Written by: Lach Ravelo

Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: Your Questions Answered


In the last few years, the term “growth mindset” has gained popularity in education, business, and personal development.

But what is a growth mindset and why does it matter? How is a growth mindset different from a fixed mindset? And what are some practical ways you can use this concept to improve your life?

When it comes to matters of the mind, we have a choice. 

We could be happy or sad, hopeful or hopeless, and so on. Usually, it all starts with a simple belief and what we tell ourselves to be true. 

Our mindsets guide us toward the expectations we hold for life and how we approach challenges like success, persistence, and failure. This is also the reason why we need to understand our minds better. 

In this blog, you will: 

  • Learn about the key differences of growth mindset vs fixed mindset;
  • Discover how growth mindset vs fixed mindset work and how these two mindsets could affect your life;
  • Learn how you can change your outlook in life and achieve more success.

Now, let’s get started! 

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What is a fixed mindset?

what is fixed mindset

According to Carol Dweck, you have a fixed mindset when you believe that your innate ability and intelligence are set in stone, and there’s nothing you can do to change them. 

You probably know some of them. These are people who always have excuses when they fail at something, and they do very little to make improvements — if any at all. That’s how their mindset works. 

Another example is a person who automatically dismisses a learning opportunity just because they “already decided” that they don’t have the intelligence or talent or skill for it. They have this underlying belief that there’s no point in learning a new talent because they won’t be able to develop it anyway. 

The issue is also common among yo-yo dieters. Often, these people believe that they have a weight problem primarily because of their genes, which could be partially true. 

However, many of them seem to look past major culprits, which could be unhealthy living and sedentary lifestyle.  Many believe there is nothing else they can do except rely on diet fads, even though efforts and discipline can change their status. 

It’s the same way how people with low self-esteem often have a hard time believing they can be talented at something and succeed. But in reality, all they need is just a little push and a little effort to advance. 

But they won’t, simply because all those limiting presuppositions are already ingrained in their character and in their minds. 

They are convinced that no matter what they do, no matter how hard they study or practice, they won’t make it. That’s how limiting a fixed mindset is. 


What is a growth mindset? 

what is growth mindset

This concept was also first introduced by American Psychologist and Stanford University Professor, Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset. 

The growth mindset is a belief that one can change, learn, and be better. It’s the complete opposite of the fixed mindset, and it’s usually one of the basic qualities of most successful people. 

When faced with failure, a person with this underlying belief will keep trying until they get it right. They believe mistakes are opportunities, a lesson, and are all part of the learning process. 

We know people who are like this. You probably know of a waitress who works hard during the daytime and studies law at night. 

Or, you’ve probably heard of this year’s tennis champion, who came in last during last year’s tournament.

Or, that kid, who belonged to the lower-range IQ range, made it as this year’s National Spelling Bee Champion.

They all have one thing in common. Even though these people faced adversity and challenging times, they pushed through to achieve their goals. They try to improve by studying, practicing, and learning — in hopes of one day becoming better. And they eventually did. 

To have a growth mindset vs fixed mindset, you need to identify your weaknesses and be willing to work hard to improve. You need to acknowledge that for you to achieve your goals, you need to undergo a never-ending learning process as well. 


Can an individual have these two types of mindset?

growth mindset vs fixed mindset

Growth mindset vs fixed mindset?

Some people might think that you have to be all about one or the other. These are one of the most common misconceptions out there. But the truth is: we are a mixture of both.

We are humans, after all. There are times when we truly feel that there’s nothing we can do about something; there are also times when we feel like we could conquer the world with our newfound skills.

Remember that there are several aspects in life where we could shift from fixed to growth. Truth be told, nobody can be 100% dedicated to growth because it takes more than a lifetime to reach that goal. 

Nonetheless, it all depends on the extent of how determined an individual is to take a journey to make a shift from fixed to growth. 


Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: How Do These 2 Mindsets Affect People’s Lives? 

fixed vs growth mindset (2)

The growth mindset allows people to believe that they are capable of doing things. 

