December 4

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EP 37 | Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset: How They Shape Our Lives

By Kim Strobel

December 4, 2020


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Carol Dweck, synthesized in her remarkably insightful book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success — an inquiry into the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives.

Dweck reveals in her research that the “fixed mindset” is the attitude or belief that we are born with a certain skill set, aptitude, intelligence, or talent and that we can’t really do much to change or cultivate it. This keeps us from realizing our true potential because we fear failure and truly don’t believe in ourselves. A growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that through effort, perseverance, grit, and determination one can cultivate and improve many of their skills, amplitudes, and intelligence

Mindsets begin at a very young age and they develop certain beliefs about ourselves or create internalized stories that prevent us from being uncomfortable, being willing to stretch and grow ourselves so we can truly find the hidden gems inside of ourselves and step into our bigness.

 

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In this episode of the She Finds Joy podcast, learn:

  • How a fixed mindset limits your success. 
  • How to foster a growth mindset to unlock your potential. 
  • The brain is malleable and can grow and change.
  • Why you’re underestimating your ability and it’s causing “stuckness.”
  • Your thoughts are the driving force of your beliefs. 
  • Your beliefs become your actions, and then your habits. 
  • Why you must embrace effort, perseverance, determination, and uncomfortableness to grow.

    “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.” Carol Dweck, Stanford Psychology professor.

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    Helpful Links

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    About Kim

    Kim Strobel is Chief Happiness Officer at Kim Strobel Live Events and Retreats. She is a teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, happiness coach, and a mission-minded person whose passion is helping others overcome their fears and discover their joy!  You can follow Kim’s journey on Instagram at @KimStrobelJoy and in the free private, She Finds Joy Facebook community. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_5″ _builder_version=”4.4.2″][et_pb_image src=”https://kimstrobel.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/kim-media-photo-6.jpg” _builder_version=”4.4.2″ custom_margin=”|||-61px||” custom_padding=”|||0px||”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.4.8″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.4.2″][et_pb_accordion open_toggle_background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” closed_toggle_background_color=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” icon_color=”#e01f76″ use_icon_font_size=”on” icon_font_size=”20px” _builder_version=”4.4.8″ hover_enabled=”0″][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Close Transcript” open=”on” closed_toggle_text_color=”#000000″ icon_color=”#e01f76″ use_icon_font_size=”on” _builder_version=”4.4.2″ border_color_all=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” border_color_top=”rgba(0,0,0,0)” toggle_level=”h2″ toggle_font=”||||||||” toggle_text_align=”right”][/et_pb_accordion_item][et_pb_accordion_item title=”Transcript ” open_toggle_background_color=”#ffffff” closed_toggle_background_color=”#ffffff” icon_color=”#e01f76″ use_icon_font_size=”on” _builder_version=”4.4.8″ hover_enabled=”0″ toggle_level=”h3″ toggle_font=”|700|||||||” toggle_font_size=”24px” open=”off”]

    00:16 

    Hello, my friends and welcome back to she finds joy. This is really all about how can we as women really step into the arena of bigness. And so what I want to talk to you about today is actually a topic that I teach in my education, 

    00:35 

    consulting business. I go into schools and I host workshops on growth mindset, but let me tell you, we are now starting to go into the corporate world and really talk about this topic. Because you know what, it applies to everything. It applies to students, it applies to every single adult, it applies to every employee and it also applies to 

    01:00 

    to parents. And so what I want to talk to you about today is this idea of the growth mindset, which is kind of a term that was coined by Carol Dweck. And what I love about Carol Dweck is she is a Stanford professor of psychology. But she is also a teacher and has taught at all different grade levels. And she’s applied this mindset, this growth mindset to students. But I think you’re even going to see in today’s episode, how you can really begin to apply this idea to yourself as a human being because we have a lot of fixed mindsets about us. And while we are all a mixture of both, what we know is that the fixed mindsets that you have are probably limiting your ability to reach your potential. So let me explain the difference. 

    02:00 

    between the two. The fixed mindset is really about this idea of that you’re born with a certain set of skills or aptitude or intelligence. And there’s not really anything you can do about that you can’t really change it and you can’t really fix it. 

