Fixed Mindset v’s Growth Mindset – How Does it Relate to Sport?

In the past, some philosophers and researchers believed that intelligence was fixed and could not be changed. Thanks to the latest research in neuroscience, we are now seeing how the brain is continuously changing. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist, shares the differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Dr Dweck points out that people with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is static, whilst someone with a growth mindset believes that intelligence can be developed. In the following diagram you can see more details on the generalised differences between a fixed mindset vs growth mindset –

If you would like to hear some of the research, Carol Dweck discusses some of her findings on fixed mindset vs growth mindset, in her TED Talk – the Power of Yet.


Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset – How Does It Relate to Sport?

The graphic below outlines a few questions that shows how a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset relates to sport.

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset

There may be some extreme cases, however generally most people lie on the continuum of a fixed and growth mindset. Certain situations will also bring out different mindsets. So if you see yourself using a fixed mindset, stop to recognise it, take time out to reflect and then decide consciously on the next step.


Questions for Reflection –

  1. Where do you see yourself on the continuum of a fixed mindset vs growth mindset?
  2. Are there certain situations where you have a fixed mindset? If so, what are they?
  3. What do you see as the advantages of developing a growth mindset?

Feel free to share any insights or responses below. If you liked this article and want to keep taking the next step towards freedom and thriving in sport and lifeplease feel free to join the Sport Life Flow community by clicking here.

Reference –

Dweck, C. (2008). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York, USA: Ballantine Books.

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