fixed mindset vs growth mindset examples

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When Carol Dweck gave the theory of growth mindset, she talked about two types of mindset in her book. These two kind of mindsets are fixed and growth mindset.

There are various ways to learn about them. One is using examples. In this post, I have listed top fixed mindset vs growth mindset examples.

But before starting out let’s learn about what is the difference between the two?

difference between fixed mindset and growth mindset

The major difference between fixed and growth mindset is, In a fixed mindset person believes that his/her abilities and intelligence are fixed and cannot be changed, whereas, in growth mindset a person believes that skills and talent can be developed through hard work and effort.

To make it easy for you I have prepared a table to show how a person behaves under different mindsets.

ScenarioFixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
Self-beliefDo not believeHave full belief on self
Taking responsibilityNever.Takes 100% responsibility.
EffortsAvoid.Always ready.
Embracing opportunitiesDon’t like taking up new opportunities.Always seeking.
In middle of a problemPanics. Tries to avoid and move away.Relaxed. Tries to find the solution.
LearningNo new learning. Thinks he/she knows all.Always ready to improve and learn.
Taking risksAvoids.Takes.
In case of FailureBecomes disappointed. Blames other.Take it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
FeedbackDoes not like taking feedback from others.Takes feedback in a constructive way.
Embracing changeBecome discomfortable.Ready for a change.
Sharing knowledgeDoes not believe in sharing knowledge with others.Always ready to teach and share the knowledge.

Now after learning how a person behave in growth and fixed mindset scenario, its time to look at the fixed mindset verses growth mindset examples to help you to understand the difference between the two.

I have listed real life examples to make it easier for you to understand the difference. So let’s look at them.

fixed mindset and growth mindset real world examples

Below you will find a list of actual real word examples of fixed and growth mindset. These are those scenarios which a person often encounters. You will get to know how a growth mindset person and a fixed mindset person will react in such situations.

I have summarized the examples into a table to demonstrate real life fixed and growth mindset examples.

Real Life SituationFixed Mindset ExampleGrowth Mindset Example
Not good at something. I can not learn. With effort, I can learn and improve.
Other person getting success.I am feeling jealous of their success.Wow! It’s inspiring to learn from their success.
Giving public speech.My legs are shivering. I can’t give the speech.Although, I am nervous but it just momentary. I will give.
Failure.If I will not compete, I will not fail.Failure is a part of life. It brings so many valuable lessons with it.
Learning something.I am very intelligent. I know everything.It is good to expand our learning curve. No one knows everything.
Risk is required to take.This thing has risk. It is better to avoid.Nothing is gained without taking risks. I will do it.
Someone gives feedback.I am good. I don’t need opinion of anyone.Glad they gave me their opinion. I will surely work on the given points.
A challenging task.This will require so much effort and energy. I am out.Yay! A new opportunity. I will work with full energy and devotion.
Sharing Knowledge.I don’t believe in sharing the knowledge. It is boring and detrimental to my growth.Sharing is caring. By sharing my learnings, I will also grow.
A mistake occurred.I can not make mistake. This must have happened due to someone else act.Yes, I completely acknowledge my mistake. I will learn from it.
Timebound work arrives.I will do it later. I will take some rest first.It is no good in wasting time. I am starting now.

example 1. When a person is not good at XYZ thing.

Fixed Mindset: I am not good at it. I don’t want to learn it.

Growth Mindset: If I can try to learn it than I can be good at it.

This growth mindset example is demonstrating a situation where a person has this notion that he/she is not good at a particular thing. He believes that it is a waste of time doing that thing. On the other hand the person with growth mindset acknowledges the shortcoming and make efforts to improve in it.

To make it easy for you to understand, I have included additional real life fixed and growth mindset examples on the limiting belief mindset.

1. writing

Situation: Poor handwriting of student.

Fixed mindset statement: My handwriting is very bad, I can’t improve.

