Carol Dweck is an author, researcher, and professor of psychology at Stanford University and is widely known for her work on the power of mindset.
Her seminal research paper, published in 2006, outlined how people’s beliefs about their own capabilities can have a powerful effect on how they approach challenges and achieve success.
Dweck’s main message is that regardless of talent or intelligence, individuals can achieve success if they adopt a growth mindset rather than holding a fixed mindset.
A growth mindset involves believing in the ability to learn and grow, even when faced with difficult challenges, and being willing to put in the hard work required to reach goals. This approach emphasizes effort over natural ability and sees failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a barrier. By adopting these beliefs, individuals can open up new possibilities for success.
A fixed mindset, on the other hand, is characterized by a belief that intelligence and talent are static qualities that cannot be changed. This approach tends to lead to resistance when faced with challenging tasks, since any failure is viewed as an indication of a lack of ability.
By understanding the power of mindset and being aware of how our beliefs can affect our actions, we can work to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth one, and thereby greatly increase our chances for success.
The following quotes by Carol Dweck help to articulate the concept of growth and fixed mindsets further.
Carol Dweck Quotes
“Exceptional people convert life’s setbacks into future successes.” Carol Dweck
“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” Carol Dweck
“For twenty years, my research has shown that 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 Dweck
“You don’t know what your abilities are until you make a full commitment to developing them.” Carol Dweck
“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.” Carol Dweck
“This is something I know for a fact: You have to work hardest for the things you love most.” Carol Dweck
“True self-confidence is “the courage to be open—to welcome change and new ideas regardless of their source.” Real self-confidence is not reflected in a title, an expensive suit, a fancy car, or a series of acquisitions. It is reflected in your mindset: your readiness to grow.” Carol Dweck
“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.” Carol Dweck
“Think about your hero. Do you think of this person as someone with extraordinary abilities who achieved with little effort? Now go find out the truth. Find out the tremendous effort that went into their accomplishment—and admire them more.” Carol Dweck
“Becoming is better than being.” Carol Dweck
“Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.” Carol Dweck
“In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome. They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.” Carol Dweck
“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. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.” Carol S. Dweck
“John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, says you aren’t a failure until you start to blame. What he means is that you can still be in the process of learning from your mistakes until you deny them.” Carol Dweck
“Effort is one of those things that gives meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it.” Carol S. Dweck
“With a growth mindset, kids don’t necessarily think that there’s no such thing as talent or that everyone is the same, but they believe everyone can develop their abilities through hard work, strategies, and lots of help and mentoring from others.” Carol S. Dweck
“The best thing parents can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.” Carol Dweck
“When entire companies embrace a growth mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation.” Carol Dweck
“When there’s a setback, someone with a fixed mindset will start thinking, ‘Maybe I don’t have what it takes?’ They may get defensive and give up. A hallmark of a successful person is that they persist in the face of obstacle, and often, these obstacles are blessings in disguise.” Carol Dweck
Dweck’s work has since become one of the most influential psychological studies of the 21st century and her theories have been applied to education, business, sports and other fields. Today, she continues to be an active researcher and advocate for the power of mindset in helping people reach their goals.
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