Learn, Share, Grow - Growth vs Fixed Mindset

learn share grow

January 17, 2022

Below is a lesson from Farnam Street on growth and fixed mindsets, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.

Carol Dweck: A Summary of Growth and Fixed Mindsets

There are two main mindsets we can navigate life with: growth and fixed. Having a growth mindset is essential for success. In this post, we explore how to develop the right mindset for improving your intelligence.


Carol Dweck studies human motivation. She spends her days diving into why people succeed (or don’t) and what’s within our control to foster success. Her theory of the two mindsets and the difference they make in outcomes is incredibly powerful.

As she describes it: “My work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. My research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.”

Her inquiry into our beliefs is synthesized in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. The book takes us on a journey into how our conscious and unconscious thoughts affect us and how something as simple as wording can have a powerful impact on our ability to improve.

Dweck’s work shows the power of our most basic beliefs. Whether conscious or subconscious, they strongly “affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it.” Much of what we think we understand of our personality comes from our “mindset.” This both propels us and prevents us from fulfilling our potential.

In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck writes:

What are the consequences of thinking that your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait?

Continue Reading Here.

 Key Learnings:

  • Fixed mindset – if you believe that your qualities are unchangeable you will want to prove yourself correct over and over rather than learn from your mistakes.
    Culturally desirable — Intelligence, personality and character. It’s normal to want this.
  • Growth mindset — based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.
  • Growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning.
    The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, especially when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.
  • Our ideas about risk and effort come from our mindset. Some people realize the value of challenging themselves, they want to put in the effort to learn and grow.
  • Others, however, would rather avoid the effort feeling like it doesn’t matter.
  • As you begin to understand the fixed and growth mindsets, you will see exactly how one thing leads to another. How your beliefs lead to host of thoughts and actions.
  • People with fixed mindsets read and learn but can’t put this into practice.
  • People with a growth mindset convert life's setbacks into future successes -- the kind of perseverance and resilience in creative achievement produced by a growth mindset.
  • In a growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience, but it doesn't define you. It's a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.
  • Operating just outside of your comfort zone is the key to improving your performance and a critical element to deliberate practice.
  • Don't praise intelligence or talent, praise the work ethic.

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