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Fixed vs Growth Mindset Examples: What are the differences?

Written by Terencio White

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In pursuiting success, personal growth, and fulfillment, the way we think plays a pivotal role. As we go through fixed vs growth mindset examples, psychologist Carol Dweck introduced the concept at Stanford University. It has given us a understanding of intelligence, ability, and the path to achievement. This blog post aims to guide you through these two contrasting mindsets, providing real-life examples and insights to help you embrace a more empowering way of thinking.

Understanding Growth and Fixed Mindsets

Definitions and Key Differences

A Growth Mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. It sees challenges as chances to learn and grow, encouraging curiosity and resilience.

In contrast, a Fixed Mindset thinks that these traits are inborn and unchangeable. It can lead to avoiding risks, fearing failure, and hindering growth, creating a mental barrier to improvement.

The difference between these two perspectives affects how we handle life's challenges and opportunities. While a Growth Mindset fosters continuous learning and adaptability, a rigid mindset may limit our ability to change and innovate. Understanding the differences can help in personal development, education, and leadership, creating a more dynamic and resilient culture.

Fixed vs Growth Mindset Examples

growth mindset vs fixed mindset example

Real-life examples: Someone that willing to grow might see a new challenge as an exciting learning opportunity, while a content individual might shy away, fearing failure or judgment.

In the Office

Fixed: "I can't handle this new project; it's beyond my skill level."
Growth: "This project will stretch me, but that’s how I learn."

Impact: Adopting a new way of thinking doesn't just change how you approach individual tasks; it revolutionizes your entire professional journey. By viewing challenges as opportunities for personal and skill development, you're laying the groundwork for career advancement and opening up doors you might have previously thought were closed.

Your Fitness Journey

Fixed: "I’m not the kind of person who can lose weight."
Growth: "I can improve my fitness if I commit to it."

Impact: Changing your perspective does more than just alter the words you use—it transforms your entire approach to wellness. With a commitment to improvement, you're not only setting the stage for better health, but you're also paving the way for an uplifting sense of accomplishment that will encourage you to reach even greater heights in your fitness journey.

On the Basketball Court

Fixed: "I’ve never been good at three-pointers; why try now?"
Growth: "My three-pointers aren't great, but practice makes progress."

Impact: By facing the challenge of improving your three-point shots, you not only advance your skills but also deepen your love for the game. Each three-pointer attempt, successful or not, brings you closer to basketball mastery.

While Meditating

Fixed: "Meditation isn’t for me; I can never clear my mind."
Growth: "Meditation is tough, but every practice session helps."

Impact: You're opening the door to heightened levels of mental well-being and a more profound sense of self-awareness. Each moment you spend, whether you achieve complete stillness, is a stepping stone toward a more tranquil and centered life.

Growing Your Online Business

Fixed: "I'll never get to 10,000 monthly visitors; it's too competitive."
Growth: "Reaching 10,000 visitors is tough but achievable with strategy."

Impact: Setting ambitious targets like reaching 10,000 visitors can seem daunting, but aiming high sets the stage for innovative strategies and solutions. In this scenario, not only might you hit your desired web traffic figures, but you also open yourself up to the potential for even greater achievements. Aiming for the stars might just land you amid a galaxy of opportunities for business growth.

Employee Feedback:

Fixed: "My team’s performance is low because they just don’t have what it takes."
Growth: "My team’s performance can improve; let's identify areas for development."

Impact: As a leader, you're setting the tone for a culture of continuous improvement across your team and even the broader organization. Viewing performance challenges as chances for growth empowers your team to develop their skills and competencies, fostering a more engaged and productive work environment in the process.

Public Speaking:

Fixed: "I'm not a natural speaker, so I’ll never be good at it."
Growth: "Public speaking is a skill I can get better at with practice."

Impact: Public speaking does more than just change your self-perception; it unlocks a world of potential opportunities and valuable connections. By reframing public speaking as a skill to be developed rather than an innate talent, you give yourself the freedom to learn, make mistakes, and ultimately excel. This proactive approach not only elevates your speaking prowess but also opens doors to career advancement, leadership roles, and enriching personal relationships.

Podcast Dreams:

Fixed: "So many podcasts out there; mine would never stand out."
Growth: "I have a unique perspective to offer, and I'll learn as I go."

