Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: Differences & Examples

Are you ready to embark on a journey of growth and success? It all starts with your mindset. Whether you’re a student diving into the world of academia or someone striving for personal and professional development, your mindset will ultimately determine your success.

But what exactly is a mindset, and why is it so important? Well, it’s the way you perceive and approach challenges, setbacks, and opportunities. And when it comes to learning, there are two mindsets that can dictate our potential: growth mindset and fixed mindset.

So, what’s the difference between the two? In short, a growth mindset is all about embracing challenges, persevering through obstacles, and continuously learning and improving. On the other hand, a fixed mindset is rooted in the belief that our abilities and intelligence are predetermined and unchangeable.

Here’s the thing: we may not even realize which mindset we’ve been operating under for years. But the good news is that we can always shift towards a growth mindset and unlock our full potential.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the differences between growth mindset and fixed mindset, and how each one can impact our learning and personal growth. So, are you ready to unlock your full potential and achieve success? Let’s get started!

What Is a Fixed Mindset?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just not good at that,” or “I wasn’t born with that talent”? Such statements reflect a fixed mindset. In a fixed mindset, people believe their innate abilities are set in stone, and they can’t do much to change them. It’s as if they’re living in a world with a limited amount of intelligence, talent, or skill, and they can’t acquire any more of it.

This mindset can be quite limiting, and it can hold people back from reaching their full potential. Fixed-minded individuals often avoid challenges, preferring to stay in their comfort zone rather than risk failure. When they do encounter obstacles, they give up quickly, thinking that they lack the natural ability to overcome them. And if someone else succeeds where they fail, they feel threatened, as if another person’s success somehow diminishes their own worth.

However, a fixed mindset doesn’t have to be a life sentence. By recognizing the limitations of this mindset and embracing a growth mindset, people can break free from their self-imposed limits. A growth mindset sees abilities as malleable, and individuals as capable of developing new skills and talents through effort and practice. With a growth mindset, challenges become opportunities to learn and improve, rather than threats to one’s sense of self-worth.

So, if you find yourself falling into a fixed mindset, take a step back and reassess. Remember that intelligence and talent are not fixed; they can be developed over time. Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow and learn, and don’t be afraid to seek feedback and constructive criticism. By adopting a growth mindset, you can shatter the limits of what you thought was possible and achieve great things.

What Is a Growth Mindset?

Imagine if we all believed that we had the power to develop our intelligence and talents through our actions and efforts. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, that’s precisely what having a growth mindset is all about!

Having a growth mindset means that we believe our abilities are not fixed, but instead can be developed and improved over time. It’s not about thinking that we can all be the next Einstein, but rather understanding that with effort and perseverance, we can all achieve our goals.

When we have a growth mindset, we see setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as permanent failures. We bounce back from these setbacks by increasing our motivation and effort, and we view feedback as a valuable source of information that can help us improve.

Those who have a growth mindset are more likely to embrace lifelong learning and willingly take on challenges. They believe that effort leads to mastery and view others’ success as a source of inspiration. They are not afraid to make mistakes because they understand that failure is just a temporary setback on the path to success.

So, if you want to unleash your full potential, adopt a growth mindset! Believe that you have the power to develop your intelligence and talents, embrace challenges, and view setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. With this kind of mindset, you’ll be unstoppable!

Can You Change Your Mindset?

Are you tired of feeling stuck in your ways and limited by your fixed mindset? Well, the good news is that your brain has the ability to change and evolve over time. That’s right, just like your muscles can grow and develop with exercise, your brain can also reorganize and form new neural connections through a process known as neuroplasticity.

Neuroscience research has shown that the brain continues to develop and change throughout our lives. This means that even as adults, we have the potential to transform our thinking patterns and improve our brain functions. So, if you’ve always believed that your intelligence or abilities are fixed and unchangeable, it’s time to reconsider.

