If you have a fixed mindset, you feel that intelligence, ability, and other characteristics are inherent and unchanging. You usually believe you will never be excellent at something if you aren’t good at it. A growth mindset, on the other hand, implies that you believe intelligence and skill can be developed through practise and effort. Your mentality, unsurprisingly, has a significant impact on your motivation, resilience, and accomplishment.
While many individuals are aware of these definitions, they aren’t always sure how to apply them in their daily lives. What does growth mindset language and beliefs look like? How can you go from a stuck attitude to a more positive development mindset? It might be difficult to explain the differences to children’s.
For clarification, go over the examples of fixed vs. development mentality below, then share them with your kids or students to assist them to grasp the difference.
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset Examples
Many people are triggered by certain fixed mentality triggers (fixed mindset), such as comparisons or difficult difficulties. Do any of the instances of stuck mentality ring a bell? They could be able to assist you in identifying your children’s or students’ triggers and working together to better. You’ll discover useful advice for helping the change from fixed to a growth mindset with each case.
Identity and Self-Improvement Examples
- Fixed Mindset: I’m just not good at math.
- Growth Mindset: Math is difficult for me, but I am certain that I can progress.
Provide extra help and track progress if a kid struggles with a certain topic at school. Parents can work with their children’s teachers to find educational materials, either online or in person. As the children’s grades improve, point out how far they’ve progressed. Celebrate their accomplishments and keep encouraging them to believe that there is always more to learn and develop.
- Fixed Mindset: I’m too shy to speak in front of the class.
- Growth Mindset: I can gain confidence and enhance my public speaking abilities with practise.
Ask, “What actions can we take to work on that?” when children voice a specific worry. If the kid is unsure, assist them in brainstorming ideas.
A child who is afraid of speaking in front of big crowds, for example, might begin by practising with partners or in a small group setting. They can practise public speaking in a fun way, such as via improv or theatre workshops. As usual, acknowledge small victories and remind the child of how far they’ve come.
- Fixed Mindset: I’m either good or bad at something.
- Growth Mindset: With work and practise, I can enhance my talents.
Ask children’s whether they’ve ever battled to learn a skill, only to see their progress over time. Reading, writing nicely, riding a bike, and playing an instrument are some examples. You can also use instances from your own life or renowned people’s lives. Children will learn firsthand that no one is born an expert and that they may always improve.
- Fixed Mindset: When people give me feedback, it feels like criticism.
- Growth Mindset: I appreciate when people give me feedback. It helps me learn and grow.
Consider making feedback in your classroom a two-way discussion. For example, on students’ work, encourage them to respond to your remarks using the phrase “I learnt .” Alternatively, provide students with a means to put the input they get to work right away. This makes linking feedback to progress and improvement much easy.
Ask for feedback in addition to giving it (e.g., “How could I have made that lesson better?” or “Is there anything I can do to help you more?”) whether at home or in the classroom.
Tip: If a child excels in a topic, make sure he or she is being adequately pushed. Children who have mastered grade-level abilities but have not had the opportunity to advance could believe that progress is impossible.
- Fixed Mindset: I’m already a really good writer. I don’t need to get any better.
- Growth Mindset: There’s always room for improvement (growth mindset).
You can, for example, encourage young writers to increase their vocabulary or begin using figurative language in their writing. Encourage them to create paragraphs rather than single sentences, and encourage them to participate local writing competitions. Additional enrichment activities can be introduced by parents.
Examples of Self-Comparison
- Fixed Mindset: Other people’s accomplishments make me feel inferior.
- Growth Mindset: Successes of others motivate and inspire me. They show me what I’m capable of.
Tip: Teach your children to question, “How did this person get there?” when they are disheartened by another person’s accomplishments. We just see the tip of the iceberg when we look at someone’s achievement. We have no idea what lies under the surface, or how much rejection, failure, work, perseverance, and learning went into their accomplishments.
- Fixed Mindset: People who are naturally smart don’t need to try hard to succeed.
- Growth Mindset: No one is born smart. We can all improve with time, effort, and persistence.
Give instances of persons who were regarded geniuses but who had to put in the time and work to attain their goals. Thomas Edison’s instructors, for example, felt he was “too dumb to study.” He was dismissed from his first two jobs, and it took him thousands of failed tries before he succeeded in developing the lightbulb. Edison was not born a genius; he overcame challenges, persevered, and put in long hours to achieve his intellectual goals.
