Insecurity also naturally follows. If you believe your abilities are fixed, then you will go to great lengths to hide and avoid situations where your failures are revealed. If for example, you believe yourself poor at math, then you might avoid any form of study involving math, out of fear of looking stupid. Similarly, blame and criticism are avoided and deflected, because if a person with a fixed mindset allows them to be considered, then this hurts their feelings. Any sort of failure or mistake is a blemish against a person with a fixed mindset – a wound to their perception of themselves.

On the flip side there is a constant need for validation. People with a fixed mindset constantly want reassurances that they are talented, skilled and intelligent. People with a fixed mindset tell jokes not to make other people laugh, but to reassure their own ego that they are funny. A person with a fixed mindset will frequently talk about their success and triumphs around other people, because they want their good qualities to remembered and cherished. This need for validation leads to avoiding struggle and effort – if something is not validating a belief of intelligence, or competence, or attractiveness (and so on), and then it becomes frustrating and painful.

Of course challenges to your perception or your intelligence or your skill and talent in other domains are always present. They come from your friends, family and peers from offhand comments, or even their own success. If your need for validation comes from comparing yourself to others, than the success and triumphs of other people diminish your own sense of self-worth.

By contrast, a person with a growth mindset is willing to take opportunities, because they recognize they might grow and develop when trying, even if the opportunity turns sour. A person with a growth mindset is less insecure, because even if they acknowledge their faults, they can eliminate them by working on them.

Furthermore because a person with a growth mindset doesn’t need validation, they can encounter situations where they struggle or find things difficult without getting frustrated. In fact, struggle is rewarding; it allows them to grow further.


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