Fixed Mindset vs Growth mindset

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Carol Dweck explains to us the importance of "Yet" and "Not yet". Suppose, you get the result as Fail if you do not score the passing grades you will feel that you are nothing and nowhere. But suppose, if you get the result as Not yet as a result then you understand that you are on the learning curve. It gives you a path into the future.

Once she gave a complex math problem to 10 years old students of High School in Chicago to see how they coped up with the challenge and difficulty. Shockingly in a positive way, some of them said they love challenges. They understood that their abilities would be more developed. They reacted as if they were going to learn something new and it would be informative. This is called a growth mindset. But the rest of the students felt it was tragic and catastrophic. This is called a fixed mindset. Most of the Indian college students also felt the same kinds of stuff. They sit in class for the sake of attendance and not with the intention to learn something new. Also, all of us take higher education or professional not to learn but to earn more money. Their intelligence is just for judgement and not thinking and therefore they fail. Instead of luxuriating in the power of yet, they were stuck in the tyranny of now. According to after they fail, their next move is that they start cheating in exams instead of studying hard. They think new ways of cheating in exams and try to pass. In another study, they will find someone else who performed worst then them so that they can feel good and get ready for excuses for their failure. This means that they just run away from difficulties. They don't get engaged with it. On the other hand, people having a growth mindset have red mind i.e. they have fire in mind. They have involved in deeper thinking and their mind is continuously in various activities and processes the errors to correct it.

To develop that bridge to Yet instead of Now we should do the following:-

  1. Praise their hard work and process of doing a task if they fail and push and correct them in a positive way.

  2. Reward them on the efforts they put in and their strategies and their progress.

  3. Give them a path into the future that creates greater persistence.


If we change the fixed mindset of students to a growth mindset and ask them to come out of their comfort zones and try something new which is challenging and difficult their neurons in their brain and form new, stranger connections and over the time can get smarter.