Growth and Fixed Mindsets

Fixed mindset people believe that ability is essentially a fixed thing.

This implies that if they are succeeding then this is due to their natural talent and all is well with the world.  However it also implies that if they are falling short of their own high expectations then there is no explanation other than not being as good as they thought they were.  Failure thus challenges their whole sense of self.  The upshot of this is that the fixed mindset person quickly learns to avoid failure at all costs.

On occasion this can lead to some heroic efforts to succeed, but more often than not it simply means giving up on something as soon as it becomes tough and as soon as it threatens their self-esteem.

The growth mindset person doesn’t believe that their ability is a fixed thing.  They tend to take a long-term view, embracing failure as an opportunity to learn and develop.

Fear of failure holds most of us back and starves us of the opportunity to learn and grow.  Freedom from this fear takes out an entire layer of stress, allows for clear thinking and arguably is the single biggest driver of success itself.


Further Action

  • Think about what you have given up or not even started due to Fear of Failure.
  • Find something which you would have previously avoided and start it. Make a note of every time you fail and how you and those around you react.


Further Reading

  • “Mindset”. Carol Dweck
  • “David Vs Goliath”. Malcolm Gladwell
  • “The Age of Absurdity”.Michael Foley