EngDiary 0045 - Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset

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  2. Mindsets


A watercolor painting of a person embodying a growth mindset. The person is depicted standing confidently, with an open book in one hand and a plant growing from the pages in the other. They are surrounded by symbols of learning and growth, such as light bulbs, gears, and an upward arrow. The background is a blend of vibrant colors, suggesting creativity and progress. The person has a determined expression, and the overall atmosphere of the painting is inspiring and uplifting.


Webber: Hi Alice, I was reading about growth mindset and fixed mindset recently. Have you heard about them?

Alice: Yes, I have! A growth mindset is when you believe that your abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort and persistence. On the other hand, a fixed mindset is when you think that your abilities are static and cannot change.

Webber: Exactly. It’s fascinating how these mindsets can affect our learning and success. People with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace challenges and learn from feedback, while those with a fixed mindset might avoid challenges and give up easily.

Alice: That’s true. I think having a growth mindset is really important, especially in a professional setting. It encourages continuous learning and improvement.

Webber: I agree. Do you have any tips on how to develop a growth mindset?

Alice: One effective way is to focus on the process rather than the outcome. Celebrate your efforts and progress, not just the final result. Also, try to view challenges as opportunities to grow rather than obstacles.

Webber: That makes sense. I’ve also read that it’s helpful to use positive language and to replace negative thoughts with more constructive ones.

Alice: Absolutely. Self-talk plays a big role in shaping our mindset. Instead of saying “I can’t do this,” try saying “I can’t do this yet.” It opens up the possibility for growth.

Webber: That’s a great point. I’ll try to apply these strategies in my daily life. It’s all about being open to learning and not being afraid to make mistakes.

Alice: Exactly. Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. The important thing is to learn from them and keep moving forward.

Webber: Thanks for the insights, Alice. This has been a really enlightening conversation.

Alice: You’re welcome, Webber. I’m glad we could discuss this. Let’s keep encouraging each other to maintain a growth mindset.

Webber: Definitely! Let’s do that. Have a great day!

Alice: You too, Webber!

Webber: Continuing our conversation, I’ve realized that shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset has completely changed how I view failures and setbacks. It’s made a huge difference in my professional life.

Alice: That’s great to hear, Webber. How has this change in perspective helped you?

Webber: Well, I used to see failure as a sign that I wasn’t good enough. But now, I see it as an opportunity to learn and improve. It’s helped me become more resilient and open to feedback.

Alice: That’s a significant shift. How do you handle setbacks now compared to before?

Webber: Before, I would get discouraged and sometimes give up when things didn’t go as planned. Now, I analyze what went wrong, seek advice, and try again with a better approach. It’s all about learning and growing from the experience.

Alice: It sounds like you’ve developed a much healthier and more productive approach. Have you noticed any specific benefits in your professional work?

Webber: Yes, definitely. I’m more confident in taking on new challenges and less afraid of making mistakes. This attitude has helped me tackle more complex projects and improve my skills continuously. I’ve also become better at collaborating with my colleagues and accepting constructive criticism.

Alice: That’s wonderful. It’s amazing how a change in mindset can have such a profound impact. Do you have any advice for others who are trying to make this shift?

Webber: I would say, start by being mindful of your thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking in a fixed mindset, consciously reframe those thoughts into a growth mindset. Surround yourself with people who support your growth, and don’t be afraid to seek feedback and use it to improve.

Alice: Those are excellent tips. It’s inspiring to hear how you’ve transformed your mindset and its positive effects on your career.

Webber: Thanks, Alice. It’s been a rewarding journey, and I’m glad we’re having this conversation. It’s a reminder that we can always strive to be better and more resilient.

Alice: Absolutely. It’s conversations like these that keep us motivated. Let’s continue to support each other in maintaining a growth mindset.

Webber: Agreed. Here’s to continuous learning and growth!

Alice: Cheers to that, Webber!

Alice: Webber, hearing about your journey reminded me of a time when I experienced the opposite shift, from a growth mindset to a fixed mindset. It had quite a negative impact on my career.

