth mindset has benefits that go beyond doing well at school. Research shows people with this mindset have more motivation and enjoyment – and perform better – in lots of different areas.

Take students who were taught about neuroplasticity (the idea that you can develop your brain by learning new things): they became more engaged with their studies and did better at science than pupils who hadn't been introduced to the concept.

Similarly, junior high school students whose teachers encouraged a growth mindset towards maths and science did better in those subjects. They also earned higher grades overall (including languages) and achieved a higher GPA compared to students whose teachers didn't promote these ideas.

It's not just academic performance that benefits from embracing a growth mindset either. Having one could help protect against burnout from work stressors like long hours or feeling underappreciated, professionally speaking.

Individuals may also experience fewer mental health difficulties such as depression-anxiety disorders and exhibit fewer behavioral disturbance patterns if they can cultivate resilience along with an awareness for personal development purposes.

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

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Having a growth mindset is essential if you want to reach your full potential and succeed at anything. Here are some things you can do to develop a growth mindset:


The contrast between having a growth mindset and a fixed mindset is significant when it comes to personal growth and success.

By working on the belief that you can improve at something, you'll be able to reach your potential, take on challenges as ways to learn new things – and not be afraid of failing and negative thinking along the way.

But there's even more to it than that: with a growth mindset, you don't have to put limits on yourself. You can keep getting better! And this doesn't just apply to work or school – it goes for everything from hobbies to personal relationships.

The good news? Anyone can develop a growth mindset if they want to. Adopting its core concepts may open doors where only walls existed before and empower individuals to live their most productive lives and become successful people.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between a Fixed Mindset And a Change Mindset?

A fixed mindset believes that abilities are unchanging, while a growth mindset recognizes the potential for progress. Adopting a growth-oriented outlook means understanding that one's skills and talents can develop over time.

What Is a Real Example of a Fixed Mindset?

If someone has a fixed mindset, they might think intelligence or artistic ability is something people are either born with or not—and there's no way to change it by working hard or trying new strategies.

What Is an Example of a Growth Mindset?

In contrast, individuals who embrace a growth mindset see setbacks as helpful feedback rather than as evidence of failure. They understand that dedication and effort can help them improve at nearly anything.

How Do I Go From a Fixed to a Growth Mindset?

Moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset involves challenging misconceptions about talent or intelligence, facing complex tasks bravely, seeking criticism to learn more, and even changing how we respond to failure or success.