You may hear the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset” thrown around a lot, but what’s the difference?There are generally two types of mindsets a person can have: fixed or growth. The latter is considered to be the ideal mindset, and for good reason. In general, people with a fixed mindset are quick to give up when they try something new. You may hear them make excuses for not doing things and they’ll likely be humiliated when they do not achieve something on the first try.
If they are not “naturally” good at something, people with a fixed mindset are unlikely to pursue it further and are very likely to avoid it for the rest of their lives. People with a fixed mindset may say things like, “That’s just not my thing.” For instance, they might say, “I just can’t dance,” or “I can’t follow a rhythm.” They believe that people are born with a certain level of talent or skill. That means a person with a fixed mindset doesn’t believe in “practice makes perfect,” in fact–to some extent–they don’t believe in practice at all. Either you’re good at something on the first try or you won’t ever be. They believe that intelligence is a fixed trait and inborn talent will determine a person’s success.
Fixed Vs. Growth
It doesn’t take a lot of analysis to realize why a fixed mindset is detrimental to achievement and even happiness overall. Compare it to a growth mindset, where a person believes that talent is earned through effort. They believe that anyone can become good at anything and that their abilities can be improved and developed with dedication.
A common distinction is that people with a fixed mindset often seek to validate themselves. Meanwhile, individuals with a growth mindset usually focus on developing themselves further. That may seem like a simple distinction at first thought, but the implications of it are tremendous. Individuals who have a fixed mindset rarely are able to excel because of their limiting belief that they can never be better than a certain predetermined point. They don’t invest time or effort into improving themselves because they believe they were born with all the skills they’ll ever have.
That all means that people with a fixed mindset avoid new challenges–and that leads to a stagnant life. So, how do you change your mindset? You’ll have to begin by recognizing your “fixed mindset” voice that talks to you in your head and gives you excuses and discouragement from trying new things. Then, you need to respond to that voice with a growth mindset voice.
You should also work to change your opinion on talent. For example, it’s worth listening to stories of people who struggled to achieve something to begin with but eventually sound success by sticking with it. This in itself proves the fixed mindset concept is incorrect and that you can get better at anything with the right strategy.
Do these 3 Things:
That’s why you should work to have a growth mindset, but how can you achieve it? Here are some techniques to try:
- Change your opinion. Look into the actual science behind mindset and talent. You’ll soon learn about plenty of people who struggled and had to work hard to get good at something, which automatically disproves the fixed mindset concept.
- Think growth. Listen for your “fixed” mindset voice in your head and respond to it with a “growth” mindset voice whenever you hear it trying to discourage you or make excuses for giving up.
- Choose something to work on. Perhaps the best way to change your mindset is to see the growth mindset work in front of your very own eyes. Pick something to learn, get a strategy planned out, and then get good at it. It will take time and effort, but you’ll soon find success.
Use these techniques and they will enable you to shift from a limiting fixed mindset to an opportunity-rich growth mindset in no time.