People with a fixed mindset tend to think that basic qualities, like talent or intelligence, are unchangeable fixed traits. Rather than focusing on developing their abilities, these folks tend to avoid challenges (predominately to avoid failure), hide their flaws (so as not to be judged), and reject constructive criticism.
The albatross of a fixed mindset discounts the values of persistence and determination. This trap is easy to fall into; the path of least resistance is inherently more comfortable, but it is also far less rewarding. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck wrote, “In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of outcome. What on earth would make someone a non-learner? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward. What could put an end to this exuberant learning? The fixed mindset. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart. I have studied thousands of people from preschoolers on, and it’s breathtaking how many reject an opportunity to learn.”
Fixed Mindset: Successful people are super talented; they don’t experience failure.
Growth Mindset: Failure is part of success. Most successful people have failed many times; they succeed because they continue to learn and refuse to quit.
Fixed Mindset: I’m just not good at writing.
Growth Mindset: Writing is challenging for me. I know I can improve.
Fixed Mindset: If I don’t try new or difficult things, I might not get to do them, but at least I won’t fail.
Growth Mindset: If I want to do new or difficult things, I’ll have to try, and it’s ok if I fail at first.
Fixed Mindset: Failure means it is time to give up.
Growth Mindset: I only truly fail when I stop trying.
Fixed Mindset: When I fail, I get frustrated and quit trying.
Growth Mindset: When I fail or get frustrated, I learn valuable lessons that will serve me the next time I try.
Fixed Mindset: I can’t do that!
Growth Mindset: I can’t do that yet. Is there someone I can ask for help to learn? Is there a strategy I haven’t yet considered?
Fixed Mindset: It’s so embarrassing when I make a mistake.
Growth Mindset: Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities to learn.
Fixed Mindset: If I don’t improve right away, I get frustrated and start to criticize myself.
Growth Mindset: I’m aware that improvement takes time and effort. Even a little bit of progress can make a difference!
Fixed Mindset: I wish I was as good at chess as you are. It’s not fair.
Growth Mindset: I’m inspired by your skills on the chess board. Do you have any suggestions to help me improve?
Fixed Mindset: I’m either talented or I’m not.
Growth Mindset: I can improve my skills with effort and commitment.
Fixed Mindset: I’m a really good writer.
Growth Mindset: No matter how talented I am, there is always room for improvement.
Fixed Mindset: I’m too nervous to speak in front of the entire class.
Growth Mindset: With practice, I can become more confident and improve as a public speaker.
Fixed Mindset: When people give me feedback, it feels like they are criticizing me; I don’t like it.
Growth Mindset: I appreciate when people give me feedback; it helps me learn and improve.
Fixed Mindset: When other people are successful, I feel bad about myself.
Growth Mindset: When other people are successful, I feel encouraged and inspired to believe in myself.
The game-changing difference between the limits of a fixed mindset and the unlimited potential of a growth mindset can alter the trajectory of our entire lives. As Carol Dweck wrote, “Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and it harms their performance. How can that be? Don’t children love to be praised? Yes, children love praise. And they especially love to be praised for their intelligence and talent. It really does give them a boost, a special glow—but only for the moment. The minute they hit a snag, their confidence goes out the window and their motivation hits rock bottom. If success means they’re smart, then failure means they’re dumb. That’s the fixed mindset. Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework.”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” —Romans 12:2 NLT
No more, “I can’t, I don’t know, or I’m not!” As you use My Magical Choices to teach your children positive, conscious language, they will choose to be responsible, calm, confident, fun, a good sport, forgiving, generous and more!
Your child’s mindset matters, more than they realize. Adopt the power of a growth mindset.
As her dreams show her potential versions of herself, Enna is amazed at everything she’s learned how to do. But she knows all that growth won’t come free—it will take time, knowledge, and dedication. Can Enna learn to tackle challenges with a smile?
This empowering picture book teaches readers that even great ideas sometimes get a NO―but that NO can actually help great ideas become the best ideas!
Each of us, from the day we’re born, is accompanied by a special companion—the Yet. An inspirational picture book for every child who is frustrated by what they can’t do… YET!
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.