What is Growth Mindset?

If you’ve read my first two posts already, you might still be wondering what is growth mindset and why I think it is important. A simple way to understand the difference between growth and fixed mindset is explained below with the help of Sylvia Duckworth’s work put into a graphic.

Created by Reid Wilson @wayfarepath (Twitter)

A fixed mindset refers to one’s belief that they are born with a certain amount of intelligence and that they this will be their experience for their life. Parents’ sharing of their “thought to be” innate skills and abilities can further reinforce a fixed mindset for their children. For example if a child hears their parent say “I was never good at math, sorry, I can’t help you”. This reinforces to the child that this information is fact and cannot be changed or improved upon.

A growth mindset is the belief that one can develop skills and achieve anything they set their mind to. Those who utilize a growth mindset think in terms of “I can” and “I will”. Further, a growth mindset recognizes the value in failure and mistakes and that these help us to learn and grow.

Another way to describe the fixed mindset is “all or nothing thinking”. This used to be me. I often thought if something bad happened in my day it meant I had a really bad day, I came to a point that I started recognizing good moments in otherwise challenging days and I focused on those to say that I had a good day instead and that I overcame challenges because I was able to.

Can you think of a time or a moment where you’ve had a fixed mindset and how you could alter that statement to reflect a growth mindset?