There is a view of human intelligence as static—you either have it or you don’t. This belief is dangerous because it produces an unhealthy, limiting effect on what people think they can do. A person with a fixed mindset will give up easily when faced with a difficult challenge, while someone with a growth mindset will use the difficulty as motivation to keep going and overcome the challenge. The truth is that your intelligence is not fixed, and anything is possible if you set your mind to it. But what are the pros and cons of a fixed mindset?
As is the case with most other areas of human behavior, positive thinking has been shown to produce better results in virtually every field of human endeavor. This idea explains why creative people tend to be more optimistic. If they believe their ideas are superior, then they are more likely to take them on and try them out in the world. They might not always succeed, but at least they are willing to risk failure compared with someone who thinks that his ideas may turn out horrid.
On the other hand, Cornell psychology professor Angela Duckworth has shown that the biggest predictor of whether someone will achieve in an area is how much they intrinsically value that area. So, if you believe you are good at a particular subject, then you are more likely to put in the effort to learn it and further develop your skills. If you don’t think you’re very good at your subject, then you will be less motivated to put in the hours necessary to learn it and master it.
The growth mindset is especially relevant to sports because an athlete has to put in a lot of effort to get as good as they can be. A person with a fixed mindset will tend to have a low opinion of their own abilities, so they might not take on the challenge. Even if they do overcome the challenge, they won’t know whether or not they could have done it if given more time.
What is a fixed mindset?
A fixed mindset is a belief that intelligence is essentially unchanging and that you can’t do much to improve it. It is very common among low achievers, especially in sports. The problem with this mindset is that not many people really think this way. Rather, they think that some things are out of their control and others can be improved with effort.
What are the pros of a fixed mindset?
A fixed mindset is typically viewed as a problem. However, there are some benefits to being fixed-minded. These include:
1. High-pressure situations usually don’t bother you.
Being stuck in a tough situation tends to motivate people with a growth mindset, but not those with a fixed mindset. Sometimes the motivation from a difficult situation can backfire and cause tunnel vision and get in the way of achieving one’s potential, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
2. You tend not to psyche yourself out.
The one thing that most fixed-minded people lack is confidence. They constantly doubt their ability and think they will fail at tasks they haven’t even attempted yet. However, this can have its advantages too:
Being self-critical has been shown to be good quality because it prevents you from making mistakes and improves your learning curve.
You don’t have to constantly second-guess yourself so much. Setting targets and taking action is usually pretty straightforward, so you can let go of your doubts and just do it.
3. You might be less likely to quit when the going gets tough.
When things get tough, many fixed-minded people quit because they think that they won’t be able to handle it. However, this is usually not the case. Being stuck in a situation may motivate them to give it their all, and achieving the goals can actually boost their confidence. This effect is greater when you don’t have any expectations about success, so it’s good to set your own goals accordingly.
What are the cons of a fixed mindset?
A fixed-minded person thinks he can’t do much about his inherent traits, either. He doesn’t think that he can improve his intelligence or anything else. The traits that are fixed in this way include:
Fixed-minded people think they aren’t good at a lot of things and just can’t get better, no matter what they do. This isn’t true, because your cognitive ability is not fixed. There are some things you can do to improve your intelligence, like:
2. Deliberate practice.
Studies suggest that athletes who use deliberate practice get better faster. It’s not about working on the most important skills in the world, because it’s not possible to know which skills are the most important. When you practice something enough, you get good at it.
3. Setting realistic goals.
If you set unrealistic goals, you won’t believe that you can achieve them. This will cause you to give up when things get tough. If, however, you set realistic goals for yourself, then you are more likely to achieve them and boost your confidence when things get tough.
4. Seeking performance feedback.
Getting feedback from other people is essential in order to improve yourself because it allows assessments of yourself in comparison with others and will show the areas where needed improvements can be made. For many people, though, feedback is discouraging and can cause them to give up when things get tough.
5. Sticking with the process of improvement.
It takes more than a couple of sessions to make lasting changes in an area that you are not good at. It can also take years before you can see the results of your hard work and improve on your weaknesses. That’s why it is important to be consistent.
6. Being proactive, goal-oriented, and persistent.
If you are passive and don’t believe in your ability to succeed, then you won’t be able to do much about your circumstances. A fixed mindset leads to passiveness, and people with this mindset tend not to be goal-oriented. Instead, they let the ball drop when things get difficult or boring because they assume they can’t do anything about it.
What is the difference between fixed and growth mindset?
The difference between a fixed and growth mindset is that a fixed mindset thinks your intelligence and other important qualities are fixed at a certain level, and you can’t do much about them. When people have this belief, they usually don’t try very hard with anything because they assume that there isn’t much they can do to improve their abilities.
In contrast, the type of mindset which is characterized by optimism and resilience in the face of failure is called a growth mindset.
In a growth mindset, you are open to the possibility that your abilities can change and grow with time and effort. People with a growth mindset tend to be willing to work hard towards their goals, and are generally more likely to achieve them.
In conclusion, I think that an important thing to understand is that a fixed-minded person isn’t necessarily inferior. What they lack is motivation and belief in their abilities – so it’s not all bad. The trick is convincing yourself that you can do better. These are things that are fairly easy to change and don’t require much effort.
The main thing is to realize that you can’t change your intelligence or personality, but you can still do everything you can to be the best person you can be. Try to adopt a growth mindset and make your life better!