A growth mindset believes in an individual’s potential, intelligence, and talents that can be improved and developed through hard work, dedication, and learning. A person with a growth mindset feels they can achieve their full potential, that they don’t have to be perfect, and that hard work and dedication are necessary to learn new skills and overcome obstacles.

People with a growth mindset view failures and setbacks positively and are more inclined to accept challenges and persevere through tough times. They are more open to learning and more willing to take new challenges and tasks as opportunities for growth. 

Conversely, a fixed mindset is the belief that one’s intelligence, talents, and abilities are unchangeable. Fixed mindset, people are more likely to avoid problems and give up easily when faced with setbacks. They believe their abilities cannot be improved and will not change.

 Is a Fixed Mentality Always Harmful?

Although a growth mindset is more beneficial than a fixed one, there are some situations where a fixed outlook can be useful.

A fixed mindset can help people focus on their strengths and areas of expertise, leading to greater success and confidence. A fixed mindset can also help people maintain stability and consistency, benefiting their emotional well-being.

It is important to remember that a fixed mindset can lead to complacency and fear of failure. This can limit an individual’s professional and personal growth and stop them from reaching their full potential.

While a fixed mindset can have benefits, it is generally better to adopt a growth mindset and be open to learning throughout your life.

 Developing a Growth Mindset

To develop a growth mindset, you must consciously change your perception of yourself and your capabilities. These are steps to help you create a growth mindset.

  • Accept your mistakes: Recognize that no one is perfect and that learning is ongoing. Instead of seeing mistakes as failures, see them as opportunities to grow and learn.
  • You should be focusing on the process and not the result. Instead of focusing on the outcome, you should focus more on the steps you take to reach your goals. You can celebrate your achievements and remember that each step brings you closer to your goal.
  • To cultivate a love for learning, you need to be curious about the world and want to learn new things. Accept challenges and see them as opportunities to grow your knowledge and skills.
  • Resilience is vital: Don’t lose heart when faced with setbacks and obstacles. Instead, approach problems with a problem-solving mindset. Then look for solutions.
  • Find positive people to surround yourself with: Look for open-minded people who can encourage you in your quest to become a better person.

It takes effort and time to develop a growth mindset. This requires an open mind and willingness to learn and grow. You can become more resilient and successful by practicing.

 Growth Mindset Example 

Henry is a sales professional and is always looking to improve his skills. Henry believes in a growth mindset and that hard work and dedication can help him improve his skills. These are just a few examples of Henry’s growth mindset as reflected in his actions and thoughts:

  •  Henry sees every customer and sales situation as an opportunity to grow his skills. Henry doesn’t let setbacks discourage him. He uses them to motivate himself to discover new strategies and approaches that will help him succeed. 
  •  Henry constantly seeks new knowledge and training opportunities to improve his sales skills. Henry takes courses online, attends industry conferences, and reads books about sales strategy to continue his education and keep up with the latest trends.
  •  Henry welcomes feedback from customers or colleagues. He sees it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Henry isn’t defensive or dismissive of criticism. He uses it to improve his approach and identify areas that need improvement.
  •  Henry believes his success is not solely a result of his natural abilities but also his hard work. Henry knows that he is continually improving and that there are always more things to learn.
  •  Henry does not lose heart or give up when faced with a difficult situation. Instead, he uses his growth mindset to motivate himself to do better and find solutions.

Henry’s growth mindset allows him to improve his sales skills and become an effective sales professional. Henry is open to learning and embraces challenges. He uses setbacks for growth and development.

 Fixed Mindset Example

Jason, a software engineer, has a fixed mindset. He believes hard work or dedication cannot improve his intelligence and abilities. These are just a few examples of Jason’s fixed mentality.

  •  Jason becomes frustrated when encountering a complex programming problem and gives up, thinking he isn’t smart enough to fix it. He doesn’t seek advice or help because he believes his intelligence is already set and cannot be improved. 
  •  Jason doesn’t believe practice and effort are necessary to improve his coding skills, so he doesn’t spend too much time asking for feedback or practicing. He believes that he either has the ability or not to solve a problem in coding and that there is nothing he can do about it. 
  •  Jason is defensive and dismissive when he receives feedback about his work. Jason views criticisms as an attack on his intelligence rather than an opportunity to improve and learn. 
  •  Jason feels inferior to software engineers he considers superior to him. Jason believes he can’t compete with them because they possess innate talents that he doesn’t have. 
  •  Jason is afraid to take risks and try new coding techniques because he believes that failure will prove that he’s not capable or intelligent. 

Jason’s rigid mindset keeps him from reaching his full potential as a software engineer. Jason is not open to learning and is discouraged easily. He also doesn’t seek advice or feedback to improve his skills.

Moral of the story

A growth mindset is crucial for personal and professional success. A person with a growth mindset believes one can improve intelligence and abilities through hard work, dedication, perseverance, and persistence. On the other hand, a fixed mindset assumes that one cannot improve one’s intelligence and capabilities through effort or commitment.

A growth mindset is a positive attitude that embraces setbacks and challenges, seeks opportunities for learning and development, and believes in the power and potential of hard work and perseverance as tools for success. This attitude will help individuals reach their full potential and significantly impact all areas of life.

Growth vs. Fixed Mindset QUIZ

Find out if your mindset is more tilted towards GROWTH or if you have a FIXED (negative) mindset.

How do you handle a difficult obstacle?

F. Become discouraged and think you can’t overcome it.

G. Recognize the challenge as an opportunity to grow.

When you receive feedback on your work?

F. Be defensive or dismissive of feedback received.

G. Recognize feedback as an opportunity to improve.

When faced with failure or setbacks?

F. Give up quickly and feel defeated.

G. Make failure your motivation to try harder and come up with new solutions.

When someone is more proficient or experienced than you in a particular area?

F. Feel inferior and think you can never match their level.

G. Take it as an opportunity to learn from them and improve your skills.

If you are faced with a difficult issue or task?

F. You feel you lack the skills or abilities required for success.

G. Accept the challenge and believe hard work and perseverance will get you there.

You are likely to have a growth mindset if your answers to these questions are mostly “G” you see setbacks and challenges as opportunities to learn and develop, believing that intelligence and abilities CAN be gained through hard work and effort. If you answered “F” to most questions, your mindset may be fixed and limit your true potential. This can lead to failure. 

REMEMBER: Mindset can be changed through practice and effort.

If you want a more in-depth guide to becoming a more growth mindset-oriented person, I highly suggest the book The Growth Mindset Workbook: CBT Skills to Help You Build Resilience, Increase Confidence, and Thrive through Life’s Challenges.”