Growth mindset statement: With constant effort and practice I can improve my handwriting.

2. Problem solving

Situation: Poor problem solving skills.

Fixed mindset statement: I am not good at problem solving.

Growth mindset statement: By learning, I can become good at solving problems.

3. learning sport

Situation: Person wants to start daily morning walks.

Fixed mindset statement: I hate waking up early. I can’t wake up in the morning to go for a walk.

Growth mindset statement: I can sleep early to wake up early in the morning.

example 2. When others are getting success in life.

Fixed Mindset: How can he/she be successful. I am feeling jealous.

Growth Mindset: How great that he/she succeeded. I am also feel motivated and inspired to work.

In this jealous mindset example you can see how a person behaves in a fixed mindset condition and a growth mindset condition.

When the person is filled with a fixed mindset, they don’t like others success. They feel jealous and bitter. Whereas, when a growth mindset person learns about the achievement of others, they feel joyed, motivated , and ready to learn from them.

More examples on this jealous mindset to understand the topic more.

1. job promotion.

Situation: Someone else got promoted in office.

Fixed mindset statement: I can’t believe he/she got promotion. He/she doesn’t deserved it.

Growth mindset statement: Wow!, he/she got promoted. If I will work and improve my skills, maybe one day I will get promoted too!

2. better grades

Situation: Another student got more grades.

Fixed mindset statement: I studied more then him/her. How he/she got more marks then me?

Growth mindset statement: I can find where I fall short and improve in the next exams.

example 3. when a person has to lead/give public speech.

Fixed Mindset: I feel shy speaking in front of people.

Growth Mindset: If I will do practice than I can improve my confidence and public speaking skill.

Many times it happens that a person is required to speak in front of a gathering. In this situation it is obvious to feel nervous at first. But with right mindset it can be managed.

A fixed mindset person will avoid speaking whereas a person with growth mindset although nervous will take this opportunity.

Here is a real life example to demonstrate leadership mindset in a much better way.

1. leading a team

Situation: Team leading task.

Fixed mindset statement: I can not lead.

Growth mindset statement: Although it is a difficult task to do, but I will give my 100%.

example 4. when a person is afraid of failures.

Fixed Mindset: If I will not do this then there are no chance of me failing.

Growth Mindset: Failures are opportunities to grow, I must do it then.

We all want to get success in life and no one wants to get fail doing something. But it is not in our hands. We often face failures in life. Many get disappointed with that feeling. This example I have listed is used in such situations.

Lets look more real life growth mindset and fixed mindset examples on failure mindset.

1. taking part in race

Situation: Participation in a race.

Fixed mindset statement: I can’t win this race. I have not practiced much.

Growth mindset statement: Winning or losing is not in my hand. I will give my best effort to win. Even if I don’t, it will be an experience.

2. learning to drive

Situation: New to driving.

Fixed mindset statement: I can not drive. I fear of accident.

Growth mindset statement: With the help of a driving teacher I can learn to drive.

example 5. While Learning New Things.

Fixed Mindset: I am good at XYZ. I don’t need to learn more for it.

Growth Mindset: There is always something to learn something new about XYZ thing.

There is a tendency in many people that they think that they know everything. They don’t want to learn more in their life. But in many situations they are left behind because of this “I know everything” mindset.

This fixed and growth mindset example on I know everything mentality is demonstrating the same.

example 6. when a person needs to take risk.

Fixed Mindset: I can’t do this. It is too risky for me.

Growth Mindset: What’s wrong in trying. Even if it will not work, I will gain some experience.

Life is not easy. It is full of risks. And the person who take risks wins the race of life. This example is showing what type of mindset to have when you are going to take a tough decision involving risk.

A fixed mindset person will run away from doing risky things, whereas a growth minded person will evaluate the benefits and take the risk if it is right to take risk.

Here are some examples on risk mindset.

1. career change

Situation: To upskill and change domain.

