Last Updated on January 22, 2023 by Thalia
By the end of last year, I was exhausted from reading so many self-improvement books.
I never want reading to feel like a chore and so I took a step back and filled up my cup with purely fiction.
So instead of picking up another non-fiction book, I thought I would revisit one of the first-ever self-improvement books I ever read.
Here’s everything I learnt and took away from reading Mindset by Carol Dweck.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review.
And the main reason for that is I’ve been making a conscious effort to read more fiction.
My reading really took a toll late last year as I was reading so many personal development books that I became exhausted.
I never want reading to feel like a chore.
I love to read.
So since the beginning of this year, I’ve been reading purely fiction to help me find that passion again.
And although those books were great, they weren’t exactly blog post material. But in case you’re curious, the books I read were:
- All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Derr (4 stars)
- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (5 stars)
- The Confession by Jessie Burton (4 stars)
You’ll also be happy to hear that I did just pick up my first non-fiction book of the year;
You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy.
So while we wait patiently for that book review, I thought I would revisit one of my favourite self-improvement books: Mindset by Carol Dweck.
Table of Contents
- The lowdown on Mindset by Carol Dweck
- My biggest takeaway from Mindset
- How to handle a fixed mindset
- Final Thoughts
The lowdown on Mindset by Carol Dweck
Mindset by Carol Dweck is a fundamental book that everyone should read.
It focuses on changing the way we think to fulfil our potential.
Within the book, Dweck explores the power of our mindset and how success doesn’t just depend on our abilities or talent but rather on how we approach our goals; with a fixed or growth mindset.
But what does having a fixed or growth mindset actually mean?
Let’s break it down.
What is a fixed mindset?
A fixed mindset is the belief that our “intelligence is static” and we cannot reach our full potential.
People with a fixed mindset try to avoid challenges. They give up easily, ignore useful feedback and feel threatened or jealous by the success of others.
Basically speaking, every time you’ve told yourself “I’m not smart enough” or “I will never succeed”, that’s your fixed mindset talking.
What is a growth mindset?
Having a growth mindset is the opposite of a fixed mindset.
It’s the belief that our “intelligence can be developed” therefore reaching high levels of achievement.
People with a growth mindset try new things, learn from their mistakes, embrace challenges and welcome feedback.
They strive to be better every day.
Throughout the course of the book, Carol compares these two mindsets.
She shows us how a fixed mindset is usually the default mindset but how we can start adopting a growth mindset instead.
Carol Dweck draws upon case studies of well-known and famous people as examples to back up her points. e.g. Michael Jordan.
And this actually helped me to appreciate the book even more as I could relate it to people I was familiar with.
My biggest takeaway from Mindset
As a whole, this entire book is a takeaway.
Mindset has taught me a lot about my mindset issues and got me asking myself some very difficult and challenging questions.
During the first few chapters, I was quick to point out that I had a growth mindset
I believe that we all have the potential to achieve our goals by learning and growing to get there.
I was never the smartest kid at school and I was never treated as though I would achieve great things. But I’ve never allowed this to get in my way.
Even Dweck says, “it’s not always the smartest people who end up the smartest.”
And this is so true. Because as I’ve gotten older I’ve spent more time honing my skills but also learning new ones.
I’ve learnt from previous mistakes and failures and used them to my advantage by helping me improve.
I have grown so much as a person and probably wouldn’t even recognise myself if I met 13-year old me.
However, just because I have a growth mindset when it comes to certain things doesn’t mean that is true for all areas in my life.
I won’t get too personal here as a lot of this remains very private to me.
What I will talk about though, is the way I perceive myself and the constant self-doubt I have knocking around in my head.
Like many others, I tell myself that I will never succeed. That I’m not good enough, that I will never be good enough.
But this is my fixed mindset talking.
It pops up whenever I doubt myself, whenever I am challenged to do something new and during periods of anxiety.
I always used to give in to it. Believe it. Let it win.
But since reading Mindset, I have become more aware of why I have these feelings and how to handle them.
“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.”carol dweck | mindset
How to handle a fixed mindset
Carol Dweck tells us that instead of working against our fixed mindset, we need to instead give it a persona and embrace it.
And to do this, you must give your fixed mindset a name and befriend it.
You then need to figure out what triggers your fixed mindset so you can be ready for when it next shows up.
So this is what I’ve started to do now whenever I face moments of self-doubt, limiting beliefs or a lack of confidence.
Instead of letting my fixed mindset limit me, I’m telling it why I need to take this step and inviting it to follow me on this journey.
“Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.”carol dweck | mindset
I must admit that I was slightly apprehensive about reading this book at first.
Carol is one of the world’s leading researchers in personality, and social and developmental psychology so I felt that it would be highly academic and difficult to understand.
But it’s the complete opposite. Carol wanted this book to be easily digestible and easy to follow.
And that’s exactly what it is.
So if you’re going to buy any book this month make sure it’s this one by Carol Dweck, and invest in your mindset.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx
Let me leave you with this one last quote…
“Becoming is better than being.”Carol Dweck | Mindset
Learn more about Mindset by Carol Dweck
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