Walnuts looking like human brain

Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

What’s the difference?

Having a growth mindset is essential for success in life and of course, in your career as well. Whether you choose to be an employee or an entrepreneur.

A growth mindset means that you believe your intelligence and talents can be developed over time, you are more likely to take risks and try new things, as well as being open to feedback and criticism. This type of attitude encourages learning and development, which can lead to greater success in the long run.

A fixed mindset means that you believe intelligence is fixed—so if you’re not good at something, you might believe you’ll never be good at it. If you believe that your intelligence is fixed, then it’s easy to become discouraged when faced with challenges or difficulties. You may also be less likely to take risks or try new things if you think that failure is inevitable due to your limited abilities.

With a growth mindset, you can approach any challenge with the belief (yes, notice this word – belief!) that you can learn and improve your skills over time. For example, you are unhappy in your current job and you know there could be better opportunities for you. But you’ve spend 15 years as an HR professional, you have raised through the corporate ranks, you have achieved a lot but you’re now no longer desiring to continue on the same path. If you have a growth mindset, you’d not get discouraged. You’d look at new challenges and opportunities as an area for growth and exploration. You may not have an experience in the new field (let’s say you love photography and would like to have your own digital photography studio) but you’re open to learn new things, new ways of being and figuring out how to achieve that goal. You won’t be discouraged by the fact that you may not have had prior experience or knowledge of the subject matter. Instead, you will be motivated to put in the effort necessary to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed.

On the other hand, having a fixed mindset can lead to feelings of discouragement and defeat before even attempting something new. For instance, if someone with a fixed mindset is presented with the same challenge as mentioned above (learning how to run a business), they may think “I’ve never been good with math, let alone dealing with taxes! I’m not cut out to run my own business” and give up before even trying. This type of thinking limits potential success because it assumes that one’s abilities are static and unchangeable over time.

Why should you have a growth mindset?

It’s probably very clear from the above description how that benefits you but here are 3 more examples:

1. Growth mindset allows you to explore new territories

Having a growth mindset can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to pursuing new career directions or even entrepreneurship. It allows you to explore opportunities that may have been out of your reach before.

By having a growth mindset, you open yourself up to new possibilities and gain access to resources that will help you achieve success in whatever venture you choose.

2. Growth mindset cultivates your resilience

Having a resilient mindset is essential for anyone as it allows you to persevere through difficult situations and learn from your mistakes. According to research conducted by Carol Dweck, those with a fixed mindset showed no brain activity when reviewing mistakes they made on a test, while those with a growth mindset showed processing activity.

This suggests that having a fixed mindset can physically prevent you from learning from mistakes, while having a growth mindset can empower you to perceive mistakes as learning opportunities. And this is what I tell my clients as well – let’s see mistakes as learning opportunities and not failures! It is really important! That also enables you to remain focused and motivated despite the inevitable challenges and setbacks you may be facing on your journey.

It also helps you to stay open-minded and willing to take risks in order to achieve success. You may be aware that success happens outside of your comfort zone! With resilience comes the ability to move forward confidently in spite of any obstacles that may arise along the way.

3. Growth mindset keeps you humble

It helps to keep you humble and open to learning new things. You know that you always have to be learning, be open to new opportunities and you pretty much never stop exploring!


The neuroscience of a growth mindset

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you may have heard me saying that we’re electromagnetic human beings. And here’s the proof. We have EKG and EEG. So when the scientists want to measure the brain, they focus on electromagnetic activity… and so they did in this case as well to understand how the brain correlates with a growth mindset.

Using neuroimaging, researchers have found a link between a growth mindset and activation in two key areas of the brain. The results have shown that people with a growth mindset are more focused on the process, rather than the result.

Neuroscience also shows us that the brain continues to develop and change, even as adults. So as mentioned above, it’s never too late to start transforming yourself! The brain is similar to plastic in that it can be remolded over time, as new neural pathways form. This has led scientists to identify the tendency of the brain to change through growth and reorganization as ‘neuroplasticity’.

And now you may be asking:

How can I then develop a growth mindset?

Here are 7 examples how to develop your growth mindset:

1. Realize that it’s in your hands! You can start thinking differently. Successful people do thing differently. You can also hire a coach so you can get challenged and pushed outside of your own mental box and comfort zone (yes, we can work together on this! Connect with me here)

2. Challenging yourself with new experiences, you can form or strengthen neural connections to ‘rewire’ your brain which, in turn, can make you smarter.

3. Stop listening to your gremlins! It’s that negative self-talk!

4. Reward the process and not the result! (For example this is a very important part for some kids and adults that need encouragement and are afraid of failure.)

5. Get feedback. It’s not to boost your ego, it’s about making sure you’re on track towards your goal.

6. Get out of your comfort zone! Yes, you’re hearing it again! It is essential to challenge yourself! If you can’t do it on your own, a great coach will challenge you and get you out of your comfort zone! Challenging times are here for your growth!

7. Again, accept failure as part of the learning process! It’s a lesson learned, not a failed attempt! I like to call it “another way how things don’t work”.

How you think affects what you achieve

Having a growth mindset is essential for achieving success in life, having a fixed mindset can be the exact opposite. As a transformational coach, I understand the importance of adopting a growth mindset and if you choose to work with me, I will provide you with tools and strategies that will help you to create the life you want. Here’s one warning though – positive thinking on it’s own will not get you results! If you are a high achiever that values personal development and is willing to take an uncomfortable action, book your free consultation session here.

In another words, think about having a growth mindset as having your freedom! It’s working from possibility and not from scarcity. It’s your lifelong learning opportunity! So don’t waste time being trapped in your mind, explore new ways of being! That’s how you can get what you truly desire! And if you’re ready, click the link above to connect with me.

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