If there is anything that we must work on building very early on in life, then I would say that more important than trying to build your wealth or riches or status, it is building a growth mindset.
Because if you have a growth mindset, then surely and inevitably you can have it all.
Having a growth mindset will help you live a better life that is marked with happiness, satisfaction, and joy and will help you achieve anything you want in life.
But many of us don’t know what is a growth mindset or how to develop one.
I too came across this concept not very long ago, but I am thankful that I did in my 20s.
We are never taught in school nor do many of us have many examples around us about what a growth mindset looks like.
A majority of us are stuck with having a fixed mindset on a loop for years and years never challenging ourselves, never trying, and never learning anything new because we think we don’t have it in us.
We say, “I can’t”, “this won’t work for me”, and “I am not that talented” even before we try.
But those are just myths and we have kept on believing in these myths.
So today in this post, I want to bust some myths around these fixed mindsets that we have and embrace a growth mindset starting from today.
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Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset
Table of Contents
People having a growth mindset are ones who more than believing in their innate potential or talent, believe in their ability to learn and persevere.
They give more importance to hard work than talent when it comes to achieving success. If they’re not good at something, they know that through practice and effort, they can always be good at it.
In contrast to this, people with a fixed mindset believe that talent and their abilities are inborn and fixed. They do not believe that they can grow and improve at something because they are fixed on the belief that they do not have it or cannot do it.
She says “For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.“
So what mindset do we adopt in life?
Of course, a growth mindset.
So let us know more clearly how a growth mindset and a fixed mindset look in contrast to one another in the examples.
1. Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset example: On learning
Fixed Mindset says:
“I am not good at this and I can never be good at this”
People with fixed mindsets give no thought to learning and improvement. They think they are either good at something or they’re not. They believe they need to be born a good singer, a good artist, a good artist or anything.
They fail to see that it is through learning and practice that we improve and be better. They think that talent and ability are fixed and unchangeable.
But here is what having a growth mindset looks like in contrast.
Growth Mindset says
“I may not be good at this now, but with practice and effort I can surely learn and improve”
People with a growth mindset believe that anything can be learned and improved upon.
If you’re bad at maths, you don’t say, “I can never be good at maths”
Instead, you say, “I will work hard and with practice I can surely be good at it”
One quote that comes to my mind here that has remained in my heart for a long time now is what Gandhi said,
“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning”Gandhi
This I believe is the truest example of having a growth mindset.
It doesn’t matter whether you know something now or not. It doesn’t matter whether you’re perfect at it now or not. What matters is your determination to want to learn and improve.
If you want to have a growth mindset, be willing to learn.
More on this in these posts:
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2. Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset example: On doing new things
Fixed mindset says
“But I have never done this before, so I can’t do this”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this line coming from people.
We think that we need to be perfect from the start. We think we need to know everything before starting.
As we grow older we don’t venture out beyond what we already know.
And that is also one BIG reason why our life starts to become boring, stagnant and uninteresting.
When we have a fixed mindset, we are fixed in the belief that not knowing is bad, that not knowing cannot be changed by knowing if we only learn and practice.
A fixed mindset never lets us go beyond our comfort zone and if we keep on having this mindset, then surely at the end of our life we will regret thinking, “What if I had done this?”, “What if I had given a try?”, “What if I hadn’t cared so much about failure?”
In contrast to this, here is what having a growth mindset says,
Growth Mindset says
“This is something new, but I can try and see how it can be done”
“If I never try, I will never know”
Embracing a growth mindset is in a way, embracing not-knowing.
If you want to grow, you have to embrace not knowing, you have to embrace uncertainty and embrace the risk of looking like a fool.
Not knowing is the beginning of all discovery.
The Wright brothers didn’t know how to build an airplane.
The finest swimmer didn’t know how to swim
Edison did not know how to build a light bulb.
Imagine if they had never stepped out of their comfort zone and said, “But I don’t know how to do this?”
We would not have airplanes, electricity and all the comfort of our lives.
It’s the same with the things we fear and things we think we can’t seem to do well now.
- You CAN be good at public speaking
- You CAN be good at maths
- You CAN be good at writing.
- You CAN be confident.
You CAN BE anything and you CAN DO anything.
It took me some time to let go of my fixed mindset and belief that I couldn’t do blogging. I had never started one and I didn’t know how to. But I let go of it and tried anyway.
