Entrepreneur Derek Sivers writes on his blog
that one of the most important concepts he’s learned is the difference between a “fixed mindset" and a “growth mindset.“
The terms come from the work of psychologist Carol Dweck, and separately through the writings of professional chess player Josh Waitzkin.
For Sivers, the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset is similar to the difference between nature versus nurture:
“People in a fixed mindset believe you either are or aren’t good at something, based on your inherent nature, because it’s just who you are. People in a growth mindset believe anyone can be good at anything, because your abilities are entirely due to your actions.”
But as Sivers points out, having one mindset or the other can influence on your entire life.
Here are some examples:
With a fixed mindset, you stick with what you know to maintain your confidence. With a growth mindset, you maintain your confidence by constantly pursuing the unfamiliar, to ensure that you’re always learning.
With a fixed mindset, you want to hide your flaws so that you’re not considered a failure. With a growth mindset, your flaws are simply things to improve.
With a fixed mindset, the outcome is what matters most – if you fail, you think the effort was wasted. With a growth mindset, the process is what’s most important, and the outcome matters less.
With a fixed mindset, you believe that if you’re romantically compatible with someone, then you should share all of the same views and everything should just come naturally. With a growth mindset, you believe that a lasting relationship comes from effort and working through inevitable differences.