Growth mindset vs Fixed mindset: Which characteristics truly describe them?

Never underestimate the power of the mind. It may determine your success or failure in life. Your mindset can significantly influence how well you are in achieving your goals. It also plays a significant role in coping with life’s challenges.

Psychologist Carol Dweck was the first to delve into a growth mindset and fixed mindset. According to Dweck, there are two main ways people think about intelligence or ability. One is a fixed mindset. People with this mindset believe that our intelligence, talent, and skills are innate and cannot be changed. In contrast, people with a growth mindset believe that intelligence, talents, and abilities can be developed and increased through time, persistence, and effort.

Growth Mindset: What It Means and Its Characteristics

In essence, having a growth mindset believes you can be good at anything because your abilities are due to your efforts. But it doesn’t mean exaggerating what you’re truly capable of. It’s more about believing in your potential to be good at something as long as you invest time and effort into it.

You can say that a person with a growth mindset believes hard work can triumph over natural abilities; as the saying goes, “No amount of talent can supersede hard work.” If you have a growth mindset, even if you are not naturally gifted in a certain talent, you know you can learn to perform just as well (or even better) as those born with that talent through training and practice. In-born intelligence and qualities just lay the foundation. The rest is hard work.

If you want to learn and master a skill, effort is needed. A growth mindset also embraces mistakes and setbacks as part of learning. Stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. Failures are temporary. You can always bounce back.

A growth mindset also accepts feedback and views them as an opportunity to improve. People with this type of mindset are most likely to succeed in life. They are resilient and always look for opportunities to learn and improve.

If you have a growth mindset, you:

  • Believe intelligence and talent can be developed.

  • Believe it takes effort to master an ability.

  • View failures as temporary and mistakes as an essential part of the learning process.

  • Welcome feedback from others and believe they are a valuable source of information for you to learn and improve.

  • Embrace challenges.

  • Draw inspiration and lessons from other people’s success.

Fixed Mindset: What It Means & Its Characteristics

People with a fixed mindset believe that attributes like talent and intelligence are fixed, and so you’re stuck with what you got. They deem intelligence and skill as in-born, and because of this belief, they give up quickly, thinking it’s useless to make an effort when you are not born with that gift. You just suck at it, and that’s something you can’t change.

Fixed-minded people also tend to be intimidated or threatened with others’ success partly because they don’t see intelligence and talent as a product of effort. Often, having this kind of mindset leads to negative thinking. For example, when you fail at something, you may resort to self-pity, thinking you aren’t smart enough to do it.

Ultimately, having a fixed mindset prevents you from reaching your potential. It limits you from becoming the best version of yourself. You will be afraid to try because you fear failure. You view failures as a confirmation of your limited abilities and lack of intelligence.

When you have a fixed mindset, you:

  • Believe that intelligence and abilities are unchangeable.

  • Avoid error and feign knowledge because you want to look smart.

  • Give up easily.

  • Find it hard to accept negative feedback.

  • Are threatened by other people’s success.

  • Avoid challenges and new experiences because you fear failure.

Ways to Develop and Nurture A Growth Mindset

Ways to Develop and Nurture A Growth Mindset

It’s never too late to free yourself from the limitations of having a fixed mindset. We are capable of changing our mindsets. Here are some ways you can develop and nurture a growth mindset.

  • Find your WHY – Having a strong purpose of changing your mindset will help you persevere even if it gets complicated. Why are you doing this in the first place? Once you have a real purpose, it will be easier to keep going, and through consistently adopting a growth mindset, it will eventually become second nature.

  • Enjoy the journey – When building a growth mindset, you should not be so fixated on the outcome; you should see the value in your journey and enjoy it. This way, you won’t miss out on all the lessons you can gain along the way.

  • Be kind to yourself – When struggling with a task, instead of telling yourself you’re not good enough, say to yourself, “I can do this, I just need more time and practice.” Whenever you entertain a negative thought, replace it with a positive one. It’s an act of self-love.

  • Reflect and Accept – Take time to reflect upon areas where you need to improve. Instead of ignoring or hiding your weakness, embrace them. Your weaknesses and failures do not define who you are. Learning to accept them is a stepping stone to improve and cultivate a growth mindset.

  • Embrace challenges – It’s a cliche. But yes, mistakes are one of life’s best teachers, so don’t avoid challenges. You may fail, but a lesson is gained.

  • Ask for constructive feedback from peers, friends, and higher-ups. This is one way of exercising a growth mindset. It’s an opportunity to learn and improve.

  • Practice Mindfulness and Reiki – Doing mental and physical activities is another way of developing and nurturing a growth mindset. Meditation, taking a walk, or simply stretching allows you to focus on the “now” and clears your clouded mind.

Reiki is a form of energy healing that supports a growth mindset. Reiki supports us by freeing those negative energies in your mental and emotional bodies, the ones that produce fear-based thoughts and self-limiting beliefs. Reiki energy can then be absorbed by the body in more of a pure state, and the healing energies will continue to flow wherever needed in your body for up to 48 hours after a session. Reiki supports the balance of energies in our body, especially our endocrine system, while activating the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down our heart rate, lowering our blood pressure so we can relax even more deeply, and bonus; we can digest food better too. Reiki treatments help with clearing the thoughts in our head, encouraging mindfulness. Over a few sessions, you may begin to notice changes such as healthier thinking patterns and more positive responses to people and situations you’ve been in where you’ve reacted negatively before. Read more about the benefits of Reiki here. You can also learn more about how Reiki helps us reach deeper states of brainwaves here too.

Adopting a growth mindset benefits you in all aspects of your life. Careerwise, you’ll more likely succeed as you are more motivated and persistent. You take feedback constructively. You take chances, and you continue to hone your craft. You are able to unlock your full potential.

It also helps you build and keep relationships as you know that people in relationships will have differences. Being in a relationship means growing together. Having problems doesn’t mean it’s flawed. It’s natural and part of growth.

More importantly, having a growth mindset allows you to enjoy life. You don’t let failures and mistakes consume you. You don’t focus only on the destination. You enjoy the process. You are more kind to yourself. And what makes it better is that it’s yours for the taking.