“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck examines the concepts of “fixed” and “growth” mindsets. A fixed mindset believes that talents come with us and cannot be improved upon. A fixed mindset spends their time proving their abilities over and over again as well as externalizing and internalizing when problems occur. On the other hand, a growth mindset believes that qualities can be improved upon due to efforts, work, and support from others. When problems arise, a growth mindset would examine the issue and put a strategy in place to remediate. “I can improve” vs “I give up.”
“What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.”
Dweck provides a good understanding in the first few chapters of the two concepts including examples of academic and artistic ability. She then moves into entire sections on sports, business, relationships, parents/teachers/coaches including how the mindsets show up and real world examples of fixed and growth. Lastly, she goes into how to change your mindset to more of a growth. The author points out that we all have fixed mindsets in certain areas and even “false-growth” mindsets. This is important to understand as it is not black and white.
I really enjoyed this book. Keeping the concept simple and unpacking it in various ways really drives the point home. In a similar vein to Malcolm Gladwell, Dweck provides examples of people and businesses that truly exhibit these traits to help the really understand. I was intrigued to continue reading, have found a new perspective for approaching our many intelligences, and learned what it takes to overcome setbacks or “failures.”
Read this book if:
- You are willing to view and approach yourself differently
- Are a leader, parent, coach, teacher, etc
- Interested in change
Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books.