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Success Advice

Growth Mindset Vs. Fixed Mindset: Which One Do You Have?



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I recently finished Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” which motivated me to deeply ponder her thesis on the Growth Mindset versus the Fixed Mindset, and how we, as individuals, employ them in life every day. Mindset (or attitude, as I prefer to call it) is critical because in order to be successful, one must be self-aware of the mindset to which they subscribe.

For example, are you challenging yourself? Are you giving up in the face of adversity or potential failure? Are you putting in deliberate, conscious effort? Are you afraid to take on challenges because of the fear of making a mistake?

According to Dweck, these are the questions one must ask. If you want to be truly successful and achieve mastery, new psychological evidence suggests that hard work, effort, perseverance, and grit are the keys to get you there.

A similar case study was exposed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers: The Story of Success.” Gladwell’s assertion is that 10,000 hours of hard work, struggle, and deliberate practice are needed before one is considered an expert and holds mastery over their field. These notions resonated with me, because I’m sure everyone remembers their father’s, grandfather’s, or a mentor’s advice when they were young and thought they knew it all: “Look son, there are no get-rich-quick schemes in life, if there were, we’d all be rich” or “The road to success is built upon blood, sweat, and tears” (i.e., sweat equity); you get the gist.

I am a true believer that talent, ability, and intellect can only get you so far. One must also possess a strong desire and insatiable hunger to learn and develop by taking challenges head-on and cultivating and advancing skills.

Moreover, new research has challenged conventions in that the brain does in fact continue to develop into your early thirties. Advanced neuroscience indicates that the brain is malleable, and you can influence neurons that can change with experience, either positive or negatively. 

When constant positive neural growth takes place, you change your baseline thinking and re-wire thought patterns, which in turn will change your overall behavior in small increments. If you think about it using common sense, it clicks. The brain, like any other body part needs to be challenged, stretched, and used to become strong. If you don’t go to the gym and exert force on your muscles and challenge your body, you will become decrepit. So it goes with your noggin.

Growth Mindset

As I mentioned previously, think of the Growth Mindset as an attitude, a way of life. One who employs the Growth Mindset, believes that life requires continuous learning and that failure is a critical and necessary component of that learning and self-development. It is the deep belief that no single individual is born with innate talent and ability. Rather, mastery, talent, and ability, is developed over time through perseverance, grit, and hard work.

There is great debate as to whether or not Larry Bird is the best basketball player of all time. People constantly mention his talent and ability and grace. What people don’t talk about though, is, as a poor kid growing up in French Lick, Indiana, before school and after school, how Larry would methodically practice his jump-shot every day for hours on end. In the rain, in the sleet, in the hot sun in the early morning hours and well into the evening – it didn’t matter. That drive combined with his competitive nature and willingness to take challenges head-on (i.e., Magic Johnson) is what made Larry Bird arguably the best player in the NBA.

Dweck states that a Growth Mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure, “Not as evidence of unintelligence, but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

Traits of the Growth Mindset

Intellect can be developed over time and leads to a desire to learn and grow which results in:

  • Embracing challenges head-on
  • Perseverance (i.e., not giving up) in the face of setbacks, defeat, or failure
  • Seeing effort and hard work as a path to mastery
  • Using criticism and negative feedback as a form of learning and self-development
  • Finding lessons and inspiration in the success of others

Fixed Mindset

A Fixed Mindset, is an attitude that assumes character, creativity, intellect, and ability are static, and endowed to us upon birth (i.e., he’s a natural, a born genius, etc.). What is often overlooked with those who employ the Fixed Mindset, is that if you look at history, there are many examples of people who came from backgrounds of deep poverty and working class, but through resilience, determination, and hard work, made positive impacts on the world.

Take Thomas Edison for example, after thousands of tireless nights and failures, he created the modern light bulb. Through those failures, he learned and grew as a result. He employed the Growth Mindset. 

A Fixed Mindset view would have given up with their justification being that scientific traits weren’t carved in stone at birth. Remember, a Fixed Mindset, can negatively affect all aspects of your life ranging from education, career, and personal relationships.

Traits of the Fixed Mindset

Intelligence is static and leads to a desire to look smart which results in:

  • Prefer to avoid challenges
  • Giving up easily to obstacles or challenges
  • Seeing effort as fruitless or a waste of energy
  • Ignoring useful negative feedback or criticism, and taking it personally (i.e., ego)
  • Feeling threatened by the success of others
  • Not learning from or acknowledging their mistakes because of arrogance or ego

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw 

Employ a Growth Mindset

Relatives, friends, and colleagues young and old, I implore you to read Mindset, you will not be disappointed. Even if you are retired from the “working” world, there is so much to be gained that can be applied to other aspects of your life. 

You can take a skills inventory and challenge yourself daily to employ a Growth Mindset. Ask yourself whether you are shying away from challenges out of fear. Remember, challenge and failure are necessary to learning, self-development, and growing as an individual.

I’ll leave you with this quote: 

“In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort (Fixed Mindset). In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented (Growth Mindset).” – Carol Dweck

Keep on challenging and believing in yourself and you will achieve greatly.

What’s one new thing you’re learning this year that you didn’t know last year? Share your stories with us below!

Brendan M. Coyne loves to read, write, and practice self-development and bettering himself. His goal is to share what he learns with others, in the hope that through that learning, they will achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. You can connect with Brendan through his website or on LinkedIn.

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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Success Advice

Here’s a Young Man’s Antidote for the Uncertainty of the Modern World

Why do a lot of young guys lack confidence in today’s world? 



How to boost your confidence
Image Credit: Midjourney

We all have been told that confidence is a key factor in achieving success and happiness in life. But what is it exactly? (more…)

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Success Advice

Toxic Leadership: 5 Ways to Identify a Bad Leader

if you have a leader who displays any of the toxic traits, it’s time to move on to greener pastures.



Toxic leadership
Image Credit: Midjourney

Let’s be honest, we’ve all crossed paths with a toxic leader in our careers at some point. Unfortunately, while some toxic leaders don’t even bother to hide their behaviour, some know very well how to conceal their true selves behind a strong-built facade. The latter is the most dangerous of the two. (more…)

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