Fixed mindset vs growth Mindset: Which do you need more? Let’s find out.
There are two kinds of people regarding mindset; those with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset.
Don’t take my word for it. Take the word of renowned psychologist, Carol Dweck. She invested her time into the study of the human mindset and how it affects success across various facets of life including; parenting, business, school, and relationships.
I also invested my time into reading the carefully curated words of Carol and I would love nothing more than to dispense a summarized version of my understanding to you. It would be reasonable to start from the bottom by defining the base word.
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What is the mindset?
You can describe your mindset as your headspace that sums up your beliefs and thoughts. Your mindset affects the way you see the world, how you respond to challenges, your opinion of yourself and others, etc.
It can be very easy to neglect the importance of one’s mindset. People would usually think they act or react to situations based on the moment or the gravity of the situation.
But, the truth is, we are all a summation of different codes that have been embedded into us through the growing up process. These codes include family upbringing, interactions, financial class, relationships, etc.
Think way back and pinpoint everything that contributes to the buildup of your mindset (the way you think) and character. You’ll see that it’s all a product of your belief system; the values that were either hammered into you or that you picked up over time across your life.
Many of us attribute success in various parts of our lives to hard work, diligence, eloquence, dedication, honesty, grit, discipline, and grace. How do you feel when I tell it all balls down to your mindset?
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Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset
What is a fixed mindset?
A fixed mindset is a mindset that is carved in stone. It is the kind of mindset that believes in either here or there. There is no room for expansion. It dignifies ability over hard work.
It can be very easy to see calling your mindset “fixed” as an insult. When you begin to unearth the different layers of your lives and your responses to situations, you would see the light.
To understand this let’s go back to the beginning…
Can you remember those moments as a Kid when you got straight A’s and you were praised? Praising a child is great but can also be digging a hole. Sentences like “You are smart” immediately place on kids the pressure to continue in the manner they have started.
They do not see failure as a minor setback for greater heights. They see failure as a reduction in the level of their sharpness. This unnecessary pressure on kids to continually prove themselves as being smart can take a big toll on their self-worth in the long run.
This mindset grows with them, and just like a virus, spreads to other areas of their lives such as parenting, business, school, and relationships.
Fixed mindset in parenting
Parenting can be defined as the process of raising children and providing them with protection and care to ensure their healthy development into adulthood.
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Parenting is paramount in the life of a child and it transcends more than the physical and financial provision. A parent is important in the formation of a child’s mindset. Many people whose parents have fixed mindsets end up transferring such traits to their children.
Parents with a fixed mindset believe that their kids are either brilliant or dull. They rate the ability of their kids to prosper in their various niches by their performance. They do not consider the chance for improvement.
Such parenting style places children with the urge to continually ace or risk their parents’ validation.
This is normal practice, especially in this part of the world. You hear statements like, “You are olodo” or “Can’t you see what your mates are doing”. Some of us might call this healthy pressure but it isn’t the best way to raise a child.
Instead of allowing a child to focus on his weaknesses in comparison to others, allow them to focus on their weaknesses and on understanding that they can get better if they work harder.
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Fixed Mindset in Business
In the world of business, there is no failure or success. Every outcome is a channel to another brilliant idea.
Many people have failed at their startup idea but always happened to resurrect from their ruins and the lessons they have learned from every setback.
This is not the thought process of people with fixed mindsets. These people are usually early quitters. They see the brilliance in their idea and expect this brilliance to transcend into a real business in the real world, leaving out the impact of unprecedented factors, slack team planning, competitors, and other various challenges. They shy out from pursuing business dreams as soon as the thought of failure ever occurs.
There are many successful entrepreneurs out there who intensify the importance of failing first. The idea of failing first is like death to a fixed-minded person. Fixed-mindedness is an Achilles heel to success.
Fixed Mindset in Schooling
I’m sure you get the scope of things by this time. Many of us were probably the best students in secondary school but happen to fail miserably as soon as we get into the University. I am a testimony to this.
I was a straight-A student in my primary and secondary school days. Every factor that could make a successful student was handed to me and I succeeded at the highest level. My teachers were always of the opinion that I was a smart boy. My mother tried to ingrain an effort-based lifestyle into me but I always felt my IQ was a fixed scale.
I arrived at the University and I was thrown into the wild without any assurances and I failed miserably. In the first and second semesters, I hit rock bottom and I felt my IQ was at its lowest. I had to crawl my way back up with a renewed mindset, one that believes in effort rather than “just” brain.
This is a real-life example of a detrimental effect of a fixed mindset in schooling. Many of us are encouraged when faced with challenges that we can solve. The moment we feel something harder, we fold. The real evidence of true brilliance is a hunger for challenges.
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Fixed Mindset in Relationships
Relationships are different nowadays. It is now…
Forever is not assured in most relationships. It is really easy to get tired of one’s partner the moment they don’t align with your lifestyle. Most people leave no room for the development of their partners within the relationship.
It is beneficial to understand that no one is a completed project before the relationship. The togetherness should be a time for growth, understanding, and mistakes. Fixed-mindedness also affects relationships easily.
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What is a Growth Mindset?
The direct opposite of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset views abilities as starting points and not the entirety. Here, traits like hard work, dedication, diligence, etc are needed to take abilities to higher and higher levels.
Instead of viewing failure as a limitation to one’s abilities, it would help to view failure as an opportunity to break more ground. These are the thoughts of a growth-minded person.
I have spent a lot of time discussing fixed mindsets in various parts of our life because it is the “ick” to change. Whether it be in Sshooling, relationships, parenting, or business, it is essential to have a mindset that views setbacks as challenges to break more ground.
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Conclusion on fixed mindset vs growth mindset
Carol Dweck covers this topic in much more words than I can ever hope to summarize. The book has helped me to the point of me sharing this information with you. It would also help you and the world in general as this is a huge underlying social issue.
There is no good long-term effect of a fixed mindset as you can see from my story. It only offers such term gratification. Ensure you stick with a growth mind and you will always soar.