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The New Psychology of Success

By Carol Dweck
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Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset (2006) discusses the differences between people with a fixed mindset versus those with a growth mindset. Our mindset determines the way we deal with tough situations and setbacks as well as our willingness to deal with and improve ourselves. This book demonstrates how we can achieve our goals by changing our mindset.


This is a Blinkist staff pick

Mindset sheds light on how our beliefs about our own abilities and talent influence how we learn and which paths we take in life. Understanding more about the concepts of a fixed and growth mindset helps me to reflect on my thoughts more profoundly, and changes how I think and act. I found this BiB very inspiring and spot on.”

– Holger, CEO of Blinkist

Key idea 1 of 8

An individual’s abilities are set in stone in the fixed mindset.

People with a fixed mindset believe that talent is king. In their view, a person’s abilities are set in stone from the get-go; a person is, by nature, either intelligent and talented or stupid and incompetent, and will stay that way.

Big companies like Enron and McKinsey ­– whose HR departments invest a lot of money into scouting out so-called naturals at universities – embody this way of thinking. The grads they hire are expected to instantly boost company performance with their outstanding abilities. But since the grads are so talented, they receive little training and are not expected to progress in their jobs or grow into new roles.

As a result, their superiors evaluate them constantly: Are these grads really as smart as we thought or do their errors reveal that they lack the talent to get the job done?

People with a fixed mindset think that employees who are not perfect from day one never will be, so it’s best to let them go quickly.

Moreover, people with a fixed mindset believe they can only do things they show a natural aptitude for – that practice certainly does not make perfect. Since they are quick to judge themselves and other people as being good or bad at something, they assume others are judging them all the time, too. Thus, they feel the need to show how talented and smart they are every chance they get.

They believe their entire personality is at stake: one slip-up could be enough to brand them as incompetent fools for life. They constantly seek approval from others to protect their egos and confirm that they really are as great as they think they are.

An individual’s abilities are set in stone in the fixed mindset.

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