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The Fixed Mindset

"Fixed mindsets tend to create a need for approval."

~ Carol Dweck


A Fixed Mindset...

is the idea that our abilities are finite. Our personality, intelligence and talents are limited to what we “are born with”. These limited views hinder opportunities to reach our full potential.


Remember the times when learning was natural and small accomplishments spurred us on? We also remember when learning was difficult and thought:


These thoughts reinforce that mistakes are bad and mean failure. Challenges are avoided because it could reveal weaknesses. A fixed mindset amplifies success and failure. When setbacks occur, as is common in life, this type of thinking is more likely to cause individuals to slide into a cycle of low self-esteem and hopelessness.

Fixed Mindsets

  • Focused on getting the right answer and perceived as being smart

  • Fear of judgment and not living up to expectations

Growth Mindsets

  • Focused on exploring new experiences and challenges

  • Perceive mistakes as being part of learning and the more mistakes we make, the more we learn

Just as engaging a personal trainer to optimise the body’s potential has become commonplace, therapeutic interventions are increasingly accepted as part of the self-care movement. It is no longer restricted to treatments for persons with special needs. Therapy in the broadest sense helps individuals understand that learning new strategies can provide relief and reinforce the growth mindset.



Dweck. C.S. (2007). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

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