Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset: Beginner guide

For those who wish to understand growth mindset vs fixed mindset in detail, here is a guide for you.

In this guide, you will find the meaning of mindset, comparison between growth and fixed mindset, some examples, and finally how to develop a growth mindset to keep learning in life.

What is a mindset?

Mindset, in general, is a belief system or collection of assumptions a person or group of people held making them shape their thinking process, ability, or habits. In short, mindset means the way you think and perceive your surroundings.

So now, once you have understood the meaning of mindset. Let’s see the two types of mindset according to an American psychologist, Carol Dweck, “the growth and the fixed mindset”.

Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset

A growth mindset and fixed mindset are two types of mindset according to Carol Dweck who has spent years researching mindset.

According to her, a fixed mindset is a way of thinking in which a person thinks of talent and skills to be a fixed trait. People falling under this category thinks that success is for those people who are born intelligent and have built-in talent and skills.

On the other side, a growth mindset is a way of thinking in which a person thinks talent and skills can be learned in the process and grown with dedication, commitments, and putting efforts. People falling under this category always have progressive thinking unleashing their potentials.

People with a fixed mindset see mistakes and failures as an inability to their fixed talents or skills. Whereas, people with a growth mindset see failure as the learning opportunities to enhance their skills.

If a person has a fixed mindset he/she thinks that they are born with limited intelligence and try to live their life with that belief. Whereas, a growth mindset person thinks intelligence and skills are always an ongoing process and has limitless learning opportunities.

Put simply, a fixed mindset will always keep your thoughts caged in a box whereas a growth mindset will help you think out of the box.

It is always better if you could detect the category your thoughts fall into. Most, people unknowingly limit their thoughts but once you have figured out the wrong category, you can put away the biggest barrier to success.

I strongly recommend you read these guides that will help you grow growth mindset

Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset: Examples

Below are some real time examples and situation which will help you better understand these two types of mindsets.

For example:

Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
“He was born to swim. Swimming is not for me.” “I know it is just my start and I can learn it easily with time”
“Last time, I failed in this exam. I can not clear this exam”“Maybe I am lacking the right guidance to prepare for this exam. I need to talk to people who already cleared the exam.”
“She is really lucky to have a high paying job. Wish I could be like her.”“She really works hard and paid well for her efforts. There is a lot of things to learn from her and apply in my own life.”
“I am unable to quit smoking. I can not quit smoking.”“I have a bad habit of smoking. I know it is a little difficult to quit but not impossible. I will help people to quit smoking and this is how I am gonna motivate myself to quit.”
“I am going through a tough time. God never help the needy.”“I need to keep calm and try to find out where I am doing wrong. Hey God, I know you are helping me become strong in life. You help those who help themselves first.”
“I can not start my startup. Investors are very mean and likely to fund well-established ones”“I need to plan well before I start working for my startup. I need to build a small team first. Before approaching any investors I need to show them a solid reason to invest in us.”
Losing weight takes lots of effort. I can not put that much effort into losing weight.Weight loss is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. If I will not put efforts now, the situation can become more worse in the future. When people in the world had lost their weight with the right strategy and dedication. Why can’t I?

I hope these examples are enough to understand fixed mindset vs. growth mindset.

Fixed mindset vs growth mindset: Trait comparison

Now let us see the comparison or difference between a growth mindset vs. fixed mindset.

Fixed MindsetGrowth mindset
Failures are the barriers to their successFailures are learning opportunities and stepping stones to success.
Feedbacks and suggestions are meaningless for them. It is a sign of criticism for them.Feedbacks and suggestions are always welcoming for them. And they take every feedback as a source of improvement.
They believe in blaming others for their mistakes.They always admit their mistakes and take responsibility.
They believe in quitting by making excuses.Excuses are like a roadblock to success for them. They believe in action than making excuses.
Challenges do not excite them.Challenges are like a new learning environment for them. They try to explore the unexplored.
They believe in getting things without putting effort.They believe in putting efforts than waiting for things to happen on their own.
Hiding flaws and mistakes is their habit.Mistakes are learning opportunities for them. They work on their flaws and try to improve themselves.
They get easily demotivated in hard times.They are self-motivated. Setbacks do not demotivate them easily as they are not dependent on any external motivation.
Fixed mindset people do not believe in learning.Growth mindset people are always eager to explore new things in life.
growth mindset vs. fixed mindset

How to develop growth mindset

Below are some of the ways you can develop growth mindset:

1. Change your attitude towards failures

No one is born perfect. Failures are stepping stones to success. Failures are not to demotivate you but create a new learning environment helping you reach your goal faster. Failures are like booster not roadblocks to the path to success.

