Fixed vs growth mindset: How they affect your chance of success.

Eduardo Briceño explains the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and how the latter is the key to success

“What do you think is the key to achieve our goals, our success? Some people suggest things like hard work, focus, persistence. But research shows these are all by-products of something else, something much more powerful that we can all develop,” Mindset Works founder and CEO, Eduardo Briceño, says in a Ted Talk. Taking the example of Josh Waitzkin, international chess master and great martial artist, Briceño explains the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and how the latter is the key to success.


Through multiple studies, he shows how a growth mindset leads to increased grades and a will to actually learn and obtain knowledge. He says, “When we realise we can change our own abilities, when we have a growth mindset, we bring our game to new levels.”

“People with a fixed mindset…(they) worry the most about how they are judged, while those with a growth mindset focus the most on learning,” Briceño explains. “People with a fixed mindset see effort as a bad thing, something that only people with low capabilities need, while those with a growth mindset see effort as what makes us smart, as the way to grow. And when they hit a set back or failure, people with a fixed mindset tend to conclude that they are incapable.” Quoting Josh Waitzkin, he says, “It is incredibly important for parents to make their feedback process-related as oppose to praising or criticising talent. If we win because we are winners, then when we lose, it must make us losers.”

“There is a lot that we can do to change mindsets, but here are three things that any of us can do to instill a growth mindset in ourselves and in those around us. First, recognise that the growth mindset is not only beneficial but it is also supported by science…Second, learn and teach others about how to develop our abilities. Learn about deliberate practice and what makes for effective effort…And third, listen for your fixed mindset voice, and when you hear it, talk back with a growth mindset voice. If you hear, "I can not do it," add, "Yet."”


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