Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

“I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and non-learners.” -Benjamin Barber

Mindsets are powerful beliefs

Mindsets are just beliefs; powerful ones, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change them.
Just by being aware of the two mindsets (fixed and growth), you can start thinking and reacting in different ways. It’s also important to realize that even if people have a fixed mindset, they’re not always in that mindset. Many people have elements of both.

1.1 The Two Mindsets

There are two main mindsets we can navigate life with: growth and fixed.

A. The Fixed Mindset

Our view of ourselves can determine everything. If we believe that our qualities are unchangeable — the fixed mindset — we will want to prove ourselves correct over and over rather than learning from our mistakes.

1.2 The Two Mindsets

B. The Growth Mindset

The passion for stretching ourselves and sticking to it, even (or 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.

In short, having a growth mindset is essential for success. The growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning.

The growth mindset and change

The growth mindset shows that people can change, but it doesn’t tell you how much change is possible or how long change will take.

The growth mindset also doesn’t mean everything that can be changed should be changed. We all need to accept some of our imperfections, especially the ones that don’t really harm our lives or the lives of others.

Fixed Mindset in Detail

Intelligence is static. Leads to a desire, to look smart and therefore a tendency to…

  • Challenges: avoid challenges
  • Obstacles: give up easily
  • Effort: see effort as fruitless or worse
  • Criticism: ignore useful negative feedback
  • Success of Others: feel threatened by the success of others

As a result, they may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential.

All this confirms a deterministic view of the world.

Growth Mindset in Detail

Intelligence can be developed. Leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to…

  • Challenges: embrace challenges
  • Obstacles: persist in the face of setbacks
  • Effort: see effort as the path to mastery
  • Criticism: learn from criticism
  • Success of Others: find lessons and inspiration in the success of others

As a result, they reach ever-higher levels of achievement.

All this gives them a greater sense of will.

Mindsets in relationships

People with a fixed mindset usually say the ideal partner would:

  • Put them on a pedestal
  • Make them feel perfect
  • Worship them

People with the growth mindset hope their ideal partner is someone who would:

  • See their faults and help them to work on them
  • Challenge them to become a better person
  • Encourage them to learn new things

Having “potential”

  • The fixed mindset says that tests or experts can tell us what our potential is, what we’re capable of, what our future will be: you can simply measure the fixed ability right now and project it into the future.
  • The idea that one evaluation can measure you forever is what creates urgency for those with a fixed mindset: they must succeed perfectly and immediately.
  • But many of the most accomplished people of our era were considered by experts to have no future.

The fixed mindset and entitlement

When people with a fixed mindset usually try to prove that they’re special. The problem is when special begins to mean better than others.

People who believe in fixed traits feel an urgency to succeed, and when they do succeed, they feel and display a sense of superiority because their victory means that they (and their traits) are better than the rest of the people.

Mindsets and failure

  • For the fixed mindset, failure is transformed from an action (I failed) to an identity (I am a failure). For people with this mindset, failure can define them in a permanent way. And they might try to repair their self-esteem by assigning blame or making excuses.
  • Failure can be a painful experience for the growth mindset too. But it doesn’t define people. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.

Effort is terrifying for the fixed mindset

From the point of view of the fixed mindset, effort is only for people with deficiencies. Needing it casts a shadow on your ability.

Effort also leaves you with no excuses. Without effort, you can always say, “I could have been …” But once you try, you can’t say that anymore.

7 Steps to Developing a Growth Mindset

  1. Be curious
  2. Be optimistic
  3. Listen to your inner voice: believe in yourself
  4. Make a conscious choice
  5. Replace the negative with the positive
  6. Use the power of “yet”
  7. Take Action! 

From the book:-
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

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