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Mindset, by Carol Dweck (REVIEW)

This million-copy bestseller is an absolute must for anyone with aspirations.

In her book 'Mindset,’ famous psychology expert Carol Dweck tells us about the two mindsets: the fixed mindsetand the growth mindset.

Dweck’s Mindset summarizes out decades of thought-provoking research in 8 chapters where:

Chapters 1 to 3 set out the basic theory and supporting evidence of the mindsets. While doing so she sheds some needed light on concepts like failure, effort and being gifted.

Chapters 4 to 7 expand upon the previous chapters with practical examples found in sports, business, relationships, and teaching. Here you will learn how to cope with adversity and find victory as a result of learning and improving. This part of the book has the potential to transform your mindset into a winning mindset.

Chapter 8 gives us practical guidance on how to embrace the growth mindset and control the fixed mindset.

"The value of this book extends way beyond the world of education. It's just as relevant for business people who want to cultivate talent and for parents who want to raise their kids to thrive on challenge", Bill Gates.

Carol S. Dweck presents us with her theory in which she shows that there are two mindsets. Both mindsets are often present in every person, and it is the balance between them what makes us the way we are. This affects us especially while learning or facing challenges. So why is this so important? Let’s start by describing both mindsets:

The fixed mindset believes that intelligence is static. It leads to a desire to look smart and therefore causes a tendency to avoid challenges, get defensive or give up easily, see effort as fruitless, ignore useful negative feedback, and feel threatened by the success of others. Any kind of setback is perceived as failure. As a result, a person with a fixed mindset may plateau early and not achieve their full potential.

The growth mindset believes that intelligence can be developed. It leads to a desire to learn and therefore causes a tendency to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others. For someone with the growth mindset, failure is not fulfilling your potential. A person with the growth mindset can reach higher levels of achievement.

Understanding which mindset governs in our heads is utterly important, as it will define our reality. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. So, how do these two mindsets affect our reactions?

Believing that abilities are fixed makes every failure a reminder of our inadequacy. That way fixed mindsets are self-sabotaging. Not only do people with a fixed mindset avoid taking risks, they also give up more easily on themselves and on others in many different scenarios: at play, at work, at school, and at home.

But when we embrace a growth mindset and believe that traits and abilities are trainable - that we can always improve - we totally change our approach. Defeats become learning opportunities, and setbacks set new boundaries we can test, push and improve. A growth mindset doesn’t just make growing possible: it also makes the process exciting.


Fearlessness. This book gave me a lot more than I expected, the most important being that I completely lost my fear of failure. Based on the mindsets, I always would have considered myself a growth mindset person, as I would never shy away from a challenge. I changed sports and hobbies when they began to come easily to me, and I always found some joy in puzzles and jigsaws - I enjoyed the process. On the other hand I have always known I had a lot more potential inside of me and without knowing it, my fixed mindset was holding me back. Reading this book was a major kick in the a** and probably one of the reasons this blog was ever conceived.

Hard work and quitting.The fixed mindset despises hard work and gets angry when something is challenging. Its first instinct is to quit as it thinks you will “look dumb” for having to make an effort. Knowing that this is the way the fixed mindset works, you will be able to stop it before it takes control over you. In other words you will be able to recognize that it is your fixed mindset holding you back and not letting you improve. All you need to do is focus and work until you have solved what you were trying to solve or done what you were trying to do. There will be no excuses between you and your goal.

Success. As said before, once you understand the two mindsets and learn how to control them, being successful is just a matter of time. You will be able to improve yourself with every challenge you face. You will not be afraid of failure and you will dare to be successful.

By reading “Mindset” I have also been able to take a look at many examples of successful people and successful companies. Surprisingly enough, talent has little to nothing to do with our success. We are completely responsible for it. Being successful or not depends on us, not on our environment or external factors.

"Essential reading for anyone with aspirations", Matthew Syed.


Carol S. Dweck is a renowned researcher in the field of social psychology and has been studying this same field for over 30 years. Because of its academyc style, the book gets boring at times. For people not used to reading scientific articles, parts of this book might get heavy. The first time I read it, it took me a long time to get through the first few chapters, as she seems to dwell on the same ideas over and over again.


At the same time, one of the things that give this book tremendous value (despite the dull points it creates) is that it comes from a scientific background. Unlike most self-help books, this one is backed up with 30+ years of research and many different trials. For that we can be sure that the concepts we are talking about are realand can be trusted.

Even though the first few chapters are slow and repetitive, chapters 4 to 7 are filled with useful examples. You will learn how to apply the mindsets to different fields. By doing so this book can impact your relationships and your attitude towards work, challenges, and yourself. I feel like it can truly positively impact every aspect of one’s life.

Overall this book will remain one of my favorites for the great effect it had on me. I have no words to describe the incredible impact it has had and how much it has made me learn and improve. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve his or her life in any way.

In conclusion I consider this book a must. It is an absolute eye-opener.

You might be interested in:

Click here to buy the book.

Click here to read my review of Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.

Click here to read my review of Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.

I won't keep you much longer, thanks for your time. Keep growing ;)

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