Can the way we think about ourselves make an impact in our lives? Definitely. Renowned psychologist Carol Dweck defined mindset as a self-perception or “self-theory” that people hold about themselves.

The way we think about our talents and abilities affects how we feel, and what we can achieve in life. That’s why in recent years, there are more studies focused on cultivating a growth mindset over having a fixed mindset.

So the question now is how is a growth mindset different from a fixed mindset? That’s what we will try to discuss in this article. Read on to know more.


Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: Which Path Will You Take To Success?

A fixed mindset is the belief that one's abilities and characteristics are fixed and cannot be changed. Hence, it can be said that people with a fixed mindset tend to shy away from challenges and avoid taking risks, as they believe they will not be able to improve or change their abilities.

On the other hand, growth mindset, a term also popularized by Dweck, is the belief that one's abilities and characteristics can be developed through effort and learning. It is the idea that with hard work, perseverance, and learning from failure, individuals can improve their abilities and reach their full potential. It can be said that people with a growth mindset tend to have a more positive attitude towards challenges and are more likely to persist in the face of difficulties.


According to Dweck, “people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits, hence, there is no growth."

People who have this kind of mindset spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success.

It can be said that students who have adopted a fixed mindset may learn less than they could or learn at a slower rate, while also shying away from challenges. So if one believes that he or she is ‘unintelligent’, then his or her tendency to learn new things are also smaller, and would tend to avoid things that would challenge his or her abilities, therefore, stalling further development.

Someone with a fixed mindset believes that their qualities, such as intelligence and creativity, are set in stone. When faced with a challenge, or an opportunity for growth, they may be less likely to take risks or to hold onto the belief that failure is not an option. As a result, they may struggle to progress because they are unwilling to learn from their mistakes and accept any criticism as personal failure rather than something that can help them grow.

Some fixed mindset example include the following:

  • “I’m either good at something or I’m not.”
  • “When people give me feedback, it feels like criticism.”
  • “I’m just not good at math.”
  • “I’m already a really good writer. I don’t need to get any better.”
  • “People who are naturally smart don’t need to try hard to succeed.”
  • “Other people’s successes make me feel bad about myself.”
  • “It’s embarrassing when I make a mistake.”
  • “Failure means it is time to give up.”
  • “I can’t do that!”


Understanding Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: How To Achieve Your Goals

Now that you have learned how having a fixed mindset works, let us discuss how having a growth mindset looks like.

According to Dweck, “in a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

Therefore, it can be said that people who embrace growth mindsets have the increased tendency to learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills.

Recent studies have also revealed that having a growth mindset is linked to higher motivation, error correction, and lower activation in response to negative feedback.

Additionally, their brain is most active when they are told how they could improve, as compared to those with a fixed mindset, the brain is active when a person is being given information about their performance, which suggests that people with a growth mindset are more focused on the process of learning, rather than the result of learning.

Some examples of growth mindset include the following:

  • “I can improve my skills with effort and practice.”
  • “When people give me feedback, it helps me learn and grow.”
  • “I’m not yet good at Math, but I can learn and improve.”
  • “I can always learn new things and improve my writing skills.”
  • “We can all be smart by improving with time, effort, and persistence.”
  • “Other people’s successes encourage and inspire me. They show me what is possible.”
  • “Mistakes are inevitable, and are opportunities to learn .”
  • “Failure means there is always a chance to try again.”
  • “I can’t do that yet, but I will keep going, try new strategies, and/or ask for help until I understand it!”


By now, it is clear that having a fixed mindset is the opposite of growth. In this section, we will provide more examples of adopting a fixed mindset and how it can be transformed into a growth mindset.

Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset - Unlock Your Full Potential


The Benefits of Adopting A Growth Mindset Vs. Sticking To A Fixed Mindset

Remember, you can change your mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Studies have shown that the brain can grow new connections, strengthen existing ones, and improve the speed of pulse transmission.

Having known the difference of both mindsets, and understanding that our brains are built to grow and learn, we hope that these fixed mindset vs. growth mindset examples will help you put these powerful concepts into practice. By challenging yourself with new experiences, you can be smarter, stronger, or be as successful as you dream to be!


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