Webber: Really? That sounds tough. What happened?

Alice: I started out as a chef and worked my way up to become a successful restaurant owner. At first, I believed that hard work and continuous learning were key to success. I was always experimenting with new recipes and techniques.

Webber: That sounds like a great start. What changed?

Alice: Once I achieved a certain level of success, I began to fear failure. I started to believe that my talent was the most important factor and that any failure would expose me as a fraud. This fear made me hesitant to try new things or take risks.

Webber: That must have been difficult. How did this affect your work and the restaurant?

Alice: It was quite detrimental. My cooking skills declined because I stopped practicing and innovating. I became too focused on preserving my reputation rather than improving my craft. This complacency led to a decline in the quality of the food and the overall dining experience. As a result, the restaurant’s performance suffered.

Webber: I can imagine how challenging that must have been. How did you realize what was happening?

Alice: It took a while, but I started to notice the negative feedback from customers and the decline in business. I realized that my fear of failure and my fixed mindset were holding me back. I was no longer growing or pushing myself to improve.

Webber: It’s good that you were able to recognize it. What did you do to try and turn things around?

Alice: I began by reflecting on my initial success and what had driven me back then. I worked on shifting my mindset back to focusing on growth and learning. I started experimenting in the kitchen again, seeking feedback from my team, and embracing challenges as opportunities to improve.

Webber: That sounds like a great approach. How is the restaurant doing now?

Alice: It’s been a slow process, but things are improving. By embracing a growth mindset again, I’ve regained my passion for cooking and innovation. The restaurant is slowly recovering as we bring back the quality and creativity that made us successful in the first place.

Webber: That’s inspiring, Alice. It’s a reminder that our mindset can profoundly impact our success and well-being. I’m glad you were able to make that shift back.

Alice: Thank you, Webber. It’s been a learning experience, and I’m grateful for the growth it brought me. Let’s both continue to encourage each other to maintain a growth mindset.

Webber: Absolutely, Alice. Here’s to continuous improvement and resilience!

Alice: Cheers to that, Webber!


  1. Belief in Change:

    • Growth Mindset: Believes that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work.
    • Fixed Mindset: Believes that abilities and intelligence are static traits that cannot change.
  2. Response to Challenges:

    • Growth Mindset: Embraces challenges and sees them as opportunities to grow.
    • Fixed Mindset: Avoids challenges for fear of failure and looking incompetent.
  3. Effort:

    • Growth Mindset: Views effort as essential for mastery and improvement.
    • Fixed Mindset: Sees effort as fruitless if innate talent is lacking.
  4. Reaction to Failure:

    • Growth Mindset: Sees failure as a learning opportunity and a chance to improve.
    • Fixed Mindset: Views failure as a reflection of their inherent limitations and a reason to give up.
  5. Handling Feedback:

    • Growth Mindset: Welcomes constructive criticism and uses it to grow and improve.
    • Fixed Mindset: Ignores or becomes defensive about feedback, taking it as a personal attack.
  6. Perception of Success:

    • Growth Mindset: Finds inspiration in the success of others and uses it as motivation.
    • Fixed Mindset: Feels threatened by the success of others and views it as a benchmark that exposes their own inadequacies.
  7. Approach to Learning:

    • Growth Mindset: Enjoys the process of learning and values the journey of gaining knowledge.
    • Fixed Mindset: Prefers to stick to what they already know, fearing that trying to learn something new might reveal their deficiencies.
  8. Problem-Solving:

    • Growth Mindset: Believes that problem-solving skills can be improved with practice and persistence.
    • Fixed Mindset: Thinks that problem-solving ability is a fixed trait that cannot be significantly altered.
  9. Motivation:

    • Growth Mindset: Driven by the desire to learn and improve continuously.
    • Fixed Mindset: Motivated by a need to prove their worth and avoid failure.
  10. Long-Term Success:

    • Growth Mindset: More likely to achieve long-term success due to resilience, adaptability, and continuous self-improvement.
    • Fixed Mindset: Limits potential for long-term success by avoiding risks and not adapting to new challenges.