A person with a Fixed Mindset believes that intelligence is carved in stone. They believe effort shouldn’t be required if a person is smart and intelligent enough. As such, they therefore believe that success is a direct result of making the most of one’s natural talents and abilities.
Given all this, the person with a fixed mindset accepts that their potential is fixed at birth and that their capabilities are predetermined. As a result they will avoid challenges where mistakes are possible due to fear or failure and uncertainty. Moreover, they are always concerned with people’s opinions and impressions of them. As such, when things are going according to plan they perform at a high level, but the moment they hit a roadblock they struggle to make further progress.
A person with a Growth Mindset believes that a person’s true potential is unknown and in effect, limitless. They believe that through applying themselves to a task that anything is possible; life is after all a journey of self-improvement. As such, they acknowledge that intelligence can be developed over a period of time and in order to do this they must work harder to become the best they can be.
Given this, the person with a growth mindset will naturally take risks and stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone. They will persist through setbacks and they will learn from their mistakes, including the feedback and criticism they receive from others. They take full responsibility for their lives and are always willing to give things a go no matter how incapable or self-conscious they may feel.
The idea of the Fixed vs. Growth Mindset was introduced by Carol Dweck in her best selling book Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential.
- Read more: The Two Basic Mindsets that Shape Our Lives