Mindset Book Summary, You have Fixed or Growth Mindset

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Book – Mindset

Author – Dr. Carol S. Dweck

Genre – Self-Help

Published in –2006

Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in our mind, and we can change our mind.

Dr. Carol S. Dweck

Dr. Carol, in Mindset, claims only two kinds of Mindset: Fixed and Growth. And, even though we tend to pick this from very early stages in life, it is up to individuals to change this at any given time with effort, guidance, and help.

About the Book

Mindset book clarifies the two different mindsets and how people in each category do in every aspect of life. What is more helpful is the insight that our Mindset is not set in stone, and we can change it at a point in time.

Though many types of research support both theories on whether or not Mindset is changeable, this book is of great help, backed by lots of research and statistics in areas like sports, business, and relationships, claiming we can change our Mindset.

Here are a few excerpts from the Book –

1) Fixed v/s Growth

Fixed Mindset People with a fixed mindset believe that qualities are set in stone, creating urgency to prove themselves repeatedly. They have to win at all times. They need to look smart. Hence, they miss opportunities to ask and learn many things.

Growth Mindset This growth mindset is based on the belief that your essential qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others.

The hallmark of the growth mindset is the passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well.

2) Failure

  • Failure has been transformed from an action (I failed) to an identity (I am a failure). This is especially true in the fixed Mindset.
  • Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.

3) Effort

  • It has earned bad names from the story of hare and tortoise. People with fixed Mindsets think if you are not smart, you need to put in an effort, a ton of it, to get by or eventually succeed.
  • People with the growth mindset, however, believe something very different. For them, even geniuses have to work hard for their achievements. They may appreciate endowment, but they admire the effort, for no matter your ability, action ignites that ability and turns it into Accomplishment.

If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you, you must come to it. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better.

Growth Mindset

4) Champions

  • The idea of nature is prominent in sports, especially where big teams are looking for naturals and are willing to pay considerable amounts to sign them.
  • There are many examples of naturals who went from top to bottom at the first sign of failure, and that is due to their fixed Mindset. It is about whether you are talented or not.
  • Dr. Carol claims that in many types of research, champions always have a growth mindset, no matter how natural they appear while performing. They found three traits of a growth mindset in winners.
  • Finding #1 – Success Those with a growth mindset succeeded in doing their best, learning, and improving. And this is precisely what we see in the champions.
  • Finding #2 – Failure Those with a growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They’re informative. They’re a wake-up call.
  • Finding #3 – Process – People with a growth mindset take charge of the processes that bring success and maintain it.

5) Relationships

  • Many people want to feel their relationship is unique and not just some chance occurrence. This seems okay. So, what’s the problem with the fixed Mindset? There are two.
  • First, If You Have to Work at It, It Wasn’t Meant to Be, whereas Growth mindset people believe that a good, lasting relationship comes from effort and working through inevitable differences.
  • Second: Problems Indicate Character Flaws, whereas, in a Growth mindset, people believe choosing a partner is choosing a set of problems. There are no problem-free candidates. The trick is acknowledging each other’s limitations and building from there.

6) Where Does Mindset come from?

  • Despite wishing the best for children, students, and trainees, their parents, teachers, and coaches often use words that send the wrong message.
  • Praise should deal not with the child’s personality attributes but with his efforts and achievements.
  • We don’t always have to be praising. Inquiring about the child’s process and showing interest in it goes a long way.
  • Tune in to the messages you’re sending. Are they messages that say: You have permanent traits, and I’m judging them? Or are they messages that say you’re a developing person, and I’m interested in your development?

7) A few steps for changing Mindset

time for change image

Dr. Carol suggests that changing Mindset takes time, effort, and support. Make sure people don’t fall for a false growth mindset. She offers steps for transition.

  1. Embracing the Fixed Mindset We’re all a mixture of growth and fixed mindsets, and we need to acknowledge and work from there.
  1. Identify the Triggers Find out when you fall into a fixed mindset persona in what situation it triggers and forces you to give up on things and judge yourself/others negatively.
  1. Give Name to Your Fixed Mindset Persona This turns the process into fun as you become more aware and catch yourself in a situation where it pops up. Take a step back, listen to it, acknowledge it, but don’t let it affect you.
  1. Educate Your Fixed Mindset Persona – As soon as you catch a fixed mindset persona, acknowledge and then ask questions leading to a growth mindset, like What am I missing? What can I learn from this? How can I seek help?

I have also created a video of a few quotes from the Book. I hope you like it. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for self-help book quotes- Myread4change.


As you finish reading Mindset, you can identify yourself in one Mindset or minor in both, and it will help you move to a Growth Mindset.

One of the best ways to change is to focus on questions we ask ourselves and others. It speaks volumes of our belief system. You may consider reading Change Your Questions, Change Your Life.

I hope this book summary helped you in some way. Please share your thoughts in the comment box. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for your time.


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