Fixed mindset statement: It is too risky to change the career path. I don’t know where it will lead me in the future.

Growth mindset statement: There are more better opportunities there. I will learn new skills and improve. It is worth taking the risk.

2. stock investment

Situation: Learning about stocks and investing.

Fixed mindset statement: It is risky to invest in stocks. Many people have lost money there.

Growth mindset statement: I know investing in stocks involve risk. But by doing proper research and market study, I can minimize my changes of loss in the market.

example 7. when a person receives feedback.

Fixed Mindset: I don’t like people giving me feedback.

Growth Mindset: Feedback provide me important insights to improve and grow.

Feedback is an important part of growth. But a fixed mindset person instead of learning from it, take it in a negative manner and feels like their ego being hurt. They don’t value that.

A growth mindset person in the same situation will happily accept the feedback. He/she will ponder over it, take out important points from the feedback and will work on them to improve.

Let’s look at some examples of feedback mindset in growth and fixed mindset situations.

1. colleague giving suggestion

Situation: The colleague gave following feedback: “I think you have not done this task right. Here are some areas where you can improve.”

Fixed mindset statement: How can he/she gave me feedback? He/she is not intelligent then me!

Growth mindset statement: Great, I received feedback from him/her. His/her suggestions are right. I will work and improve on those recommended areas.

2. feedback on work done

Situation: A task is completed and feedback received.

Fixed mindset statement: He/she doesn’t deserve to give feedback to me. I know more about my work.

Growth mindset statement: It is in my interest to work on the feedback given. It will benefit my work.

example 8. when a person do challenging things.

Fixed mindset: I hate doing challenging tasks.

Growth Mindset: I love challenges. They help me grow.

This example is listed to show what a person with fixed mindset and growth mindset will do while doing challenging tasks. Many will give up. But a person with growth mindset will take this as a learning opportunity and work on it with full dedication.

example 9. when a person know about something knowledgeable.

Fixed mindset: I don’t like sharing my knowledge.

Growth Mindset: Sharing what I know makes me a better human being.

There is a saying that “Sharing is Caring”. Those who share grow in life. This example can be used to develop that sharing mindset.

Let’s look another example for more easier understanding of this sharing mindset example.

1. new concept to share

Situation: An employee has learnt a new skill and is asked to share with other colleagues.

Fixed mindset statement: I have worked hard to learn this concept. I can’t share it with others. May be they get promotion using the skill and I may left behind.

Growth mindset statement: It is absolutely fine to share this concept. Teaching it to others will help me to learn the concept better.

example 10. when a person makes a mistake.

Fixed mindset: I feel embarrassed on making mistakes.

Growth mindset: Mistakes enable me to correct my shortcomings and improve.

When a person makes a mistake he/she behaves differently. Either he/she will take in a positive way or in a negative way.

A fixed mindset person will not accept the mistake and throw the responsibility on someone else, whereas, a growth mindset person will acknowledge the mistake and will accept the responsibility without blaming others.

example 11. When Some Work Needs To Be Completed In time.

Fixed mindset: I have all the time to do the work. I will first take sleep and then do.

Growth Mindset: There is no point in wasting time. I shall work fast to complete it before the given time frame.

A growth mindset person is aware of the importance of time. Whereas a fixed mindset person will procrastinate and will to avoid the work.

table for fixed vs growth mindset examples

more examples

Growth Mindset Examples For StudentsGrowth Mindset Examples For Teachers
Growth Mindset Examples For EmployeesGrowth Mindset Examples In Business
Growth Mindset Examples In MoviesGrowth Mindset Examples In The Bible
Famous Athletes With A Growth Mindset


So these were the best fixed mindset and growth mindset examples that I have listed down here for you. Using real life fixed verses growth mindset examples, I have tried to explain the difference.

I hope you liked these examples. If you liked these examples than do share them.



For more topics and knowledge on growth mindset and self-improvement, check my website’s homepage self-improvement blog.