fixed vs growth mindset examples

12 Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset Examples

If you are looking for fixed mindset vs growth mindset examples, they are all around you! In fact, you probably have an opportunity to see the difference between a fixed vs growth mindset at least once per hour!

While there are plenty of fixed mindset vs growth mindset examples in everyday life, it isn’t always easy to spot them. You will find that it also isn’t always easy to choose a growth mindset. Especially when a fixed mindset trigger is trying to make a mess of your day!

It sounds obvious to say it, but at some point throughout your life you are going to be challenged. It may be a small obstacle that puts a minor wrinkle in your day, or it could be a life changing tragedy that you are faced with. Whether it is this hour, this week, or at some point throughout the year, you will be challenged.

a snail refusing to give up

Even when we know that challenges and obstacles are coming, we still seem to find a way to react poorly to them. If we know that bad things are going to happen, why don’t we prepare ourselves to react better?

I am going to share a series of examples of a fixed mindset and examples of growth mindset. These examples will help you react with growth and gratitude when you face challenges. When you read these examples, my hope is that you can see yourself in them. This will help you understand how to change the way you react to your own similar challenges in your life.

Before sharing fixed mindset vs growth mindset examples, I want to share two quick definitions for each mindset so that you can fully appreciate the power of each example.

Definition of a Fixed Mindset

The definition of a fixed mindset explains a way of thinking that believes in avoiding challenges and obstacles. A person who has a fixed mindset does not see the value in being challenged.

Often, people with a fixed mindset avoid challenges because they fear failure. These types of people believe that failure is a sign of weakness. They feel that if they attempt a challenge, they risk losing their credibility, intelligence, status, or other traits they value.

a person jumping over the word 'risk'

A person with a fixed mindset does not want to hear feedback or criticism. They believe that any sort of commentary on their skills is a sign that they are flawed in some way. These are the types of people who believe (or have been told) that they are naturally gifted at things. If you tell someone like this how you think they could improve, they may get defensive and confrontational.

A fixed mindset isn’t always the default setting for everyone. We all have our own triggers that make us react in different ways. The trick is to learn to identify these triggers and change the reaction before it is too late!

For motivation to stay focused on growth and embracing challenges, check out our bundle of 8 mindset definition posters. Hanging these posters in your office or at home will remind you to choose growth through any challenges or setbacks that you encounter!

mindset definitions poster bundle
Use these 8 mindset definition posters to keep you focused on developing a growth mindset!

What is a Growth Mindset?

By contrast, a growth mindset definition explains a way of thinking that is vastly different from the fixed mindset. People with a growth mindset embrace the idea of challenges and obstacles. These are the types of people who become energized by the idea of wrestling with a problem to see what they can learn.

People with a growth mindset see their strengths as developing, so they aren’t afraid to take a risk. There isn’t some sort of status that they fear losing by just trying something new. A person with a growth mindset who experiences failure hunts for how they can improve for next time. They don’t believe that intelligence or talent is fixed at birth.

In the book Mindset, Carol Dweck provides a powerful explanation for how a growth mindset can be used in our lives. If you have’t read the book, consider checking out our 5 key takeaways from Carol Dweck’s Mindset to learn how you can transform the way you work, parent, and live your life with your loved ones.

growth mindset by Carol Dweck book

Comparing Examples of a Fixed Mindset and Examples of Growth Mindset

Let’s get into some examples so that you can see the power of a growth mindset in action! To best illustrate the differences between a fixed vs growth mindset, I have paired a fixed mindset statement with a reworked growth mindset version immediately following it.

Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset Examples About Effort

A growth mindset believes that effort is the key to developing skills. By contrast, a fixed mindset believes that we are all born with a limit to what we can accomplish and that effort is just not worth it.

The following examples apply to general scenarios where effort is involved. It is likely that you have said or felt at least some of these fixed mindset statements before. Think of a time where the effort felt so demanding that it made you want to quit. Next time you feel like this, try the growth mindset statement instead!

scissors cutting the 'im' off of the word 'impossible'

Fixed mindset statement: I can’t do it, it’s too hard.
Growth mindset statement: Even though it is hard, I can do anything I put my mind to, and will come out stronger as a result.