Impact: When you acknowledge that you have something valuable to offer and give yourself permission to learn through experience, you're not only making room for your creative voice to be heard, but also opening up opportunities for personal growth, audience connection, and perhaps even professional development in the podcasting realm.

Customer Relations:

Fixed: "We lost a client; our service must be bad."
Growth: "We lost a client; let's figure out what can be improved."

Impact: Instead of viewing client attrition as a condemnation of your services, you see it as a chance to investigate and enhance what you offer. This proactive outlook lays the groundwork for long-term client relationships and a continuously improving business model, fostering customer loyalty and enhancing overall performance.

Financial Goals:

Fixed: "I've never been good with money; it’s too late to change."
Growth: "Managing money is challenging, but I can learn."

Impact: By recognizing that financial acumen is a skill set that can be learned and honed over time, you give yourself the opportunity to create a financially stable future. This shift in perspective empowers you to take charge of your finances, explore investment options, and make better decisions that can lead not only to immediate gains but also long-term financial health.

Personal Development:

Fixed: "This is just how I am; I can’t change my personality."
Growth: "I have traits that I can work on to become a better version of myself."

Impact: When you stop viewing your personality as a fixed, unchangeable entity and start seeing it as a collection of traits and behaviors that can be honed and improved, you open yourself to an enriching journey of self-discovery. This proactive approach can dramatically enhance not only how you view yourself but also how you interact with others, paving the way for both personal and interpersonal growth.

Positive vs Negative Mindset

A Growth Mindset fosters a positive attitude towards effort and failure, viewing them as pathways to improvement. In contrast, a Fixed Mindset often leads to negative emotions and a reluctance to try new things.

Fixed Mindset Examples

fixed mindset motivational statement
Work Challenges: "I can't tackle this new project; it's beyond my skill level."

Negative Impact: Stagnation and missed possibilities for career advancement.

Fitness Goals: "I'm just not the kind of person who can lose weight."

Negative Impact: Stuck in unhealthy habits and a lack of progress in fitness.

Basketball Skills: "I've never been good at shooting three-pointers, why try now?"

Negative Impact: Limited skill set and decreased enjoyment of the game.

Learning Meditation: "Meditation isn’t for me; I can never clear my mind."

Negative Impact: Missed chance for personal development and mental well-being.

Website Traffic: "I'll never get to 10,000 monthly visitors; it’s too competitive out there."

Negative Impact: Discouragement and failure to expand business.

Notice a common use of certain words such as I can't, I'll never and I'm not. A closed mindset doesn't just keep you in your comfort zone; it actively holds you back from reaching your full potential. While it may offer temporary safety, the long-term costs are too high to ignore. 

But remember, awareness is the first step toward transformation. Now that you know what you're leaving on the table, you can start working toward goals that will keep you in the right frame of mind.

Growth Mindset Examples

Growth mindset examples
Work Challenges: "This project will stretch me, but that’s how I learn."

Positive Impact: Career growth, skill development, and job satisfaction.

Fitness Goals: "I can improve my fitness level if I consistently work out and eat right."

Positive Impact: Improved physical health and a sense of accomplishment.

Basketball Skills: "My three-pointers aren't perfect, but practice makes progress."

Positive Impact: Expanded skill set and greater enjoyment of the game.

Learning Meditation: "I struggle with meditation, but every bit of practice is a step forward."

Positive Impact: Improved mental well-being and deeper self-awareness.

Website Traffic: "Reaching 10,000 monthly visitors will be tough, but it’s achievable with the right strategy."

Positive Impact: Increased business potential and entrepreneurial success.

You'll notice that the language shifts in every aspect to a positive vibe even when the cast is difficult. Sometimes the journey can be just as rewarding as the destination, and that's exactly what embracing change is all about.

By choosing to see the brighter side of things and putting in the effort, you open up a whole new realm of possibilities for career advancement, physical well-being, sports enjoyment, mental clarity, and business success.

Psychological Perspectives

The psychology behind these mindsets goes beyond mere attitudes. Dr. Carol Dweck's research has shown that our beliefs about our abilities can shape our brain activity, behavior, and even our overall health.

Mindset Health: Embracing a Growth Mindset can lead to a more resilient and adaptive way of thinking, promoting mental well-being.

Natural Ability vs Effort: Understanding that effort, rather than innate talent, is the key to success can foster a deeper understanding of personal development and achievement.