- Fixed Mindset: Successful people are lucky/talented and have never experienced failure.
- Growth Mindset: Failure is part of success. Most successful people have failed many times, but they succeeded because they didn’t quit.
Tip: It’s critical to teach children’s that failure is an inevitable part of life. People who succeed aren’t the ones who hit it out of the park the first time; they’re the ones who tried and tried again.
Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, and many others are famous examples. If these names don’t hit a chord with kids, have them pick a successful person they like, then investigate their setbacks and challenges.
- Fixed Mindset: I wish I was as good at baseball as you. It’s not fair.
- Growth Mindset: Your skills as a baseball player inspire me. Do you have any tips to help me improve?
When children observe someone else thriving, encourage them to think to themselves, “What can I learn from this person?” They might also inquire, “How did this individual get there?” as previously indicated. Children can acquire particular skills as well as knowledge about the training and hours of practice that helped them achieve success from a fellow baseball player, for example.
Examples about Learning Something New
- Fixed Mindset: I won’t fail if I don’t try new or difficult things.
- Growth Mindset: In order to grow, I must try new and challenging things, even if I fail at first.
“What would happen if you never tried anything new?” is a good question to ask. Make a list of all the meals, activities, movies, and hobbies that your kids or students would have missed out on if they hadn’t tried them.
Talk about abilities that are now second nature, such as riding a bike, but were previously difficult or even frightening. We miss out on a lot of the fun, excitement, and progress that life has to offer if we strive to avoid falling.
- Fixed Mindset: When I make a mistake, it’s humiliating.
- Growth Mindset: Everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes serve as learning opportunities.
Try giving yourself a high five for making a mistake and/or saying something like, “High five, you’re learning!” Children’s mindsets can be shifted by consistently linking mistakes with learning. When you make a mistake, recognize it vocally and reflect aloud about what you learnt from it.
- Fixed Mindset: I become upset and give up when I fail.
- Growth Mindset:When I fail or become frustrated, I use the lessons I’ve learned to try again.
Tip: Sarah Blakely, the wealthy entrepreneur of Spanx, grew up with her father leading monthly dinner table discussions about failure. He asked his kids what they had failed in the previous week, then gave them a high-five and exclaimed, “Way to go!” He instructed his children to write down the “hidden treasures” they received from each failure, as well as the lessons they had learned, in addition to praising their accomplishments.
Blakely stated this changed her concept of failure from “not trying” to “not succeeding.” Try a similar process at family gatherings or in small groups in the classroom.
- Failure indicates it’s time to give up, according to a fixed mindset.
- Growth Mindset: The only time I genuinely fail is when I give up.
What if Thomas Edison had given up on the lightbulb after the first failed experiment, or even after the first 500? What if Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Walt Disney declared themselves setbacks after being dismissed from their first jobs? Or what if Steven Spielberg and Michael Jordan had quit acting and basketball after being rejected? After all, these setbacks weren’t truly setbacks since they didn’t give up.
- Fixed Mindset: I’m not capable of doing it!
- Growth Mindset: I’m not ready yet. I’m going to keep continuing, trying different techniques, and/or seeking assistance until I figure it out.
Teach children’s the importance of the word “yet.” Remind them that they just don’t know how to do anything yet when they say they don’t know how to do it.
- Fixed Mindset: I become upset if I don’t see immediate results. I begin to berate myself.
- Growth Mindset: I understand that progress takes time, therefore I appreciate the tiny victories. Even a small step forward makes a difference!
Tip: Always stress the process above the outcome, whether at home or in the classroom. Celebrate hard work, fresh ideas, and the ability to bounce back from failure and mistakes, among other things. Learning is a continuous journey, and every children’s objective should be to develop every day. Recognize and applaud their efforts when they take such measures. Meanwhile, utilize the other suggestions on this page to help children’s change their mindsets about setbacks and turn negative experiences into positive ones.
Examples Of Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset
This fixed mindset vs. growth mindset example will help you and your children or students not only understand the difference but also put these powerful concepts into practice. Consider writing your favorite growth mindset examples on sentence strips and hanging them on a bulletin board as a daily reminder.