Fixed mindset statement: I am terrible at this.
Growth mindset statement: This is definitely difficult, but with practice I know I can get better at it.

Fixed mindset statement: I’m going to fail, so why bother.
Growth mindset statement: I may fail if I try, but there will be so much to learn throughout to help me grow.

Fixed mindset statement: I can’t do that! There is already someone out there doing it better than me.
Growth mindset statement: There are other people that are better at it than I am. But they got there by practicing and working hard, and I can too.

Fixed mindset statement: I give up.
Growth mindset statement: If I just keep trying and learning from my mistakes, I know I can master this.

Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset Examples About Learning

Learning is an important part of developing new skills. A growth mindset perspective believes that you can learn anything if you are willing to put in the time to make it stick. My favourite quote from Einstein says this best: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Think of a time where you used the following fixed mindset statements. Next time you feel these, try to apply the growth mindset statement instead.

learn from failure

Fixed mindset statement: I’m too old to learn a new skill.
Growth mindset statement: I have had so many great experiences throughout my life. I can use these to help me learn a new skill.

Fixed mindset statement: They are smarter than me.
Growth mindset statement: Things may come easier to them than they do to me. But we all have our own strengths. I just need to practice a bit more to master this.

Fixed mindset statement: I’m either good at something or I’m not.
Growth mindset statement: I can learn any new skill with practice and dedication.

Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset Examples About Feedback, Criticism, and Other People

We receive feedback and criticism everyday, whether it be at home, work, or school. While it may feel so, feedback and criticism are not always negative. The way we react to the feedback that is being provided is always in our control. Using a growth mindset to change the way we process feedback and criticism can help us find growth opportunities.

This is a particularly powerful skill to teach to children and students. Providing effective feedback is one of the most important requirements for learning to happen. During my time as a math teacher, I managed to transform the way my students reacted to feedback. Rather than internalizing failure, my students learned to use feedback as insight into how they could improve for next time.

arrows striking a target

Fixed and growth mindsets also differ greatly in how we react to other people and their successes. A fixed mindset tends to be envious and threatened by the successes of others. A growth mindset finds inspiration and lessons in others’ successes.

Next time you are faced with criticism, feedback, or jealousy, remember these fixed mindset vs growth mindset examples:

Fixed mindset statement: I failed that test because I am not good at math and never will be.
Growth mindset statement: I failed that test. But I was able to get valuable feedback for how I can improve for next time!

Fixed mindset statement: I can’t believe my boss is criticizing my performance! Who do they think they are!
Growth mindset statement: It was hard to hear that criticism. I am going to spend some time reflecting to see if there is any valuable insight I can use to improve my skillset.

Fixed mindset statement: I can’t believe they are asking me to help out more around the house! Don’t I do enough around here!?
Growth mindset statement: They work really hard around here to make life so comfortable for us. I can really learn a lot from the way they spend their time so that I can start helping out more!

Fixed mindset statement: I can’t believe they gave that raise to someone else! They don’t work any harder than I do!
Growth mindset statement: It is great to see that they were awarded for their hard work! I will have to ask for some advice to see if they can share any productivity tips with me!

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset Examples in Your Life

Comparing examples of a fixed mindset and examples of growth mindset is an effective way to see the difference between the two. Seeing these examples side by side will help you understand how to develop a growth mindset in your own life.

Just remember, a growth mindset is not something you get and then simply have forever. We know that a growth mindset believes in the value of practice in mastering a skill. Developing a growth mindset is no different! It requires tons of practice! Consider keeping a list of motivational quotes on growth mindset to help you see the opportunities in the setbacks you face.

Even once you think you’ve found it, you will always still have fixed mindset triggers that appear in your life. However, the idea is that by seeing these examples of a fixed mindset and examples of growth mindset, you will start to be more intentional with the way you react.

Take some time to slow down and analyze the small setbacks you experience throughout your day. There is value in every challenge we face, no matter how big or small.

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who you think would benefit from using a growth mindset, this post could be what they need to start seeing the growth opportunities in their life!

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