    02:22 

    So it’s basically this idea that you believe that your skills and intelligence are carved in stone, and that you don’t have the capacity to develop, cultivate or improve any of them. You are born with a certain aptitude, intelligence and skills, and there’s not really much you can do to change that. Now, I will just tell you, that this is the mindset that most of us have grown up in, right, we did not realize that the brain has this amazing ability to grow. It’s skill set. And so we kind of have felt like, Hey, you know, you’re either born with 

    03:00 

    a certain set of skills or you’re not. And if you’re not too bad, you just don’t have those skills. And what we know is that that is not true anymore. Now, we are all a mixture of, you know, growth mindset and fixed mindset. And by the way, what I mean by mindset is, I mean, a mindset is basically like an attitude that you have about something, okay? It’s a perspective that you have about something. And so when we’re kind of, you know, it’s not about having a positive outlook, I don’t want you to confuse it. But it’s, it’s really like we’re all a mixture of growth and fixed depending on the situation. And so this is really about having access to forms of thinking that can move us forward in our life. And you know, there are times to have grit, right and to persevere and to keep working at it. And then there’s times to look for other solutions. And so when we’re talking about the 

    04:00 

    Ruth growth mindset, it takes me back to it takes me back to my elementary days. So I always tell people like I went to this really wonderful Catholic School, where I felt very loved and very safe. But back when I was in school, we had bird groups. And so our reading groups and the level of reader that you were, what you were given a bird group name. So for example, in my school, if you were in the cardinal group, or the bluebird group, then you were considered like the best readers, the high readers, the smart readers. And if you were average, you were an average reader, then you were in the Robin group. And then if you were a low reader, you really struggled. You were in the Blackbird group. And I know some of you who are listening, especially if you’re like, 30 or below, you’re thinking this is crazy. Kim, there is no way that a school would have had groups like that, but they did. And let’s be honest, we still have reading groups and 

    05:00 

    Everybody knows who’s in the low group and who’s in the high group. So when I was in elementary school, I really struggled with reading comprehension. And so, you know, I was labeled in kindergarten as, like, I’m somewhere between a Robin and a blackbird. And the thing is like, you never got to move groups back then right? Even if you improve your skills, so once you’re a black bird, you stayed a black bird, your entire elementary school years. And I remember that I just wanted to be a cardinal. I just wanted to be a blue bird because they were the people they were the kids who like could be trusted to take a note to the office or were in charge of wiping the board down during recess. Or, you know, I remember in our music class each year each grade level performed a play and I remember thinking like hi so badly want to be chosen for one of the parts, but I was just a little Blackbird and blackbirds weren’t chosen for the 

    06:00 

    parts. But you know my cousin Pat, who was my age that I still to this day bring this up, you know, he was a bluebird. And so he got chosen to be Johnny Appleseed, the main character in the play, and of course, I have no anger or resentment issues over that, you know, 35 years later, but anywho what I remember is that I did not measure up to other kids. I struggled specifically with reading, and I even was a title one kid at one time. I remember going downstairs in a little bitty closet in the basement of the school where I got to work with like a program assistant on my comprehension skills. Now, I actually loved doing that because back then you would play these little games and if you did really well, they were allowed to give you a piece of candy and I was all about the candy. So 

    06:56 

    but here’s the deal. I had a very 

    07:00 

    fixed mindset about my ability, right? I just kind of like, I’m just not a smart kid, and I’m never going to be a smart kid. And so 

    07:12 

    you know, schooling somewhat does do this to us. I think it makes us feel like we are less than others. But somehow I got out of the fixed mindset and started really applying myself. And I remember even in middle school, I got obsessed with Little House on the Prairie books. And long story short, I ended up growing my reading skill set. And here I am, you know, 46 years later, and I am an avid reader. And so, but the fixed mindset can apply to anything, right? Like, oh, I could never be a painter, or I’m never going to be able to lose weight. Or I could never learn how to play the piano. I could never be a speaker, all of these things and so what we do is 

    08:00 

    Basically, with the fixed mindset, we give up on ourselves and we say, Hey, I just don’t have this aptitude. I just, you know, I’m never going to be able to grow my skill set in this area. And that is what really limits you in your life my friends. You know, I I had a fixed mindset for a long time about my reading ability. I remember I had a fixed mindset about my ability to eat healthy. I still have some of that, by the way, but I’m trying to grow that but for those of you who don’t know, I’m a girl who runs 35 miles a week, but I am a huge eater. I, up until like two years ago, I ate for hostess cupcakes every single night before I went to bed with a large glass of milk. Right now to be honest with you. I’m sitting behind the microphone and I just had, I had like a little meal and a microwave but then I just ate a bunch of chips and I’m sitting here playing with the little gummy bears on my desk. 

