Mindset by Carol Dweck [Infographic + Summary]

Applied Psychology / Monday, April 29th, 2019

By reading this summary of Mindset by Carol Dweck, you will discover how to be successful.

About the author

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., a well-known Researcher and Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is renowned for her groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. You can find more information on her personal website.

About the book

The book is classified in Applied Psychology because it gives us insightful knowledge in our mindset. The release date was on 2007 and the book contains 320 pages (at its current version). It scores 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 2,536 reviews (on April 28, 2019).

Key quote from the book

“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”

― Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Mindset Infographic:

Infographic of Mindset by Carol Dweck book summary. The description follows in the blog post.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset Summary:

Failure is nothing but a stumbling block that hinders you from something that seems unattainable. Failure can be of anything. It can be about losing a competition, getting a lower grade than your friend, facing rejection more than once. In simple words, failure is about not reaching for things you value; not knowing your potentials; and saying ‘NO’ to growth.

For many people living in a society, conscious exertion of power, in simple words, hard work, is a bad thing. Just like a failure, it means you’re not keen or out of the ordinary. If you were, you wouldn’t need such exertion. But for some, the effort is what makes you not only smart but also gifted.

As luck would have it, we, men have a choice. A choice to opt one thing and to reject others, to say yes or no, to being successful, to make a good change. And, you know what, it all relates to your mindset. And, your choice directly relates to your mindset.

Mindset: A Fixed-Mindset and A Growth Mindset

What you do or how you do your day-to-day basis comes from your mindset. A well-known Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, believes that mindset is the idea you have of your features – where they come from and whether they can improve.

There are two mindsets: Fixed-Mindset to a Growth-Mindset. The following two represent the extreme ends on either side of a spectrum.

A Fixed-Mindset

A Fixed Mindset, as the name suggests, is fixed and comes from the belief that your potentials are immovable. Characteristics such as intellect, persona, and creativeness are all fixed traits. Such human abilities are innate and largely fixed; they can’t be developed over time.

People having fixed-mindset believes that everything is about the outcome. If you miss the mark or if you aren’t excelling all other, everything became emaciated. They believe that ability shows up on its own, before any persisting through failure. It’s either in you, or it isn’t.

A Growth Mindset

There’s another mindset which Dweck explains a quite different than a fixed mindset, a Growth-Mindset. In such a mindset, unlike a fixed-mindset, the traits are not simply a hand you’re born with and deal with your entire life. A Growth-Mindset is holding a belief that abilities are developed through continues struggle and failure. It is to believe that abilities are highly trainable and can be cultivated through effort. Based on the belief that your basic qualities are trainable; this type of mindset offers you a royal flush to such fixed attributed

With a growth mindset, all absences of skill are identified to be temporary and ductile. You always try to learn and achieve something, without encoding it in the sense of defeatism. A Growth Mindset gives you an urgency to deal with various challenges, face the world, and to prove yourself. You always take criticism as a personal attack; you take it as something on your character. Your growth mindset always encourages you to learn more and make more efforts. This helps you improve yourself and your skills. This way, you can take criticism as valuable feedback and openly accepted.

Yes, no two men are identical. People differ greatly – in aptitude, abilities, enthusiasms, or attitudes – but everyone has an ability to grow through application and experience.

The Shift from a Fixed-Mindset to a Growth-Mindset

Commit to your memory for your entire life that the secret to fulfilling your potential is changing your mindset. Why you need a shift? It is because believing abilities are set/already fixed makes every defeat an unpleasant reminder of your unconquerable incompetence.

Mindsets are powerful beliefs, existing in your mind, which can be changed, if one wants to.

Fixed-Mindset, without any pinch of doubts, is a big stumbling block on your progress. Not only do people with Fixed-Mindsets fear taking risks, but they also give up more easily.

Remember, skills can be built or refined through conscious exertion of power. Defeats help you learn. Set-backs help you improve. A Growth Mindset makes growing possible while making failure enjoyable. People with a growth mindset are more likely to get to the top on challenges. The fixed mindset, on the other hand, is all about saying ‘NO’ to struggle or procrastination.

People with the growth mindset don’t label themselves and throw up their hands in defeat. They never fear to brazen out challenges and keep exerting themselves. The growth mindset plays a pivotal role in converting life’s stumbling block into future accomplishments.

Dweck, in Mindset, also argues that the best outcomes come from assuming a generous Growth Mindset towards everything. The author believes that a very simple belief about yourself that directs and infuses nearly every part of your life can limit your potentials or allow you to attain something you want. Such a belief often makes a distinction between excellence and mediocrity. It influences your self-awareness, your self-worth, your inspiration, your capability to deal with challenging circumstances, your resilience to a stumbling block, your levels of downheartedness, and your tendency to stereotype, to name a few.


Mindset is one of the amazing books written on Optimism. The book is valuable for conceit: that there are two types of mindsets; the growth and the fixed. The growth is about efforts and accomplishment. The fixed is about saying no to change and improvement. From this book, you can expect to learn about the real meaning of success or failure. It shed light on the fact that your failure or success is mostly determined by the perspective you choose to take on it.

To discover in the book

Reading this book, one can pick up these following things:

  • How to learn from your mistakes.
  • How to make you life successful.
  • Why you should surround yourself with successful people.

All in all, this psychology book is all about the way you think to fulfill your potentials. What you think about yourself matters more than anything. The view you adopt for yourself has a strong impact on the way you lead your life. And, the growth mindset allows you to improve—and to continue to love it in the face of difficulties. They believe that success is only about in doing their best, in learning and improving.

Make your mind up for not saying ‘NO’. Keep moving on. Yes, realizing your full potential and change your bad habits into good habits won’t happen with little or no effort. You will have to rise up and say, ‘Yes, I’m ready to face this. I don’t care how challenging it can be. I’m not going to accept my defeat. I’m moving on with my life.”  

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