A few weeks ago I had an interesting talk with my best friend, Sonia. She told me about this book called “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. I was amazed to learn about it, so I would like to share my two cents about this topic. So the book talked about a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. What is the difference?
In a fixed mindset, people believe their ability and talent are fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. People with this mindset is defensive toward advice; they hate failure, cause it shows their weaknesses.
Example: People who only talk about what they are good at.
“I am talented. I own this big company, and I achieved these goals”. etc
FIXED MINDSET characteristics
• Avoid challenges
• Get defensive or easily give up when faced with obstacles
• See effort as fruitless
• Ignore useful or negative feedback
• Feel threatened by the success of others
In a growth mindset, people believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work— talent are just the starting point. People with this mindset have a character that always wants to learn and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. When people with a growth mindset face failure, they learn from it. They face their weaknesses and not defensive towards them. They understand that it’s always about the journey and process. They always find an opportunity to grow and therefore, very open to advise. In conclusion, people with a growth mindset believe that everyone can change through effort.
GROWTH MINDSET characteristics
• See failure as an opportunity
• Embrace challenges
• Persist obstacles
• Value effort
• Learn from critics
• Find inspiration and lessons in the success of others
After knowing the difference, which one do you think you are?
For me, these mindsets are not only for our ability and talent. But it can also refer to our characters. Sometimes I can have a fixed mindset and say, “I am a very straight-forward person, so I can’t hang out with overly-sensitive people.” or when someone rejected my proposal, “Ok fine, I don’t need you, I’m better than you anyway.”
Nowadays, I see a lot of people give up on their relationship or marriage so quickly. The main reason being is, “If I have to work on it, it’s not meant to be.” or when someone thinks that having problems in their relationship indicate character flaws. or “I’m this type of person, my husband/boyfriend has to accept me the way I am.”
Learning this makes me realize that having a fixed mindset is very dangerous. If we have a growth mindset, I believe our characters are not fixed traits. Sure, we all have a different character to start with, but that doesn’t mean we cannot grow in that. I am naturally very bold, opinionated, and straight forward. But I can learn to be more considerate of other people who are more sensitive. Sure, I am not perfect; maybe sometimes it still slipped through my tongue. But I am a different person than I was two years ago.
In friendship, relationship, and marriage, there are a lot of things that we need to grow in. We have to be aware of the areas where we are falling short; instead of having a mindset that he/she needs to accept me the way I am. Or when someone says, “I can’t be with someone who has this x zodiac/blood type – cause it’s not compatible with my character traits.” Don’t get me wrong, I do respect people who genuinely believe in the zodiac/blood type, etc. but keep in mind that your characters are not fixed traits and you have the power to change and grow in that. From my own experience, having a fixed mindset can lead to a lot of problem in relationship and marriage, so this post is a reminder for myself to always to have a growth mindset — cheers to a better version of us. 🙂