That belief alone could be a driving force for people with ambition to work hard and improve at whatever it is that they’re working on.  

In contrast, someone with a fixed mindset might believe that somebody has to be born with a high level of intelligence to make it. 

That’s why they rarely try new things because they’re afraid to fail. And when they do fail, the discouragement makes them believe that they can’t do it — no matter how hard they try. 

But like I mentioned earlier: it’s all in the mind. It’s all made up by your brain. 


Why do some people have a growth mindset vs fixed mindset?

growth mindset

A variety of factors can cause fixed mindsets. 

Some people feel that they are not good enough because of a few mistakes they made in the past. 

You see, a couple of mistakes can be impactful. They could sometimes make an individual feel inferior and as though they do not deserve to grow. 

Some people may start to have a fixed mindset and be negative because they are constantly told that they cannot do something. Negative feedback can linger so long in the brain and can ruin somebody’s confidence as well. 

However, there are people who have had the same negative experiences but choose to ignore the limiting negative self-talk. By doing so, they cultivate a growth mindset that allows them to see mistakes in a different light and even learn from them. 


Why is it important for people to have a growth mindset?

growth mindset fixed mindset

A growth mindset is crucial for success and happiness as it allows us to adapt and progress through life. 

But people with fixed mindsets tend to focus more and waste time on the negative things that can happen, so they invest less time and effort in improving themselves. Unless they change the way they think, they often end up not making much progress in the long run. 

You see, when you study the difference between growth mindset vs fixed mindset, it’s not just about excellence or intelligence, but rather learning and changing with every experience — adapting and challenging yourself to be better. Your intelligence does not dictate who you are, but the qualities you have. 

By having a growth mindset, you are not limiting your capacity. You consistently look for ways to improve and be better. 

Life is a journey, and it’s how we choose to perceive it that determines its outcome.


What are the benefits of having growth mindset vs fixed mindset? 

dweck fixed vs growth mindset

I get it: it’s easy to get discouraged when we do not see the results that we want, and it can be hard to see how our efforts are paying off. 

But the truth is, no matter who you are or what your goals might be, if you keep going, there will always be progress. And as long as there is progress, there is hope! 

That’s why having a growth mindset is so important. A healthy dose of motivation could be the one thing we all need to keep going even when things seem impossible. With a growth mindset, anything becomes possible! 

So what are some of the benefits of having a growth mindset? Let’s take a look at just five: 


a) If you have a growth mindset vs fixed mindset, the changing circumstances won’t bother you because you are adaptable.  

 A growth mindset is all about seeing that you’re capable of learning and adapting to new situations. It’s how you approach every challenge in life. 

With a growth mindset, you can take on any project or task with a positive attitude and believe that hard work will pay off. 

You’ll be more resilient when faced with challenges because you know it’s just part of the process to get better at something. And even if you don’t reach your goal this time, it doesn’t mean that there’s not another opportunity waiting for you around the corner!


b) By adopting a Growth Mindset, you’ll be able to see opportunities and possibilities you otherwise wouldn’t.

growth mindset vs fixed mindset dweck

A growth mindset is a powerful way to live. It allows you to establish basic beliefs that help you see opportunities that fixed mindsets cannot. With a growth mindset, you can enjoy the journey and be open to new ideas and experiences. The possibilities are endless with this outlook!


c) You have the opportunity to enhance your creative ability. 

With a growth mindset, you become more creative because the idea of failure is less daunting. A growth mindset creates an environment where mistakes are okay, and learning from them could result in something new. 


d) With a growth mindset, you’re less likely to give up on your goals. 

The idea of failure is temporary and not permanent when you have a growth mindset. The process helps you identify what your weaknesses are, giving you a greater chance to overcome them.


e) A growth mindset allows you to become a much more responsible person. 

growth mindset vs fixed mindset article

Growth mindset vs fixed mindset is not an idea that will allow you to slack off or get away with just anything. Instead, it is a way of thinking that enables you to become more responsible and productive. 

