Mindset: Fixed & Growth

What I liked:

Carol exposes two beliefs that, when one is followed, can be helpful in stressful situations. I liked it because I related to it and I think it will be one of the thoughts I’ll refer back to as I go through this journey of computer programming.mindset

Source: Podcast

The Art of Manliness: The Importance of Mindset with Carol Dweck

Two Mindsets: Fixed & Growth

Fixed: My level of intelligence is static and fixed. There is no such thing as getting really great at something if it’s not something that comes natural. If it’s a struggle to learn then it’s not something I can do.

Basic qualities/talent and abilities are fixed traits. We have a certain amount and that’s it.

Growth: Through hard work and commitment to learning, I can develop skills and intelligence in that field. Talent is great, but skills can be acquired. If it’s a struggle to learn then I will grow even more through those mistakes.

People differ, even the most basic talent and abilities can be developed through hard work, good strategy, input and mentoring from others.

The I in Fixed vs. Growth

Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
Am I smart? My abilities will develop
Am I not smart? Set backs are a natural part of learning
Do I look smart? Is this strategy the right strategy?
Will people think I’m not smart b/c of mistakes? Who are these people? Am I a mind reader?
*Refer to Feeling Good


Feedback that promotes growth:


  • Praise more specifically.
    • “That is a great strategy!” vs. “You are so smart!”
  • Praising ability and intelligence set people up for fixed mindsets.
    • “You’re so smart” alludes to a fixed trait – the person will be worried about the next time when they don’t look as ‘smart’ or ‘good’.
    • Examples of specific praises are strategy, focus, and improvements
  • Specific praises implies abilities can be developed and ‘this is how you do it’

Fixed & Growth Mindsets in Relationships:

Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
I need to prove myself right always I need to focus on the issue
When something goes wrong, who’s the bad guy? There’s no bad guy, there’s a bad situation and we’re going to do something about it
  • Fixed mindsets can lead us into the black hole of trying to figure out who the bad guy is in the situation.

Is he the bad guy? Am I the bad guy? Is this relationship bad? Does this mean we’re not meant to be together?

Ways to adopt the Growth Mindset (ATF)

  1. Acknowledge that I have fixed tendencies
  2. Tune into these tendencies, when do they kick in?
    • I’m trying something that is a challenge
    • I experience set backs
    • I compare myself to someone else
    • I’m being criticised
  3. Fight back on these trigger thoughts
    • Encourage myself
    • Remind myself that growth is possible

Growth Vs. Fixed during Stressful Periods

Fixed Mindset Growth Mindset
I’m letting myself go I will keep myself intact
I’m not cleaning up after myself I’ll clean up after myself because it’ll make me feel better
My plans and deadlines aren’t important I’ll continue to get up and show up
  • Why continue when you feel it ‘doesn’t matter’? It’s important to continue because this mood will lift and you want to be prepared to re-face the challenge when it does


Other Notes:

  • Reaction is key for developing growth minded children
    • Reaction: This failure is so terrible – will be received as something personal to the child
    • Reaction: This failure is actually not a ‘failure’. It’s something that is interesting and can help you learn. Talk about it.
  • Fixed mindset for women in Computer science
    • It’s especially harmful to women in areas were women are negatively stereotyped
      • Fixed mindset – it’s fixed and your group doesn’t have it
        • “Less women in computer science because woman are not strong in this area”
        • If she starts struggling or doing poorly, the fixed mindset finds itself proven to be true



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