Mindset Summary: Ideology of Fixed and Growth Mindsets

Mindset by Carol Dweck

The Mindset will open your mind and will teach you why you should change because whatever you have now, won’t stay the same forever whether it’s business or the way you’re living, everything needs to be upgraded.

Carol Dweck has talked about fixed and growth mindsets, which simply means, how one person can move forward with life by adding new things while another person is too afraid to add new things because of fear.

Mindset Quotes

“Becoming is better than being”

“I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement or I feel I’ve done as well as I possibly could.”

“it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.”

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Mindset Summary

Diagram by Mindsetworks

I have already told you that Carol Dweck has talked about fixed and growth mindsets in her book, so let’s explore further…

Which mindset do you have? Let’s find out

Read each statement and decide whether you mostly agree with it or disagree with it.

  1. Your intelligence is something very basic about you, that you can’t change very much.
  2. You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.
  3. No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit.
  4. You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.

Don’t read further, drum role, now let’s see whether you have fixed and growth mindsets.

Questions 1 and 2 are fixed-mindset questions. Questions 3 and 4 reflect the growth mindset.

Which mindset did you agree with more? You can be a mixture, but most people lean toward one or the other.

Here are some more ways to think about mindsets.

  • Think about someone you know who is steeped in a fixed mindset. Think about how they’re always trying to prove themselves and how they’re super sensitive about being wrong or making mistakes. Did you ever wonder why they were this way? (Are you this way?) Now you can begin to understand why.
  • Think about someone you know who is skilled in the growth mindset-someone who understands those important qualities can be cultivated. Think about the ways they confront obstacles. Think about the things they do to stretch themselves. What are some ways you might like to change or stretch yourself?

Okay, now imagine you’ve decided to learn a new language and you’ve signed up for a class. A few sessions into the course, the instructor calls you to the front of the room and starts throwing questions at you one after another.

Put yourself in a fixed mindset. Your ability is on the line. Can you feel everyone’s eyes on you? Can you see the instructor’s face evaluating you? Feel the tension, feel your ego bristle and waver. What else are you thinking and feeling?

Now put yourself in a growth mindset. You’re a novice that’s why you’re here. You’re here to learn. The teacher is a resource for learning. Feel the tension leave you; feel your mind open up.

The message is: You can change your mindset.

Brain Waves Study

People with a fixed mindset were only interested when the feedback reflected their ability. Their brain waves showed them paying close attention when they were told whether their answers were right or wrong.

But when they were presented with information that could help them learn, there was no sign of interest. Even when they’d gotten an answer wrong, they were not interested in learning what the right answer was.

Only people with a growth mindset paid close attention to information that could stretch their knowledge. Only for them was learning a priority.


Many parents think that when they judge and punish, they are teaching, as in “I’ll teach you a lesson you’ll never forget.”

What are they teaching?

They are teaching their children that if they go against their parent’s rules or values, they’ll be judged and punished.

Here is an example from the book,

Sixteen-year-old Alyssa came to her mother and said that she and her friends wanted to try alcohol. Could she invite them over for a “cocktail party? On the face of it, this might seem outrageous.

But here’s what Alyssa meant.

She and her friends had been going to parties where alcohol was available, but they didn’t want to try it in a setting where they didn’t feel safe and in control. They also didn’t want to drive home after drinking. They wanted to try it in a supervised setting, with their parent’s permission, where their parents could come and pick them up afterward.

It doesn’t matter whether Alyssa’s parents said yes or no. They had a full discussion of the issues involved. They had a far more instructive discussion than what would have followed from an outraged, angry, and judgmental dismissal.

It’s not that growth-minded parents indulge and coddle their children. Not at all. They set high standards, but they teach the children how to reach them. They say no, but it’s a fair, thoughtful, and respectful no.

Next time you’re in a position to discipline, ask yourself, What is the message I’m sending here: I will judge and punish you? Or I will help you think and learn?


Change can be tough, but I’ve never heard anyone say it wasn’t worth it. Maybe they’re just rationalizing, the way people who’ve gone through a painful initiation say it was worth it.

But people who’ve changed can tell you how their lives have been enhanced. They can tell you about things they have now that they wouldn’t have had, and ways they feel now that they wouldn’t have felt.

Did changing toward a growth mindset solve all my problems? No.

But I know that I have a different life because it is a richer one. And that I’m a more alive, courageous, and open person because of it. It’s for you to decide whether change is right for you now.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But either way, keep the growth mindset in your thoughts. Then, when you bump up against obstacles, you can turn to them.

It will always be there for you, showing you a path into the future.

Mindset Book Review

I won’t lie, before reading the Mindset book, I had read tons of self-help books and that was the main reason, I didn’t find this book very helpful.

I already knew, what Carol Dweck was talking about, there was some point that made me realize something but other than that, I feel, this book didn’t add value to my life. Now, if I had read this book back in 2010 or even 2015 then it could have added great value.

Talking about yourself, if you haven’t read books like, Atomic Habits, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, The courage to be disliked, and even Ego Is the Enemy then Mindset by Carol Dweck won’t make a huge impact on your life.

When it comes to reading books, I always look for value because I’m investing 4 or five hours or more.

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