By starting your day with a growth mindset, you are setting yourself up for success. You can begin by reminding yourself that nobody is perfect, but anybody could improve. 

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Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: What are the key differences? 

growth mindset vs fixed mindset carol dweck

When it comes to growth mindset vs fixed mindset, the key difference lies in how we see ourselves and learn from failures, successes, and mistakes.

We now know that people who have a “fixed” approach think more pessimistically about learning new skills because they don’t want it to seem like an impossible task. People who are willing to improve tend to think otherwise. 

Additionally, here are a few ways that growth mindset vs fixed mindset differ:

  1. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset when it comes to challenges. When confronted with challenges, those with a fixed mindset tend to shy away from them. On the contrary, growth-minded people embrace them. 
  2. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset when it comes to feedback.Growth-minded people are more open to constructive feedback. On the other hand, people from the other side of the spectrum fear getting this kind of feedback and being labeled a failure. 
  3. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset when it comes to setbacks. When faced with setbacks, growth-minded individuals persevere, while those who have a fixed mindset do otherwise. 
  4. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset when it comes to their perception of their own abilities. People with a growth mindset think of their abilities as malleable, while those with a fixed mindset don’t.
  5. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset when it comes to making an effort. People with a fixed mindset believe that efforts are useless; however, growth-minded individuals view efforts as a means to mastery. 
  6. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset when it comes to making mistakes. People with a growth mindset can see their mistakes and move forward, while those with a fixed mindset dwell on them.
  7. Growth mindset vs fixed mindset when it comes to other people’s successes. A fixed mindset perceives other people’s success as a threat, while a growth mindset learns from others’ successes.

Now that you know the key differences between the growth mindset vs fixed mindset, let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to be more growth-focused in your life:

6 Steps You Can Do to Shift from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset

It has been said that we all fall somewhere on the scale of a fixed mindset or a growth mindset and that where you fall will determine your success in life. 

Here are six steps you can take to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset:


1. Give yourself a pat on the back whenever you accomplish something.

Catch yourself when you accomplish something and make sure that you acknowledge it. Find ways to celebrate a small achievement big time because proper motivation can go a long way! 


2. List down 3 things you are good at.

Take five minutes to write down three things you can easily accomplish. If you do this, you’ll be reminded of the skills you may have forgotten because you thought they were easy. 


3. Find someone who believes in you and ask them to share their positive feedback with you.

growth and fixed mindset questions

This could be anybody — could be your coach, a friend, or a family member – anyone who can help remind you of the skills that make up your strengths.

Remember that when it comes growth mindset vs fixed mindset, feedback could go a long way if you’re willing to improve. 


4. Set goals that are challenging but not impossible to accomplish.   

This will help you tackle your tasks gradually and still feel accomplished as you work through getting there. If you find that they’re too difficult, break them into smaller and doable steps. Crossing these tasks from your to-do list is already an achievement on its own! 


5. Keep track of your progress and celebrate every time you reach a milestone! 

Seeing incremental progress will give you a boost of confidence. Track your progress, and celebrate your achievements as you go! 


6. Repeat this process until you change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

growth and fixed mindset differences

Don’t stop now! Continually improve yourself until you feel comfortable that you can reach your goals! 



the fixed mindset vs growth mindset

Changing your mindset can be difficult, but it is possible. If you want to step up in life and achieve more success than ever before, make a shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. 

Remember: when it comes to growth mindset vs fixed mindset, it’s not about how much smarter we are than everyone else; it’s about being more curious than anyone else.

Your initial talents and inherent intelligence will only get you so far. You need to make a conscious effort on improving your basic abilities and natural talents.

The only way to make sure you don’t get left behind is to keep challenging yourself and redefining who you are every day. Make lifelong learning a part of who you are. 

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What about you? 

fixed mindset vs growth mindset which one are you

What are the things you do in your extra time to improve yourself? How do you think mindset works? What do you think about this growth mindset vs fixed mindset article?

Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

growth mindset vs fixed mindset creativity mesh


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