Studies have found that through neuroplasticity, a person with a fixed mindset can gradually adopt a growth mindset. This means that you can learn to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and see failures as opportunities for growth. You can rewire your brain to believe that your abilities can be developed through hard work, dedication, and learning.

Leading psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck has demonstrated that mindset is not a fixed trait, but rather a malleable quality that can be changed through deliberate effort. By actively cultivating a growth mindset, you can transform your attitude towards challenges, failures, and setbacks.

So, if you’re ready to break free from your fixed mindset and start living with a growth mindset, it’s time to take action. Challenge yourself to try new things, learn new skills, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Your brain has the incredible power to evolve and adapt, so don’t limit yourself with a fixed mindset. Embrace the power of neuroplasticity and watch as your mindset transforms over time.

Differences Between a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset

How we think and view the world can shape our entire lives. A growth mindset and a fixed mindset are two opposing ways of thinking that can greatly impact our experiences. Let’s take a closer look at the five key differences between these two mindsets.

Differences in Approaching Challenges

Individuals with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges at all costs. They would rather take an easier solution than face a difficult task. In contrast, those with a growth mindset embrace challenges in their lives. They understand that failure is a part of learning and view it as an opportunity to grow.

Differences in Handling Feedback

A fixed mindset often reacts negatively to feedback or criticism. They may even harbor feelings of disdain towards the person giving feedback. Meanwhile, a growth mindset sees feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve. They take it to heart and incorporate it into their lives.

Difference in Belief About Intelligence

People with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is an inherent skill that you either have or don’t have. In contrast, those with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed with effort and persistence.

Differences in Tolerance

Individuals with a fixed mindset tend to give up easily when faced with a challenge or obstacle. They lack persistence and often avoid problems. Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, are persistent and try harder. They don’t shy away from challenges and are willing to try again even if they fail.

Differences in View of Success

Fixed mindset individuals often experience jealousy and self-doubt when they see others succeed. In contrast, those with a growth mindset are inspired by the success of others and even help others succeed. They believe in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world.

Differences in Failure: Setback or Roadblock?

For those with a fixed mindset, failure is a daunting concept, something to be avoided at all costs. In contrast, those with a growth mindset view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. They see setbacks as stepping stones towards their ultimate goal, rather than a roadblock that they cannot overcome.

Differences in Learning: Forever a Student

Those with a fixed mindset tend to think that learning ends once they finish formal education. In contrast, those with a growth mindset see learning as a lifelong process, recognizing that the world is constantly changing, and they need to keep up with the latest information and trends to succeed.

Differences in Confirmation: Inside vs. Outside Validation

For those with a fixed mindset, their sense of self-worth is often tied to external validation from others. They need to prove their worth to themselves and to others, seeking confirmation through social status or material possessions. In contrast, those with a growth mindset derive their sense of self-worth from within, focusing on personal growth and development rather than external validation.

Differences in Effort: Abilities vs. Actions

For those with a fixed mindset, effort is seen as a reflection of their inherent abilities. They believe that they are born with certain skills and talents and that effort alone cannot change this. In contrast, those with a growth mindset believe that effort is the key to success. They believe that by putting in hard work and dedication, they can develop new skills and abilities and achieve their goals.

Developing a Growth Mindset: Ways to Train Your Brain for Success

Here are six creative ways to train your brain for success:

Believe in Your Brain’s Potential for Growth

The first step to developing a growth mindset is to understand that your brain is malleable and has the capacity for growth and development. You can improve your abilities and intelligence by challenging yourself with new experiences and learning opportunities. Embrace the idea that the more effort you put in, the more you can grow and improve.

Flip Negative Thoughts

Many of us have an inner voice that holds us back with negative self-talk, such as “I can’t do this.” To develop a growth mindset, try to flip these thoughts into positive affirmations. Instead of saying “I can’t do this,” say “I can do this if I keep practicing.”