I had no example before me from whom I could learn personally, but I took courses, read ebooks, and articles and wrote blog post after blog post even when no one was reading in the beginning.
If I had been fixated on saying, “But I don’t know how to start”, “I don’t know how to grow a blog”, or “I don’t know anything about blogging” then nothing would have happened and I would have remained where I was.
So if you want to develop a growth mindset, embrace challenges, embrace, trying new things, and do things that you have always wanted to do at the back of your mind but which you are thinking is too crazy.
Do it even if it’s crazy. The Universe backs those who are ready to grow and try new things.
3. Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: On Failures and Obstacles
I know nobody likes to fail and we would love it if we were successful in the first attempt, but failures and obstacles are an inevitable part of life.
Nobody who has ever been successful has succeeded without struggles.
It is the struggles we face that make success and reaching goals much sweeter when we achieve them.
How we face obstacles and failures determines in which direction our lives will take and how we end up leading our lives.
When facing obstacles and failures.
Fixed mindset says
“I failed. I can’t do it again. It’s such a shame”
They give up easily, never to try again. They expect perfection in themselves and in what they do and when they fail, they don’t rise up again.
And even worse than this are the people with fixed mindsets who say, “It’s too hard.. why should I even bother?”
“It’s not worth trying.. it will take a lot of time”
“I know I am going to fail, so why try?”
“I will never be able to get that”
Growth Mindset says
“I wasn’t successful at it this time.. So what? But still, I am not discouraged”
I recently watched the movie, ’12th Fail’ and it touched my heart so deeply.
If you can, I highly recommend you watch it.
It teaches us to restart every time we fail and genuinely shows how if we overcome hardships and truly determine with good intentions at heart, nothing is impossible.
The word ‘RESTART’ has been stuck in my heart too.
And here again, I am reminded of a proverb which I have repeated to myself several times in the face of challenges, obstacles and failures, and it is,
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
This short and simple proverb is what it means to have a growth mindset.
People with a growth mindset say,
“I want to see what happens if I don’t give up”
“I am going to try this just for the fun of it”
“I want to see what I will learn along the way”
They know that there is no shame in failing, but there could be great shame in not trying or trying again.
It is a shame to our potential, to who we can become and to the things we could do if we only decided to try again.
People who have a growth mindset are determined to try and try until they succeed.
They may get disheartened just like any human being, but they will never give up by simply losing hope and instead will learn from every setback and look for the areas in which they need to improve and do better.
4. Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset: On why you do things
Fixed Mindset says
“I want to do this because I want to prove that I am smart and I want to look intelligent in front of people”
“I have to prove my worth”
“I have to show them I have this”
People with fixed mindsets are motivated by the approval of others. They seek validation for their success and who they are.
More than true growth, improvement and learning they are only interested in how they are perceived by other people.
This makes them waste so much time and energy on people pleasing and chasing after the wrong goals that don’t truly satisfy them from their heart.
Growth mindset says:
“If I must do this, I must as well do it well from my heart”
They are not interested in how they are seen in front of people. They do not care so much about approval, but they are genuinely interested in learning and giving their best just for the sake of it.
They want to do well because they want to do well and not to win anyone’s validation or approval.
5. Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: On Mistakes
Mistakes too are a part of growing in life. If we never made mistakes, we would never learn the right way to do things. They teach us to do better.
But when we make mistakes, we forget about them and punish ourselves.
Most of us when we make a mistake, we go into a fixed mindset mode.
Fixed mindset says
“I am bad because I made this mistake”
“I should be ashamed of myself”
“I don’t deserve another chance”
“I deserve this punishment and hate from myself and everyone”
We become too harsh on ourselves. We speak with ourselves as if we were speaking to an enemy and don’t forgive ourselves.
Growth mindset says:
“It is okay. I forgive myself for making this mistake. I choose to learn from this experience instead of punishing myself.”
“I choose to see what I need to learn from this mistake”
“I am not bad for making this mistake.”
“Just because I need to work on myself more, does not mean I am bad and negative. I am simply trying to improve myself”
They know that if we don’t forgive ourselves for our mistakes or allow ourselves to make mistakes, then we also rob ourselves of growing and learning in life.
6. Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: On other’s success
Fixed mindset says
“When I see others who are more successful than me, I feel bad about myself and I feel threatened”
“There are already too many successful ones before me doing this, there is no space for me”
People who have a fixed mindset believe that their success is predetermined and they don’t allow themselves to grow.
They feel that there is a lot of competition and this makes them give up on the idea before even starting.
Growth Mindset says
“I get inspired by other people’s success and I let myself see and learn from them”
“If they can be successful, I can too”
People with a growth mindset allow other people’s success to inspire them.
They don’t feel threatened by it and they don’t feel bad about their position.
Instead, they are truly happy for their success and this makes them ready for their success.
They know deep within their heart that if someone else can do it, they can do it.
They believe that we live in a cooperative and friendly world instead of letting competition ruin how they reach their goals.
They believe, “There is plenty for everyone, including me”
7. Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset Example: On Criticism and Feedback
Fixed mindset says,
“When others give me feedback, I take it personally as criticism”
“I don’t like being pointed out for my mistakes and flaws”
“I don’t need to improve, I am already good at it”
They feel bad about themselves and feel extremely insecure when someone gives them even a little feedback.
Growth mindset says,
“I accept this feedback and I seek ways to improve”
“This is a learning process and I thank the ones who pointed out my flaws”
“Without feedback and criticism, I cannot hope to grow and improve”
They take feedback and criticism objectively. They are teachable. They know that they don’t know a lot of things and there is always space for improvement.
So when people give them feedback, they don’t take it personally and instead think about it deeply regarding how they can do better the next time.
This makes them a student for life and they never make their ego bigger than themselves.
They remain humble and keep growing throughout their lives.
So these were some examples of having a Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset.
Having a growth mindset will take you far in life whereas a fixed mindset will keep you stuck wherever you are. It won’t let you go beyond what you already know. It won’t challenge you and it will never let you grow.
I hope we all work on developing and building a growth mindset because having a growth mindset will be our greatest asset in life.
Before ending, here are my quick tips on how to develop a growth mindset:
How to develop a growth mindset?
1. Bring awareness to your fears
Notice what it is you are avoiding and resisting and try to see where that is coming from.
Question your beliefs and your perceptions. Is it true? Can it be changed? Is this thought and belief serving me?
Notice your fixed beliefs about your capabilities, talents and success and work on changing them.
Your fears and resistance will tell you a lot about your fixed mindset.
2. Improve your self-talk
Improve your self-talk by first being mindful of them and then by using positive affirmations.
3. Feed your mind with good stuff
To start having a growth mindset you need to stop treating your mind as a dustbin and start treating it as a temple, as sacred.
Be careful with what you are feeding your mind with every day.
Are you watching endless series and dramas that are not adding anything good to your mind?
What books are you reading?
What social media accounts are you following?
Are you watching reels all day or are you learning anything that will be meaningful for you in 5 years?
Your thoughts are being created every moment of every day by all that you feed it.
Make sure you’re feeding it with knowledge, wisdom, love and compassion.
- P.S The only three things that will boost personal growth
- What too much screen time does to your mind
To develop a growth mindset, you need to get out of your comfort zone.
4. Get out of your comfort zone
You need to allow yourself to get uncomfortable.
You will meet resistance face to face. It will make you uncomfortable and will make you want to crawl into your bed, but do it anyway. Go after it anyway.
That is how you will develop a growth mindset- noticing your resistance, going out of your comfort zone and doing it anyway.
Also, do not forget to be kind to yourself as you step out of your comfort zone. It is difficult, but if you rise up every time you fail, success awaits you.
5. Always be a student of life
Lastly, to have a growth mindset, always be a student of life.
You need to have a deep love for learning and seek to be a true learner.
You don’t have to be an expert from the start. You don’t have to be perfect from the start. You just have to be willing to learn and practice.
That is how you will develop a growth mindset.
Every time we come across a fixed-mindset belief that we have, we need to catch it and ask ourselves, “Is it true?”, “How can I change this?” And work on changing it.
Remember, you are not bad for having a fixed mindset or if you find something else to improve.
The list can sometimes feel endless and the space between who we are now and who we want to be can look very big, but let it inspire you and not scare you.
You are already who you want to be. You are just trying to reveal your true self now.
You are born with a growth mindset. We all are. Now we are just trying to remember it and practice it.
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