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  • Writer's pictureAntony Tse

Which one are you?

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

One of the eye-openers during my study of counselling and coaching is about the concept of growth and fixed mindset coined by Carol S. Dweck, PhD. When I read her book Mindset, I certainly recognized aspects of myself. She describes the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. The basic premise is 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…”



Fixed mindset – why bother!

If you believe your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – it quite often leads to a “why-bother” attitude. This is essentially the thought of ‘I am not smart enough anyhow, so better not try to avoid failures and being judged’.


Growth mindset – Not yet!

On the contrary, a growth mindset believes our intelligence and ability can be nurtured and developed. Change and growth is possible.


As Dweck puts it, “With a fixed mindset, failure labels you. With a growth mindset, failure motivates you. As Dweck states, "Failure doesn't define you. It's a problem to be faced, dealt with and learned from."


It is a mindset of “Not Yet”. It gives you a path into the future


Work in progress

Reading the book it made me realize that I have more of a fixed mindset than I thought. It was eye-opening. For example my fixed mindset has found its way into my jazz piano learning. I have been playing piano for a number of years and it was not until a few years ago that I decided to take up jazz piano lesson.


Learning the various jazzy chords is already hard enough, let alone getting into that ‘jazzy’ feeling and mood of playing. There are times that I told myself I am just not talented enough to continue. Dweck’s book has helped me to put back the growth mindset in action.


I am not yet a skilled jazz piano player. Just not yet


Like most people, I’m a work in progress – continuing my journey in becoming more and more growth mindset focused!


And you? Which one are you?

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