Fixed or Growth Mindset? Both!

Do I want to grow? Yes! Do I want a bump in retirement pay? Yes!

Do I have a fixed or growth mindset?

I find it interesting that Carol Dweck said that no one has 100% of the growth mindset, and no one has 100% of the fixed mindset.  We’ve always told our children do your best and let God do the rest. While my wife is very results-oriented, I tell my children all the time I’d rather have a hard-working athlete, associate, or student then a smart one. I do believe you can learn fromthe process, and even from losing. My senior year my football team went one and nine.  Many of those lessons that I learned on the field stayed with me.  Specifically perseverance and  endurance.  .

I would actually argue that working for my masters has put me in a fixed mindset.  Why, the stakes are high.  I don’t want you to tell me about the process I want to get the grade because it’s going to equal to a pay raise for me. If process mattered and grades didn’t, then there wouldn’t be due dates and ways to measure performance. I’m a 2.7 undergrad.  At my school, that was a “B-” average.  Here is the rub, I don’t even care because I got the degree.   Last session, I did find my self being concerned with the grade in a way that I have never experienced before.  

Sometimes growth and sometimes fixed.

So am I fixed mindset? In life overall, No.  Right now regarding this program however, I am fixed.  The stakes are too high.  When the stakes are high, I can’t afford to be concerned with “the process”.  If you wanted me to be in the growth mindset for this program, you would have to reassure me that if all I did was tried I would still get a passing grade.  Even as a write this, I am having a lightbulb moment.   I can tell kids to have a growth mindset, but when they are not the starter or when my Econ grade determines if they graduate or not, there is no room for “the process.”  

I am fixed mindset as a student. Do I want to learn the answers?  Yes.  Do I want to gather the information?  Yes.  But if I wanted to just strictly learn and gather the information, I have an audible account.   I’m really having a lightbulb moment right now because Carol Dweck’s idea of “not yet” doesn’t apply to me as a student.  I have to get this Masters done in the one-year time frame that is allotted to me.  I have too much going on in my life and I can’t carry this over into 2022 because of “not yet”. Dr. H told the class that taking 5302 and 5304 was going to be a tough proposition, but  it just flew right over my head.  I didn’t even consider what he had to say because I need to get this program done in a year. Do I believe in effort? Yes. Do I believe in Naturals?  No!  Naturals are usually cancers on your team.  They don’t work hard, they don’t take correction, they don’t want anybody to be better than them.   In the Masters courses, I’m going to work hard.  I generally put in four to six hours a night on my homework, I’m willing to take correction, and while I’m competitive I don’t care what grade somebody else gets, because  I only control what I do. Those are those are growth mindset attributes.  However I do have the fixed mindset attribute of, “I can’t get a grade lower than a ‘B’”? Yes!  


Dweck, C. S. (2016). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Ballantine Books.

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