Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

The only time we grow in comfort zone and character is when we are under pressure. This was shared with me many years ago and I have been testing it ever since. I have come to the conclusion that it is true.

When we are relaxed and happy, we are resting and recovering, and we don’t grow but our body and mind recover which is critically important. However, when we are under pressure we grow. We grow in many ways and that is why I love being under pressure as well as resting and recovering.

Growth or Fixed mindset?

How you frame situations determines your response to them. If you see pressure as negative, you will respond negatively, and this will result in less energy and a less productive mindset. If you frame it positively you will enjoy the experience and see it as a growth opportunity.

This is what the experts call a Growth Mindset. I came across this article which describes it very well.

“Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students’ attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks.

After studying the behaviour of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.

When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore, they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.

Recent advances in neuroscience have shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever knew. Research on brain plasticity has shown how connectivity between neurons can change with experience.

With practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones, and build insulation that speeds transmission of impulses.

These neuroscientific discoveries have shown us that we can increase our neural growth by the actions we take, such as using good strategies, asking questions, practicing, and following good nutrition and sleep habits.

At the same time that these neuroscientific discoveries were gaining traction, researchers began to understand the link between mindsets and achievement. It turns out, if you believe your brain can grow, you behave differently.

So the researchers asked, “Can we change mindsets? And if so, how?” This began a series of interventions and studies that prove we can indeed change a person’s mindset from fixed to growth, and when we do, it leads to increased motivation and achievement.

For example, 7th graders who were taught that intelligence is malleable and shown how the brain grows with effort showed a clear increase in math grades. 

In addition to teaching kids about malleable intelligence, researchers started noticing that teacher practice has a big impact on student mindset, and the feedback that teachers give their students can either encourage a child to choose a challenge and increase achievement or look for an easy way out.

For example, studies on different kinds of praise have shown that telling children they are smart encourages a fixed mindset, whereas praising hard work and effort cultivates a growth mindset.

When students have a growth mindset, they take on challenges and learn from them, therefore increasing their abilities and achievement.” 

Great advice

What great information this is and this dovetails into everything I teach on Mental Resilience summed up by the famous phrase ‘if you think you can or think you can’t you are right either way.’

I have a busy week ahead of me which includes running my 2 hour Mental Resilience Masterclass to 100 GPs about the importance of stress management and mental resilience.

I can’t believe that tomorrow Sunday 9th I turn 66 years of age and yet I feel like I am 50. I’m fired up for the next 14 years of fun and achievement and my Growth Mindset is helping me achieve amazing things.

Thoughts for the week.

  1. Do you have a growth or a fixed mindset?
  2. Do you believe that you can achieve more than you currently are?
  3. This week observe how you approach challenges do you see them as growth opportunities, or do you look for an easy way out?
  4. A growth mindset gives you a great opportunity to achieve your potential, so this week start the process of cultivation one.

Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and keep Believing.

Warm regards


Off the Wall – How to Develop World Class Mental Resilience available HERE (Special offer. Put in code 10POUND when prompted to receive a signed copy for £10 including postage and packing – UK only

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