When you are thinking about your mindset, there is a lot to consider. Not only are there positive and negative attitude toward people, things, and situations, but there are two very distinct mindsets: fixed and growth. It is possible to have one or the other, but most people have both, yet lean a little more toward fixed or a little more toward growth. This is important to understand because it might be keeping you from achieving optimal self-improvement.
The first type of mindset to learn about is called a fixed mindset. The fixed mindset is one where your thoughts, feelings, and personality traits are those that are mostly unchanging. There isn’t much room for growth here because you can tend to have your set mindset about different aspects of life. A good example is looking at success in people. Someone with a growth mindset might see potential in learning and developing skills to be successful, while someone with a fixed mindset looks at it more like you were born with a talent that is going to make you successful.
As you might have guessed, the growth mindset is the complete opposite. This is the person who believes you can keep growing and changing with the right amount of effort and tools. Your intelligence is not something that is “fixed” or set in stone – if you put in the work and gain more experience, you can achieve success and actually change your fundamental traits and talents. This is the person who can start anywhere and with any level of talent, and still achieve success by continued to work hard toward their goals.
Can You Be Both?
Looking at these definitions, you might see one as better than the other, or perhaps you are definitely a fixed or growth mindset. There are a few important things to keep in mind. For one thing, one is not necessarily better or worse than the other, it just might keep you from achieving your full potential. Another important aspect of the fixed VS growth mindset is that it is not uncommon to have a little of both.
Perhaps you believe that you shouldn’t try as hard at something because you have a slight fixed mindset that is keeping you from gaining enough confidence to try, but a part of you still wants to learn – you probably have a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and just need to nurture that growth part of your brain.