Think failures like fuel stations. Do you leave your car when on a long drive and its fuel is about to get over? No! you go to the fuel stations to refill your car and keep driving until you reach your destination. Failures are like fuel stations set up on your way to success. Boost yourself with failures until you reach your goal.

Think yourself fortunate you have enough fuel stations on your way. What if someone has not a single fuel station on his/her way and their car is starving? Not easy? Right?

2. Work on your thoughts and belief

If you think your thoughts and belief are holding you back, you need to work your thoughts and your old beliefs. By old beliefs I mean beliefs you are holding for a long time and still not doing any good to you.

I am not saying beliefs you are holding are not always bad but sometimes you need to fix some parts of it if you see it’s becoming harmful to you.

Some people think something can only be achieved the way they believe to be true and not what is true and required. In that case, you need to check your where you’re doing mistakes and what could be fixed at the earliest.

3. Be a life long learner

I will use the same quote again, “No one is born perfect” because it holds true with the title. Do not hesitate to learn things if your life is giving an opportunity. A baby learns to walk and does not start walking the moment they are born.

Some lessons are learned faster, some take time, and some need to be learned throughout your life. The more you explore things, the more you create hidden opportunities for yourself. Remember, be a life long explore, be a life long learner.

4. Welcome challenges

If challenges do not excite you, you need to change something, my friend!. Challenges make you stronger every time you encounter them. Challenges are somethings that will help you build your growth mindset overall.

Every challenge comes with its own lesson and learning. The more you accept challenges, the more you allow yourself to explore your inbuilt strength. Thereby, helping you build your growth mindset.

5. Welcome feedbacks and advice

Do you feel disheartened if someone tries to give you feedback or advice? People with a fixed mindset often feel disrespected when some advice them to do something. So, if you want to develop a growth mindset, you should welcome every feedback you receive.

Feedbacks help in fixing the issues if something is required to fix it. A person with a fixed mindset thinks of himself/herself as a jack of all trades. So, you need to be very respectful to feedbacks and be true to yourself.

6. Be self-motivated

One who is self-motivated never get demotivated. Motivation is like a booster that helps you keep your energy up above the sky.

If anyone belongs to a fixed mindset, they are completely dependent on external motivation. The moment they feel low they look for external motivation. In case, if their external motivation is absent, they sometimes quit things.

On the other side, a person with a growth mindset are highly motivated and rarely look for any external motivation. They know how to revive when they are at the lowest point of their lives. Self-motivation comes handy for them.

So, if you want to develop growth mindset, be a self-motivated person.

7. Accept your mistakes

When you are not ready to accept your mistakes, you are fearing criticisms. If you want to develop a growth mindset, you need to learn to accept your mistakes. Do not fear what people say, fear what you will say to yourself.

Accept your mistakes rather than blaming others for your mistakes. If you try to hide your mistakes, you are hiding important lessons and making roadblocks yourself.

Above are some tips to develop a growth mindset. If you read carefully you will also able to compare the growth mindset vs. fixed mindset.

Tips for a Growth mindset at work

Do you want to grow your career? You need to develop a growth mindset at work first.

Find the important tips to follow for having a growth mindset at work below:

  • Be a leader: Leaders are not born but they are created. And behind every creation, there is a creator. So, if you want to see yourself as a leader, you need to be a creator and creation for yourself. A leadership quality at work is like a diamond in the coal mine.
  • Be a motivator: There will be many times your team has to go through new challenges. If you and your team are not highly motivated, chances you will be not able to complete your task at the promised time. A growth mindset requires you to be highly self-motivated.
  • Find the solution, not a new problem: At work, it is common to see problems comes in and out like tides. A person with a fixed mindset fear of problems, and instead of working they keep ranting about the problems. A person with a growth mindset believes in taking action than leaving problems as it is.
  • Look for learning opportunities: Feel lucky enough if learning opportunities are coming your way. A growth mindset requires you to be a life long learner. Learn from your new projects, seniors, teammates, etc.
  • Multitasking with focus: It is not easy for someone to multitasker and at the same time remain focused. But if your priorities and organize your work, you can easily focus on work and still can do multitasking making you learn things in no time.


I hope this guide Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset is helpful to you. Keep in mind, if you want to develop growth mindset, you need to understand your mindset first.

Most people have the combo of these two mindsets but things become worst when the composition of fixed mindset is larger than growth mindset.

Make sure, you practice the tips shared in this article and build a growth mindset attitude in you. If you had loved this article never hesitate to share this lesson with others. Remember; learn, practice, and share! I wish you a bright future.