Reward Effort Over Outcome

Instead of focusing solely on the end result, reward the process and the effort you put into it. Praising yourself or others for the hard work and dedication put into a task can enhance a growth mindset. Studies show that rewarding effort over results can lead to improved performance.

Seek Feedback

Feedback is a critical component of a growth mindset. Seeking constructive criticism can help you identify areas of improvement and learn from your mistakes. Positive feedback can also stimulate a pleasurable dopamine response, reinforcing a growth mindset.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone can help foster a growth mindset. Choosing the harder option that allows you to learn and grow, even if it’s uncomfortable, can help you develop resilience and adaptability.

Embrace Failure as Part of the Learning Process

Failure is not a setback but an opportunity for growth. Accepting and learning from mistakes and failures can help you develop a growth mindset. When trying something new, see occasional “failures” as positive learning opportunities and enjoy the discovery process along the way.

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset Examples

Let’s look at some examples of fixed mindset vs. growth mindset.

Example 1:

Fixed Mindset: “I’m either good at something or I’m not.”

Growth Mindset: “I can improve my skills with effort and practice.”

If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that your abilities are predetermined and can’t be changed. But with a growth mindset, you understand that you can always learn and improve, no matter where you’re starting from.

Example 2:

Fixed Mindset: “When people give me feedback, it feels like criticism.”

Growth Mindset: “I appreciate when people give me feedback. It helps me learn and grow.”

Feedback is essential for growth, but if you have a fixed mindset, you may see it as a personal attack. With a growth mindset, you welcome feedback as an opportunity to improve yourself and your skills.

Example 3:

Fixed Mindset: “I’m just not good at math.”

Growth Mindset: “Math is challenging for me, but I know I can improve.”

If you have a fixed mindset, you may believe that you’re simply not good at certain things. But with a growth mindset, you recognize that skills can be developed with time and effort. Math may be challenging for you now, but with practice, you can improve.

Example 4:

Fixed Mindset: “It’s embarrassing when I make a mistake.”

Growth Mindset: “Everyone makes mistakes and mistakes are opportunities to learn.”

If you have a fixed mindset, you may be afraid to make mistakes for fear of looking foolish. But with a growth mindset, you understand that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Instead of being embarrassed, you embrace your mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.

Example 5:

Fixed Mindset: “If I don’t try new or hard things, then I won’t fail.”

Growth Mindset: “I have to try new and difficult things in order to grow, even if I fail at first.”

With a fixed mindset, you may avoid challenges in order to avoid failure. But with a growth mindset, you understand that taking on challenges is necessary for growth and improvement, even if you may fail at first.

Example 6:

Fixed Mindset: “People who are naturally smart don’t need to try hard to succeed.”

Growth Mindset: “No one is born smart. We can all improve with time, effort, and persistence.”

A fixed mindset may lead you to believe that intelligence is fixed and cannot be changed. But with a growth mindset, you understand that everyone can improve with effort and persistence.

Example 7:

Fixed Mindset: “Other people’s successes make me feel bad about myself.”

Growth Mindset: “Other people’s successes encourage and inspire me. They show me what is possible.”

A fixed mindset may make you feel jealous or inferior to others who are succeeding. But with a growth mindset, you celebrate others’ successes and use them as inspiration for your own growth.

Example 8:

Fixed Mindset: “Successful people are lucky/talented and have never experienced failure.”

Growth Mindset: “Failure is part of success. Most successful people have failed many times, but they succeeded because they didn’t quit.”

A fixed mindset may make you believe that successful people were born with natural talents


In conclusion, adopting a growth mindset can be a transformative experience that leads to personal and professional growth. While a fixed mindset can hinder progress and limit potential, a growth mindset encourages individuals to view challenges as opportunities for growth and to persist in the face of setbacks. 

By reassessing your mindset and embracing a growth mindset, you can unlock your potential and achieve success beyond your wildest dreams. So, take the first step towards a more fulfilling life by embracing a growth mindset today!

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