You can have one of two mindsets. A growth one or a fixed one. We all have one or the other. Which mindset we have depends on our upbringing, our circumstances, and often what and how we’ve been taught. It is not surprising, then, that we often have the same mindset as our parents or our most influential teachers.

The fact that teachers can have an impact on their students’ mindset is an interesting one. It means that we’re not stuck with a fixed or a growth mindset forever. Instead, we can choose to develop one over the other. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

What is a Fixed Mindset?

A person with a fixed mindset believes that they are born with a certain amount of talent.

This doesn’t mean they can’t learn new things, but it means they believe that how well they do in life (in school or in their job) is mainly determined by the talent and intelligence they were born with. Working and studying hard, gaining experience, and seeking out the right teachers and mentors have little to no influence about how they will fare.

This greatly limits how much they think they can achieve, but it doesn’t stop there. People with a fixed mindset are more focused on how they are perceived than what they actually get done. They often take the path of least resistance because in their mind, there isn’t much they can do to control.

What is a Growth Mindset?

A person with a growth mindset on the other hand knows that effort and hard work can help them grow as human beings. This works for all areas of life. They know they can become smarter, more successful, and more efficient. Failure stings, but it doesn’t have the same devastating result as it has with someone who believes there is no room for improvement.

Where you are at today is simply the starting point for your future potential. It is up to each person to see how far they are willing to push the limits to make positive changes. In other words, much of your future is in your own hands.

By now, I’m sure you’ve realized that a growth mindset will serve you better if you want control over your life. It helps you strive for a better life, try harder, and stay motivated when things don’t go your way.

There is a lot you can do to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. The first step is that realizing there is a lot you can do. Then come up with one simple little thing you can do today to expand your mind, to learn, to grow. What will you choose?