What You Should Do Next:
1. Register For A Must Listen To FREE 60-Minute Class:
2. Enjoy These Gentle Parenting Podcasts
- Unruffled by Janet Lansbury
- Raising Good Humans With Dr. Aliza
- Parenting Beyond Discipline
- Mindful Parenting in a Messy World
3. Dive Into These Gentle Parenting Websites
- Janet Lansbury “Respectful Parenting Basics”
- Sara Rockwell-Smith “Gentle Parenting Book”
- No Reward, No Punishment
- How is Gentle different than mainstream?
- Gentle Parenting Myth
- 5 secrets to Gentle Parenting
4. Enjoy These Gentle Parenting Books
- How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
- How To Talk So Kids Will ListenPeaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
- The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way
- The New Dare To Discipline
- Silence Is A Scary Sound
- Parenting With Love And Logic
- More books here.
5. Sign Up For A 7 Step Positive Parenting Course (If You’re Ready To Be A Positive Parent And Need Some Step By Step Help)
Enroll now in the most in-depth parenting class. After discovering these common sense, easy-to-implement, research-based tools you can learn how to:
- Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
- Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
- Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
- Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
- Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
6. Read Some Of My Favorite Blog Posts From Other Gentle Parenting Professionals
- How to get others on board with GP (grandparents, family, providers)
- MANAGING TODDLER TANTRUMS
- PREVENTING A GROWN UP MELTDOWN
- Why do we call it a TANTRUM? IT’S A FEELING
- TIME-IN (NOT TIME OUT)
- What to do: biting, hitting, pushing, throwing
- Punishment Vs. Natural Consequence
- REWARDS: WHY THEY DON’T WORK.
- ITS OKAY NOT TO SHARE
- HOW TO STOP YELLING AT KIDS
- GP for Newborns & young babies
- Parenting Differences among peers/providers
- Does your spouse parent differently?
- Prefrontal Cortex – YOUR CHILD’S BRAIN IS NOT DEVELOPED ENOUGH
“GENTLE PARENTING IS A LIFESTYLE THAT EMBRACES BOTH YOUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR, NOT ONLY TOWARDS YOUR CHILDREN, BUT TO YOURSELF TOO“— SARA HOCKWELL-SMITH
- Beijamini F, Pereira SI, Cini FA, Louzada FM. 2014. After being challenged by a video game problem, sleep increases the chance to solve it. PLoS One. 9(1):e84342.
- Blackwell, L., Trzesniewski, K., and Dweck, C.S. 2007. Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention. Child Development 78 (1): 246-263.
- Bornstein MH, Hahn CS, Suwalsky JT. 2013. Physically developed and exploratory young infants contribute to their own long-term academic achievement. Psychol Sci. 24(10):1906-17. doi: 10.1177/0956797613479974. Epub 2013 Aug 20
- Caspi A, Williams B, Kim-Cohen J, Craig IW, Milne BJ, Poulton R, Schalkwyk LC, Taylor A, Werts H, and Moffitt TE. 2007. Moderation of breastfeeding effects on the IQ by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104(47):18860-5.
- Chen C and Stevenson HW. 1995. Motivation and mathematics achievement: a comparative study of Asian-American, Caucasian-American, and east Asian high school students. Child Development 66(4):1214-34.
- Dommett EJ, Devonshire IM, Sewter E, and Greenfield SA. 2013. The impact of participation in a neuroscience course on motivational measures and academic performance. Trends in Neuroscience and Education 2(3-4): 122-138.
- Dong Z, Gong B, Li H, Bai Y, Wu X, Huang Y, He W, Li T, and Wang YT. 2012. Mechanisms of hippocampal long-term depression are required for memory enhancement by novelty exploration. J Neurosci. 2012 Aug 29;32(35):11980-90.
- Dweck CS 2006. Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
- Erdley CA, Cain KM, Loomis CC, Dumas-Hines F, and Dweck CS. 1997. Relations among children’s social goals, implicit personality theories, and responses to social failure. Developmental Psychology 33(2):263-72.
- Gais S, Lucas B and Born J. 2006. Sleep and learning aids memory recall. Learning and Memory 13: 259-262.
- Gunderson EA, Gripshover SJ, Romero C, Dweck CS, Goldin-Meadow S, and Levine SC. 2013. Parent praise to 1-3 year-olds predicts children’s motivational frameworks 5 years later. Child Development.
- Gruber MJ, Gelman BD, Ranganath C. 2014. States of curiosity modulate hippocampus-dependent learning via the dopaminergic circuit. Neuron. 84(2):486-96.
