Spark #

Know Your Enemy

In this spark you’ll learn the importance of identifying and embracing a fixed mindset. “We’re all a mixture of growth and fixed mindsets and we need to acknowledge that. It’s not a shameful admission. It’s more like, welcome to the human race.”

Spark #
Know Your Enemy
What We're Talking About

The principle we're discussing

The first step to seeing things a new way is to identify and embrace your fixed mindset.

You can’t move forward without acknowledging what already existed, right? That’s why it’s so important to embrace your fixed mindset. It sounds counterintuitive, but identifying and embracing your fixed mindset means you understand it better. And understanding it better means you know how to acknowledge it and move on to your growth mindset when you need to.

Why it Matters

Why this principle is important and matters to you

Moving into a growth mindset without first acknowledging and understanding your fixed mindset is sort of like trying to eat cookies without baking them first. It’s not bad (maybe a little risky), but they’re really at their best when they’re fully baked. A growth mindset is something you probably understand by now, but without first understanding how your brain currently thinks, you run the risk of returning to that fixed mindset (even unintentionally).

Let’s say you don’t identify and embrace your fixed mindset before trying to operate from a growth mindset. (After all, you’re not required to listen to us.) Then something happens—a project becomes more challenging, or you and your team don’t finish something on time. You might try to learn from that moment, or keep going when the going gets tough, but there’s a good chance you’ll return to your fixed mindset. Identifying when your fixed mindset kicks in can help prevent that!

How You Can Use It

This provides practical ways to apply learnings from this Spark

You’ve potentially already identified that you have a fixed mindset, but in case you haven’t (or you’re just not sure), try asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you believe that people are born with an ability to be successful?
  • When you’re speaking to colleagues or another group, do you worry about saying the wrong thing or being seen as “stupid”?
  • Do you avoid constructive criticism?
  • Are you afraid of challenges because you might fail?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of these, you’re probably operating from a fixed mindset! Once you’ve identified it, it’s time to embrace it. Try writing this down or saying it aloud to yourself:

“I am currently operating with a fixed mindset, and that’s okay. It does not make me a bad person and I don’t have anything to be ashamed of—I’m human, just like anyone else operating with a fixed mindset. I am also capable of learning to operate from a growth mindset, so that’s what I’m going to do!”


An opportunity to reflect on yourself and/or your team and how you can apply these insights

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