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Do This Simple Exercise to Unlock Your Potential, Says the Psychologist Who Coined the Phrase 'Growth Mindset' Carol Dweck, who currently teaches a first-year seminar at Stanford University, gives her students an assignment that can change their lives.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Dweck says we all have some fixed mindsets, but we also have the power to change them.
  • The psychologist's straightforward — but challenging — class assignment is a sure way to do that.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for GE
Carol Dweck

Many people have ambitious goals, whether personal or professional, but few take the steps necessary to achieve them because their "fixed mindset," or limiting beliefs about what they're capable of, holds them back.

To truly excel, people need to swap that static way of thinking for a "growth mindset." Psychologist Carol Dweck, who coined the phrase and brought it mainstream with her 2006 book Mindset: How You Can Fulfill Your Potential, says we all have some fixed mindsets, but we also have the power to change them.

Earlier this month, Dweck sat down with General Electric chairman and CEO Larry Culp at GE's "Lean Mindset" event in Chelsea, New York, where a range of industry leaders — from professional athletes like Peyton Manning to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and more — discussed how to build team cultures fostering innovation, efficiency and constant improvement.

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