    09:00 

    As I’m recording this because I always have to have something sweet after each meal. So I have for years been like, you know what, I just don’t have it like all of my friends. As soon as they hit 40 they started tracking their calories and journaling their food intake and losing weight and cutting out their sugar intake. And then there’s Kim, who like is still eating her for hostess cupcakes every night before she goes to bed and her gummy bears and her dove chocolates after lunch. And so like I’m just missing a skill set. 

    09:32 

    That’s the fixed mindset, my friends. That is the fixed mindset. Basically, like I just don’t have the willpower that other women do. Now, I’ve been working on this I’ve been working to change it over to a growth mindset in small little ways. And so I really have given up my four hostess cupcakes before bed. Now I do have like four or five or six dove dark chocolate 

    10:00 

    auklets but that is progress, right? And I remember going into the local a local restaurant here in tell city called the post. And when I walk in people see me as you know, this runner, this athlete, she exercises all of the time. And I remember there was a woman there and she like had a big dessert. And she looked at me all embarrassed, and she said, Oh, you would probably never eat anything like this. And I like I was like, right away. I was like, Oh my gosh, no, I’m the girl who eats for hostess cupcakes, blah, blah, blah. And I found myself doing that. And I think I know why. I would immediately like divulge my terrible eating habits would be like, one reason was I do run 35 miles a week. And I’m not saying I’m extremely overweight, but like, I’m built like a brick shithouse. And so like, I’m not like that super thin Runner’s body. And so I think like, that’s a way that I’ve kind of used to make up an excuse for like, yes, I’m the crazy girl who exercises all of the time. 

    11:00 

    Even though I still kind of look like this, and look, I get it. Most people will be like, I would love to have your body cam. But you know, as women, we all kind of have these body issues that we continue to work on. So now what I do when people say stuff like that, to me, I don’t lie to them because like, you know, a growth mindset isn’t about you shooting fluff up into the air and not believing it. So now what I say is, you know what, I’m really I’m not a healthy eater, yet, but I’m working on it. And so that little three letter word yet makes all the difference. And we’re going to talk more about that here in just a minute. But now, now, I want to talk to you 

    11:48 

    about the growth mindset. So the growth mindset is basically this idea that you believe that your skills and talents 

    12:00 

    Are things that can be developed, cultivated and improved, and that you do have the capacity to learn and grow. And skills are built through effort and everyone everyone has the ability to change and grow. This means that you you’re not simply just the hand you are dealt and have to live with your you know, you’re not the person who’s always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush, when in fact, you’re secretly worried. It’s a pair of 10s. In this mindset, the hand that you are dealt is really just the starting point for development. And it’s really based on the belief that your basic qualities, the things about you are things that you can cultivate and grow with effort and yes, we all differ in our talents and in our intelligence types and our attitudes and our personalities and our temperaments, but every 

    13:00 

    Human beings can grow and change if they apply themselves and give themselves those experiences. And so let me give you an example of where I have had a very growth mindset. So most of you know my story of extreme panic disorder and if not, you need to go back and listen to episode one, which is the birth of the happiness coach, where I really tell everyone that I struggled for many, many years in my adult life and in my teen life, just really terrible suffering where I just could barely live every single day. And I struggled you know, to walk to my mailbox, I struggled to be at home by myself, I struggled to drive my car five minutes away from home. And, 

    13:51 

    and I’m also the girl who in her high school speech class shook so badly that I couldn’t 

    14:00 

    even read the notes on my index cards. Remember when we were in high school, some of you, we had the little index cards and you would put your little cheater notes on there and read them? Well, my hands shook so badly that I couldn’t even read my notes. Now, most people would not, you know, most of us were kind of trained in the fixed mindset like, hey, you’re they’re smart at math, or you’re not, you’re either a great cook or you’re not, you’re either a good runner or you’re not. But this is so very not true. My friends, and this is where we limit ourselves. Because as you now know, I travel the country and my number one job and my number one zone of genius. The thing that I really excel at is put me on a stage with 2000 plus people and let me do my thing. Now, you would never look back at Kim sable house her sophomore year in high school and think, Oh, yeah, that’s what her profession is going to be. You’d be like that person. 

    15:00 

    Girl, She’s shaking all over, she got hives all over her neck. She’s stumbling over her words, she can’t read her note cards. So, again, many my point with this is that many, many, many, many, many, many of us have these very hidden jewels inside ourselves that we just don’t even know are there or we haven’t even given them a chance to be birthed. And yes, it’s taken effort on my part. Yes, it’s turkey taken determination and grit. Yes, I’ve had to grow my skill set through tremendous effort. But I did it, because we know that the brain and the body can stretch itself and it can learn new things. And so I want you to really think about this in your own life, because what is the story that you’ve been telling yourself? 

