Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset

Posted on February 5th, 2014

Book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Paperback by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Graphic by Nigel Holmes

Mindset Fixed Mindset - Intelligence is static Growth Mindset - Intelligence can be developed
Path Leads to a desire to look smart and therefore a tendency to: Leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:
Challenges Avoid challenges Embrace challenges
Obstacles Give up easily Persist in the face of setbacks
Effort See effort as fruitless or worse See effort as a path to mastery
Criticism Ignore useful negative feedback Learn from criticism
Success of others Feel threatened by the success of others Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others
Outcome As a result, they may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential. As a result, they reach ever-higher levels of achievement.
Outcome All this confirms a deterministic view of the world. All this gives them a greater sense of free will.

When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world — the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.

In one world, failure is about having a setback. Getting a bad grade. Losing a tournament. Getting fired. Getting rejected. It means you’re not smart or talented. In the other world, failure is about not growing. Not reaching for the things you value. It means you’re not fulfilling your potential.

In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.

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