Fixed vs Growth Mindset examples: Your Action Plan

Alright, you've heard the theory, you've seen the examples. Making the change isn't just possible—it's doable. And you can start today with this action-packed plan. Ready? Let's roll!

Step 1: Recognize Your Fixed Mindset Triggers

Action Plan: Spend a week jotting down moments where you shy away from challenges, fearing failure, or feeling threatened by others' success. These are your triggers. Awareness is the first step to transformation.

Step 2: Reframe Your Internal Dialogue

Action Plan: For every rigid thought you have, counter it with a positive affirmation. Replace "I can't do this" with "I can learn to do this."

Step 3: Seek Constructive Criticism

Action Plan: Make it a point to seek feedback after completing tasks at work or on personal projects. Listen openly, and remember, constructive criticism is your ally.

Step 4: Fail Forward

Action Plan: Look, failure is inevitable. The difference is, a growth mindset sees each failure as a learning opportunity. After a setback, identify what you can learn and how you can improve next time.

Step 5: Set SMART Goals

Action Plan: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound objectives align perfectly with a positive mindset change. Outline one or two SMART goals that push you out of your element.

Step 6: Celebrate Small Wins

Action Plan: Every little success is a step toward your larger goal. Celebrate these! They’re proof that you’re growing and learning.

Step 7: Surround Yourself With Positive People

Action Plan: Negative energy is contagious, but so is positivity and a willingness to grow. Seek mentors, colleagues, and friends who exemplify a growth mindset.

Applying Mindsets in Everyday Life

New Skills and Challenges

How we approach new skills and challenges is often a reflection of our underlying mindset. Whether it's public speaking, taking on a new task at work, or learning a new language, our beliefs about our abilities shape our behavior.

Public Speaking: A Growth Mindset might view public speaking as a skill to be honed, while a Fixed Mindset might see it as a terrifying ordeal, fearing judgment or failure.

New Ideas and Tasks: Embracing new ideas and tasks with curiosity and a willingness to learn can lead to continuous improvement and personal development.

Mindset in Different Life Areas

Isn't it fascinating how our mindset can permeate every aspect of our lives? From the workplace to academic pursuits to social interactions, the way we think about our abilities can either open doors or create barriers.

Workplace Change: Imagine being a business owner and facing a significant change in the market. A Growth Mindset could see this as an opportunity to innovate and grow, while a Fixed Mindset might view it as a threat or a dead-end.

Real World and Academic Subjects: Whether you're a high school student tackling a challenging subject or someone navigating the complexities of the real world, embracing a Growth Mindset can turn obstacles into stepping stones towards success.

Personal Growth and Development

Comfort Zone and Fear of Failure

We've all been there, haven't we? Staring at an opportunity and feeling that tug of fear. But what if we could shift our perspective and see beyond what we're comfortable with?

Positive Outcomes and Growth: Stepping out of our comfort zone, even with small shifts, can lead to extraordinary growth. It's all about embracing the journey and learning from each experience.

Growth vs Fixed Person: While a rigid minded person might see failure as a bad thing, a waste of time, a Growth Mindset person sees it as a learning opportunity, a starting point for the next adventure.

Constructive Feedback and Criticism

Feedback can be a gift or a curse, depending on how we receive it. But what if we could always see it as a chance to improve?

Constructive Criticism: Instead of viewing criticism as a personal attack, a positive mindset encourages us to see it as a tool for continuous improvement. It's not about what's wrong; it's about what's next!

Positive Mindset and Intelligence Views: Embracing feedback with a positive mindset can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our potential. It's not just about intelligence; it's about growth, effort, and the best version of ourselves.

🌟 Ready to Transform Your Mindset? Take Action Today! 🌟

You've read the tips, understood the examples, and now it's time to put all that knowledge into practice. To make it even easier for you, we've got not one, but two exclusive worksheets to guide you on your transformative journey.

🌱 The Growth Mindset Worksheet 🌱

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⚖ The Fixed vs Growth Mindset Worksheet ⚖

Ever wondered where you really stand? Our Fixed vs Growth Mindset Worksheet offers a unique, eye-opening comparison that helps you identify your mindset mix. Plus, it comes packed with tailored advice for making the big shift towards a growth mindset.

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Additional resources:

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the book "Mindset" by Carol Dweck or explore online courses that dive into these concepts. The path to a new mindset, new connections, and a fulfilling life is just a click away.

Some links on our blog may be affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them.

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