- Heine SJ, Lehman DR, Ide E, Leung C, Kitayama S, Takata T, Matsumoto H. 2001. Divergent consequences of success and failure in japan and North America: an investigation of self-improving motivations and malleable selves. J Pers Soc Psychol. 81(4):599-615.
- Huber R, Tonini G, and Cirelli C. 2007. Exploratory behavior, cortical BDNF expression, and sleep homeostasis. Sleep 30(2):129-39.
- Jaeggi SM, Buschkuehl M, Jonides J, and Perrig WJ. 2008. Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(19):6829-33.
- Jones BD1, Rakes L, Landon K. 2013. Malawian secondary students’ beliefs about intelligence. Int J Psychol. 48(5):785-96.
- Kinlaw CR and Kurtz-Costes B. 2007. Children’s theories of intelligence: beliefs, goals, and motivation in the elementary years. Journal of General Psychology 134(3):295-311.
- Kurdziel L, Duclos K, and Spencer R. 2013. Sleep spindles in midday naps enhance learning in preschool children. PNAS (epub ahead of print) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1306418110.
- Landry SH, Smith KE, and Swank PR. 2003. The importance of parenting during early childhood for school-age development. Dev Neuropsychol. 24(2-3):559-91.
- Landry SH, Smith KE, Swank PR. 2006. Responsive parenting: establishing early foundations for social, communication, and independent problem-solving skills. Dev Psychol. 42(4):627-42.
- Mangels JA, Butterfield B, Lamb J, Good C and Dweck CS. 2006. Why do beliefs about intelligence influence learning success? A social cognitive neuroscience model. Soc Cogn Affect Neuroscience 1(2): 75–86.
- Moser JS, Schroder HS, Heeter C, Moran TP, Lee YH. 2011. Mind your errors: evidence for a neural mechanism linking growth mind-set to adaptive posterror adjustments. Psychol Sci. 22(12):1484-9.
- Neisser U, Boodoo G, Boucard TJ, Boykin AW et al 1996. Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns. American Psychologist 51 (2): 77-101.
- Niiya Y, Crocker J, and Bartmess EN. 2004. From vulnerability to resilience: learning orientations buffer contingent self-esteem from failure. Psychological Science 15(12): 801-80.
- Paunesku D, Walton GM, Romero C, Smith EN, Yeager DS, Dweck CS. 2015. Mind-set interventions are a scalable treatment for academic underachievement. Psychol Sci.26(6):784-93
- Pomerantz EM and Kempner SG. 2013. Mothers’ daily person and process praise: implications for children’s theory of intelligence and motivation. Dev Psychol. 49(11):2040-6.
- Rudebeck SR, Bor D, Ormond A, O’Reilly JX, and Lee AC. 2012.A potential spatial working memory training task to improve both episodic memory and fluid intelligence. PLoS One 7(11):e50431.
- Schroder HS, Fisher ME, Lin Y, Lo SL, Danovitch JH, Moser JS. 2017. Neural evidence for enhanced attention to mistakes among school-aged children with a growth mindset. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 24:42-50
- Schroder HS, Moran TP, Donnellan MB, and Moser JS. 2014. Mindset induction effects on cognitive control: a neurobehavioral investigation. Biol Psychol. 103:27-37.
- Shah PE, Weeks HM, Richards B, Kaciroti N. 2018. Early childhood curiosity and kindergarten reading and math academic achievement. Pediatr Res. 2018 Apr 26. doi: 10.1038/s41390-018-0039-3.
- Sisk VF, Burgoyne AP, Sun J, Butler JL, Macnamara BN. 2018. To What Extent and Under Which Circumstances Are Growth Mind-Sets Important to Academic Achievement? Two Meta-Analyses. Psychol Sci. 29(4):549-571.
- Smiley PA and Dweck CS. 1994. Individual differences in achievement goals among young children. Child Development 65(6):1723-43.
- Stevenson HW and Lee SY. 1990. Contexts of achievement: a study of American, Chinese, and Japanese children. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev. 55(1-2):1-123.
- Thompson T and Musket S. 2005. Does priming for mastery goals improve the performance of students with an entity view of ability? Br J Educ Psychol. 75(Pt 3):391-409.
- Wagner U, Gais S, Haider H, Verleger R, and Born J. 2004. Sleep inspires insight. Nature 427: 352-355.