    16:00 

    yourself that you don’t have the skill set for. You don’t have the aptitude for, you know, if I look back to even when I launched my own business, I had zero business sense. I have never actually I take that back. I took one business class my freshman year, when I thought I wanted to go into business, but like, I launched my business with out any business since. And so what happens is we vastly underestimate our ability to do all kinds of big things, because of the story that we tell ourselves. And we are steeped in fixed mindset, which prevents us from being able to make the move that we need to make in our life. And you know, here’s the deal, I think back to that second grade play when I was the little Blackbird and I was never chosen for that part. Who knows? Maybe the black bird should have been 

    17:00 

    troezen for the main part, considering she now is a nationally recognized speaker. I think I’m going to tell my cousin Pat that next time I have a conversation with him. So here’s what we know from Carol Dweck, when we’re talking about the mindsets, we’re talking about the growth mindset, we’re talking about the fixed mindset. And I really want to challenge you, if you’re listening to this right now, and you’re taking your walk or you’re writing in the car, I want you to think about what are some areas in your life where you hold a fixed mindset about yourself? And then what are some areas in your life where you have a growth mindset, where you weren’t very good, okay at something, and you grew your skillset, you became better at it, because you were gritty and you were perseverant and you put in effort, and you were passionate about it. One of my favorite quotes from Carol Dweck that 

    18:00 

    I think just determines so much of a person’s ability to really step into their bigness is this, the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. 

    18:19 

    I’m going to read that one more time. The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. And what we mean by the view is basically your belief system. What is it that you believe about yourself? Because whatever you believe about yourself, is definitely profoundly affecting the way you lead your life. Let me give you another 

    example of this because we also know that you know, the average human being has about 70,000 thoughts a day 

    19:00 

    Go through their brain. And so what we know, is whatever the thoughts are that you have the most about yourself, those become the beliefs that you hold about yourself. So if you’re constantly having thoughts about your inability to be smart, or intelligent, or to launch your own business, or to lose the weight, or to begin to exercise, or to walk into a gym, or to begin eating healthy or to organize your home, whatever thoughts you’re predominantly having, those are becoming like the silent beliefs, the things that you really believe about yourself and your beliefs, those become the actions that you do or do not take. So if you go back to Kim Strobel and her hostess cupcake sabbatical, or not even sabbatical that’s not the word obsession, right. I have had these thoughts for years, which is a 

    20:00 

    I’m not a healthy eater. I’m not a healthy eater. I eat like terrible stuff, I eat junk, I eat sugar. Everybody else can do it, I can’t do it. And those thoughts have become a true belief about myself, which is I just don’t have the willpower. I am missing whatever all of my 47 year old friends have, I just don’t have that ability. 

    20:18 

    And so that’s a belief that I have carried. And now what we know about beliefs is that beliefs become your actions. So what’s Kim’s actions? Every night she goes and she opens up the pantry doors and she gets out our hostess cupcakes. Or she eats her little sandwich for lunch and then goes over to the buffet and pulls out two handfuls of gummy bears, right? Because your beliefs are constantly driving your actions. 

    20:47 

    If you don’t believe you can do it, then you don’t take the very next little action towards it because you don’t believe you can do it. And those actions they become 

    21:00 

    Your habits for life and your habits. They’re your reality. So when Carol Dweck says the view you adopt for yourself, profoundly affects the way you lead your life. Or when Kim Strobel says your thoughts create your reality. What we’re talking about is your thoughts become your beliefs, which become your app actions which become your habits, which becomes your reality. And so what we want to do is we want to retrain your thoughts so that we can download a new set of unlimite Ting beliefs about yourself so that you can begin to take the next action that you need to take so that you can create the reality that you want. This reminds me of about five years ago, I was giving a workshop and there was a 62 year old woman who came up and found me during the break I have been talking about the growth mindset. 

    22:00 

    And the fixed mindset and how do we apply it to our lives as adults? How do we apply it to our children? How do we apply it to our students? And she said, you know, Kim, one of the things that I had for a long time is I had a fixed mindset about my inability to swim. I had never learned to swim as a child, and I had never learned to swim as an adult. But she 

    said, when I turned 60, I told myself, I am going to learn to swim. And the way I’m going to do that is I’m going to step number one bias swimsuit. Step number two, join the indoor pool membership. Step number three, as scared as I feel, put this swimsuit on, go to the indoor pool, walk in and get in the water. And that had been two years previous and she said, Kim, I want you to know that I swim I can’t remember how many yards she does five days a week because 

    23:00 

    What she did is she took that very limiting belief, she took that fixed mindset. 

