Your mind has the power to make you sick or well. You can change your life by changing your mindset. That’s why I want to address the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset. We will start with an overview of the growth vs. fixed mindset comparison. Then, I will give you some easy tips to cultivate a growth mindset. I have noticed that people with a fixed mindset also have very stiff bodies. Interesting, right? Don’t neglect mindset work on your health and wellness journey ever.
Growth Vs. Fixed Mindset Comparison
In this section, we will compare the growth and fixed mindset by looking at what characterizes each mindset. The difference between a fixed and a growth mindset exists on a continuum. You likely oscillate between the two behaviors in some cases. The goal is to cultivate a growth mindset overall.
Characteristics of a Person With a Growth Mindset
What is a person with a growth mindset like? How does she go about living her life, overcoming challenges, receiving feedback, and dealing with conflicts? As you look at these growth mindset examples, you will get a good sense of what it means to be a person with a growth mindset.
Views Failure as a Chance to Learn
When you have a growth mindset, you understand that setbacks are a necessary part of the learning process. You will fail and fail again, but it’s ok. You are not seeking others’ approval. Instead, you are striving to learn and improve.
Perceives Critical Feedback as a Chance to Improve
Whenever someone offers critical feedback, you listen without taking it personally. Maybe it will be useful to learn and improve yourself, or maybe not. It could simply represent one person’s opinion. Either way, it doesn’t affect your self-worth.
Perseveres to Overcome Challenges
With a growth mindset, you embrace challenging tasks and work hard to achieve goals. Obstacles become a chance to experiment and solve problems.
Views Problems as Interesting
You don’t fear problems or conflicts. You don’t try to avoid them. Instead, you take time to observe because they provide interesting information about the other person or any given situation. You seek to learn from conflicts and problems.
Believes Anyone Can Learn Anything Through Practice
When you have a growth mindset, you love learning. You view intelligence, abilities, and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. Consequently, life is an exciting journey. Intelligence is a muscle that can grow.
For example, if you want to become flexible after age 40, you may decide that you have never been flexible, even as a child, and think that you will not succeed. Or tell yourself that you can learn to become flexible with hard work. Your choice!
Read Am I Too Old To Be Flexible? for more flexibility tips.
Characteristics of a Person With a Fixed Mindset
You most likely have some characteristics of the person with the growth mindset and the person with the fixed mindset.
Views Failure as Permanent
With a fixed mindset, you think failure means you are not good enough. You lack the necessary skills and abilities, so you are wasting your time.
Perceives Critical Feedback as a Personal Attack
You avoid feedback because poor feedback makes you feel inadequate. You receive it as a personal attack.
Gives Up When Faced With Challenges
You tend to give up when things get too difficult. You don’t persevere in the face of adversity because you don’t think you can learn.
When you have a fixed mindset, you avoid conflicts because you don’t approach problems with curiosity. Instead, you avoid them.
Thinks Abilities Stem From Past Accomplishments and are Fixed
You believe intelligence is a fixed trait that doesn’t change much (like eye color).
Science and the Growth Mindset
The brain grows like any muscle in the body. According to research, teaching students how to learn as a process rather than a goal improves motivation and long-term results.
For example, in this study, undergraduate students who learned about the brain’s neuroplasticity received more fulfillment from their academics. Students that understand the growth mindset get better grades.
Developing a Growth Mindset
Whether you have a growth or a fixed mindset isn’t eighter/or. You are most likely sitting somewhere in the middle range. Here are some tips for cultivating a growth mindset today:
- Look at my growth vs. fixed mindset comparison and determine where you can improve your growth mindset in specific ways.
- Set realistic goals to improve your growth mindset (pick something new to learn, for example)
- Pick daily choices you can make to improve your growth mindset (set a daily task to learn your new skill).
- Read some personal development books or listen to podcasts.
- Notice your behavior patterns. When you feel tempted to give up, listen to your internal dialogue.
- Learn about brain plasticity.
- Reflect on your progress and accomplishments. Keeping track of your progress will motivate you to keep going.
Would you like more guidance to improve your mindset? Check out my guide How To Master Your Mindset In 7 Days.