Fixed mindset vs. Growth mindset

Mindset is everything.

It's how we view ourselves and decide if we are capable enough to handle whatever life throws at us.

This helps to explain why some people respond to change and challenges better than others.

Reza Zolfagharifard  writes, "Research has shown that what makes students succeed is quite different from their cognitive abilities or the quality of the instructions they receive.  Their success, in fact, depends on their belief about their intelligence and their abilities.  In other words, their success depends on their mindset.

When they believe that their intelligence is predetermined, limited and unchangeable (fixed-mindset), they doubt their ability which in turn, undermines their resolve, resilience and learning. But when they have a growth-mindset and believe that their abilities can be developed, students show perseverance and willingness to learn. What’s more, they achieve remarkable results even in the face of hardship and difficulties."



My first response to this was that I have a growth mindset. After thinking about it, I realized there are behaviors I believe are fixed about me. For instance, I often say, "I'm not very good at math." Or "I'm not a patient person." These are ideas about myself that have become fixed beliefs. Even though I consider myself a growth junkie and thrive on challenging myself to learn and achieve, I still have fixed beliefs about myself.

This awareness is helpful for me. I can now be more mindful of times I go to this automatic response in my mind, "It's just the way I am."

I can now choose to change that response by asking myself, "What can I do or change that will create new experiences for me now?"


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