    23:06 

    And she created a new belief in herself through little bitty teeny, tiny right actions, courageous actions 

    23:16 

    in the right direction. And those courageous actions have now led to a new habit in her life. And her reality is that she is a swimmer. 

    23:28 

    And so, one of the things I want us to think about if any of you are parents of children, this is the thing that we work on so much in the growth mindset is we have so many kids who are steeped in fixed mindset. They see say things like, Well, my mom wasn’t good at math, 

    so I’ll never be good at math. Or, you know, my parents never made anything of themselves, so I’ll never make anything of myself. So there are students who truly believe that whatever the intelligent 

    24:00 

    aptitudes skill set they were born with, that’s really just a wash, that there’s really nothing they can do to change that. Until, until we tell them actually, even if you’re not a good reader right now, even if you’re not a good reader, yet, 

    24:22 

    with effort in strength and perseverance, and yes, a whole hell of a lot more practice than other students. We can grow your skill set, we can make you a reader. Yes, you’re going to have to work a lot harder than others. But we now know that we can grow your brain, we 

    can grow your skill set. I actually know so I always tell people like I don’t the right side of my brain isn’t near as strong as the left side of my brain and the right side of the brain is all about creativity. It’s all about, you know, 

    24:55 

    when I think of the right side of the brain, I think of artists and musicians and people who can play 

    25:00 

    play instruments. Now I also know that the right side of the brain has to do with multiple ways of being creative. And I’ve now understood that I am creative, maybe in the non traditional sense. But basically, you know, when I sit down to draw a flower, I draw a little round circle and five little petals, and I can’t make it look any better than that. So, you know, I feel like I’m just not born with artistic ability. But Dan pink in his book, a whole new mine, which I will put that in the show notes for you all, he actually proves that even the things that we’re like really terrible at that we can become better at No, I’m never going to be a Picasso. No, my IQ is never going to make me a neuro physicist. You know, there are certain limitations. So please don’t misunderstand that the growth mindset is basically just you going around saying, Well, I can be anything that I want to be, you know, I can become as smart as Albert Einstein. The bottom line 

    26:00 

    This, there are limitations. But most of us can achieve so much more than what we previously thought was possible. And so Dan pink talks about his also inability to draw to have any artistic ability, but he enrolled in like an eight week drawing course in New York. And on day one. 

    26:22 

    On day one, they had you draw a self portrait of yourself. And then they worked for eight weeks on opening up these other areas of strength in your brain. And by week eight, they had to draw another portrait of themselves and he shows it in his book, he’s like these, this is the difference. No, I’m never going to be Picasso. I’m never going to be a great artist or a great painter. But in eight weeks, I grew my drawing ability immensely. And so understanding this, this new knowledge 

    27:00 

    is really important for all of us, for us to understand that we are greatly limiting ourselves, we are the ones who are holding a belief system that is wrong. That is not right that is based on old information. And what we need to be able to do is to try to push ourselves towards the growth mindset. And the way that we do that is by doing hard things by making ourselves uncomfortable by allowing ourselves to be frustrated and, and embracing our grittiness and our perseverance. And so I’m going to talk more about this in future episodes because I have so much to say about this topic, and I want to really get in the next episode, I want to talk about the power of yet, and I want to talk about productive struggle, but I feel like I have fed you so much information in this episode, that I really want you to walk away with understanding that the fixed mindset is that idea that you are born with a certain set 

    28:00 

    have skills, talents, aptitudes and intelligence. And there’s really nothing you can do about it. And the growth mindset is actually about knowing, hey, yep, I might have a natural tendency or non tendency towards this certain skill set or towards this certain type of intelligence. But I now know that the brain is malleable. I now know that I can grow my skill set immensely. And if you need help remembering that I want you to picture little 16 year old 102 pound Kim sable house in her high school speech class, and I want you to think about how she grew her public speaking skill set to actually be the very thing that lights her on fire. And my friend, you are capable of doing these big things too. You are capable. If you can simply begin to download a new belief system. 

    29:00 

    And then take little right actions that create new habits in your life that then create a new reality. And I have to tell you, the women who come into my group coaching program, so much of their challenge is us really being able to peel away the layers of those limiting beliefs, that false information so that they can really start to see the hidden jewels, because once I can help them peel back the layers, then we can begin to really kind of like do a software update on them, we can actually begin to download a new set of beliefs. And that new set of beliefs profoundly affects the way they begin to lead their life. 

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