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Choose to grow or prove to be good? The 2 types of mentality

Choose to grow or prove to be good? The 2 types of mentality

January 19, 2023

Has it happened to you that sometimes you feel afraid to grow? Without being very clear about why? Perhaps, who does not want to reach his maximum potential and go for his most cherished desires?

So… Why do not we always make decisions that benefit our growth? That they help us to expand limits instead of staying comfortable and safe? The beliefs we have can shed a light on the issue.

We know that the beliefs we adopt about ourselves, the world in which we live and others, powerfully influence the way we direct our lives, the achievement of the things we value and our ability to overcome difficulties.

Necessary pay attention to the type of mentality that is guiding at certain times or even in specific areas of life, the decisions we make that may limit our capacity to grow in order to act differently.


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The two mentalities of Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University in the United States, has focused her research on why people are successful and how to encourage it .

He has developed his work around the ways of thinking and has investigated the consequences of seeing intelligence and personality among others (artistic talents, sports or business skills, the qualities of another person or relationship) as something that is can develop or as fixed features, deeply rooted and immovable.

His research has shown that the beliefs that people adopt about their qualities affect the goals they strive to achieve , in how they see success and failure, the importance they give to effort and challenges, in resilience in the face of difficulty and even in the ability to grow in their interpersonal relationships. He has studied two types of mentality; Fixed and growth.


Most people have a bit of both mentalities. They can also adopt a different mindset in different areas. The truth is that we can learn to change the way we see things.

The fixed mentality

People who adopt this mentality believe that intelligence, talents, abilities, qualities, personality are fixed characteristics. One is born with a certain amount or one is as one is without being able to do much.

This creates the urgency of showing oneself and others over and over again that one has by nature sufficient intelligence, personality, character, that one is special, even superior.

Your goal is focused on doing well and looking smart . They worry about being judged rather than improving, so they hide their weaknesses instead of overcoming them. It is not enough to succeed, you need to be perfect immediately, at the first opportunity to try something. They do not take the time to become, but they have to be already what they want to be. The most important thing is the result, because it is what measures them.


That goal leads to a tendency to avoid challenges because if they take risks and fail they believe that their image will be compromised and will mean that they are not smart or that they do not have the skills, therefore, they prefer to keep what they already know. do well and even miss good opportunities Learning.

However, we must remember what writer Mark Twain said: "In twenty years you will be more disappointed by what you did not do than by what you did".

Other characteristics are the following.

1. They surrender easily to obstacles

Failing goes from being an action to an identity "I am a failure". Even, Corrections and minimal errors can be seen as a tremendous failure .

2. Devaluing the effort

They think that to make an effort makes them see as little able or intelligent or as a sign of not measuring up. If they are free of this idea, they can strive to achieve their goals and are willing to do what is necessary, but as a validation of their value.

3. Ignore constructive criticism

It is more important to feel constantly validated by others than to cultivate relationships that challenge them to grow, to see their failures with respect, to help them work on them and to encourage them to learn new things. It is less likely then that they obtain external information that helps them generate the necessary changes.

4. They feel threatened by the success of other people

They feel that the success of others makes them look bad or failures.

5. As a result they can limit their development and not achieve their full potential

Your beliefs are fed back. It is believed that it is not changed or improved much over time, it is as it is.

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The growth mentality

People who adopt this mentality believe that intelligence, talents, abilities, qualities, personality can be developed and cultivated through effort.

They believe that what is given to us by genetics it's just the starting point for development . It can grow over time and from passion, training, discipline and experience.

Your priority is to learn, improve and enjoy the process. They do not care to prove how good they are. They value what they do regardless of the result.

On the other hand, these are other characteristics.

1. Tend to accept challenges

They enjoy and are the way to improve, expand limits and knowledge, become stronger and smarter.

2. They face and persist before obstacles

Failure, although it is a painful experience, is seen as an opportunity to learn and repair mistakes, not as something that defines them as people or that defines their abilities and worth.

3. Value the effort

The fruits are born from the effort. It is seen as necessary to grow and master important skills.

4. They learn from criticism

Negative criticism is not perceived as a definition of what they are, but speaks of their current level of skills or performance. They know they can change and learn to do better and prefer relationships that challenge them to grow respectfully.

5. Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others

They take as examples, sources of information and learning to put into practice on the journey itself.

As a result they promote their development and mastery, reaching high levels of performance and achievement. They feel that they are the ones who build themselves, what Feed your positive beliefs and encourages them to continue learning and improving.

Make the decision to grow day by day

Choosing to grow more than a decision that is made once in a lifetime is a daily choice. Every step of the way we are faced with opportunities to embrace a growth mindset or a fixed mentality about what happens to us or what we do. If we want to grow we must allow ourselves to change the limiting ideas about our intelligence, abilities, personality, etc.

This does not mean thinking that everything can be done, that it is desirable to change everything that we do not like, or that each challenge must be taken. It is the task of each person to determine when their beliefs are really acting as barriers to their development in the areas or goals that they value and then make changes if they wish.

However, to grow, it is necessary to stop living for an image that others like and have the courage to explore their own path, making mistakes, assuming new challenges, valuing the effort and facing obstacles, but above all enjoying and learning from life.

Bibliographic references:

  • Dweck, C. S. (2008). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House; New York

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset (January 2023).


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