You are leaning towards a growth mindset already!
Before I launch into a conversation about the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, I am making the assumption that as a reader of this blog post you are already leaning towards a growth mindset. However, I urge you to read on to see if there are areas of your mind that indeed may be fixed. There’s always room for improvement, right!
Two types of Mindsets:
According to research, there are two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. You may straight away consider that you have a growth mindset, I know I did, but let’s get real, we can all get fixed in our ways and our thinking. So, what is the significant difference between a fixed and growth mindset and why does it matter?
A growth mindset gives you more opportunity
A growth mindset gives you the opportunity to create more in your life. It allows you to expand your world, first through your thinking, then through experience. A fixed mindset on the other hand will constrict your thinking and thereby constrict your experiences. However, as I mentioned earlier even a growth mindset can get a little fixed at times.
Let’s not get defensive in looking at one as good and the other as bad, more so to open up a choice for ourselves, allow ourselves some room and flexibility to manoeuvre through a fixed mindset into a growth mindset in different areas of our life. As you go through the list below you may find that you have a mix of both mindsets, for example, a growth mindset when it comes to business and career, but more fixed about intimate relationships or finance.
Differences between both Mindsets
|Fixed Mindset||Growth Mindset|
|Either I’m good at it or I’m not||I can learn to do anything I want|
|That’s who I am, I can’t change it and I don’t want to||I’m constantly evolving|
|Ignores feedback and takes it personally||Feedback is information to change something|
|Feels jealous or threatened by others’ success||Inspired by others’ achievements|
|Avoids challenges, if I don’t try, I won’t fail||Willing to go outside their comfort zone|
|I know all that I need to know||Prepared to change perception|
|This isn’t my fault||Willing to take on new ideas|
A True Story
A client of mine had a very successful business, he created a large international company from nothing, employed staff and had some lucrative business deals over the years. From the outside there was no doubt he had a growth mindset, he took on big challenges, always used feedback constructively, believed in himself and developed skills and abilities as his company grew. He took risks on new ideas and led his team to greater achievements. However, his personal life didn’t grow with him. As a husband and father, he had a fixed mindset, he took feedback from his family as criticism, he believed that he couldn’t change and rejected the idea of taking responsibility for the family’s growing emotional needs. He continued along his familiar lines of thoughts and beliefs in relation to being a husband and father, avoiding and dismissing the views of his children and wife.
The story above, as you can imagine was headed for disaster, however, this was averted when the husband started working with us at The Infinite Mind Co.
My client’s example clarifies without a doubt that we can have both a growth and fixed mindset. Although maybe not as extreme, I have found this to be true with both myself and many of my other clients. It is prudent therefore to have check-in from time to time to uncover whether your mindset is fixed or in a growth state. I do this on regular basis. The signs to look out for are:
- Feeling in a low mood about something
- Feelings of frustration, anger or annoyance
- Feeling anxious or uptight about something
- Avoiding emotional situations