Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

Carol Dweck states that there are two types of mindsets: a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.


Dweck was interested in the way the mind works and studied this by observing students completing a series of puzzles. She was particularly fascinated with how well some students coped under pressure, versus how easily some became frustrated. A key observation from the problems the children solved was that they enjoyed learning from failure. Prior to this experiment, Dweck though that learning behaviours were naturally embedded in the individual: someone was either intelligent or they were not.


She asks ‘How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?’ 


Fixed Mindset:

A fixed mindset is the belief that all qualities are cemented and cannot be changed. Someone with this mindset believes that their success and intelligence is limited and therefore cannot be improved upon. People with a fixed mindset also feel the need to prove themselves again and again.


Growth Mindset:

A growth mindset is when someone believes that their intelligence and beliefs can grow and constantly improve. This is the result of putting in time and effort in order to continually get better and build upon their existing skillset. The dedication and commitment put into a task will result in a positive outcome and therefore lead to higher levels of achievement.


Why should I implement a Growth Mindset?

  • Someone with a growth mindset always allows room for improvement. It is important to identify failures, in order to learn from them and determine what can be amended for next time.
  • Welcoming a challenge and viewing it as an opportunity. is part of developing as a person and growing.
  • Part of learning and growing is finding the right learning style that works for the individual and knowing how to implement it. Everyone works in their own unique way.
  • Rather than seeking the approval of others, prioritise learning and improving.
  • Focus on the present moment and the work in progress, rather than the end result.
  • Allow time to reflect on current progress.


Choosing a growth mindset means a willingness to change and grow. It is also recognising that all talents and acquired knowledge aren’t fixed. Through adapting a unique learning style that works for the individual and persevering with learning strategies, it is easier to grow and welcome new challenges.


For more information on Growth Mindset vs Fixed mindset, read about Carol Dweck’s theory here.