Your Mindset Triggers

No results to show.

When you take the mindset triggers assessment, your quiz results will show here.

Your quiz results


Evaluative Situations Results:
Shows a leaning towards a trigger.

Learn more


High Effort Situation Results:
Shows a leaning towards a trigger.

Learn more


Critical Feedback Results:
Shows a leaning towards a trigger.

Learn more


Success of Others Results:
Shows a leaning towards a trigger.

Learn more

Evaluative Situations

Evaluative situations are when we anticipate being assessed or evaluated by others. Think walking into a big presentation at work or performing a skill for a panel of judges. 

If evaluative situations trigger you into your fixed mindset, you likely feel anxious and worried about how you’ll be viewed. You might even be looking for a way to avoid the chance for evaluation entirely. On the other hand, if you’re triggered into your growth mindset, you might feel nervous, but also energized and eager to prepare well and get useful information about how you can improve. 

How to move toward a growth mindset: 

  • Focus on growth: Enter evaluative situations with learning goals–goals that focus on personal growth and development. Prepare questions and seek information that lets you gain clarity on areas that need improvement, so that you have a clear understanding about next steps. 
  • Get support: In anticipation of a high-stakes evaluation, seek feedback from a team of trusted friends or colleagues that will give you helpful feedback and moral support.

How to support others in moving toward a growth mindset:

  • Model a growth mindset: As you prepare colleagues or direct reports for evaluative situations, normalize how they may be feeling and explicitly frame the experience as an opportunity for self-reflection and to access resources and support.
  • Keep evaluations useful: Create only enough evaluative situations so that people can get feedback on how they’re doing and where they can grow next. Being centered around a clear, shared vision is one way to avoid having to constantly check in.

Back to your results ↑

High Effort Situations

High effort situations are those where success requires applying a lot more effort, time, mental energy, and attention than everyday tasks. High effort situations include most situations in which you’re doing something new, like starting a new job or hobby. Other times, these situations are familiar, but require new ideas or resources, like when you’re attacking a complex problem at work that isn’t responding well to your usual approach. 

High effort situations may trigger you into your fixed mindset if they make you feel overwhelmed and incapable, and might leave you ready to give up in pursuit of a comfortable, lower-effort task. These situations might trigger your growth mindset if they make you feel excited, engaged, and “up for the challenge.” In this mindset, you’re eager to learn new things, and may view the task at hand like a puzzle to be solved. 

How to move toward a growth mindset: 

  • Break it up: Break the task into pieces that feel more manageable, to avoid the overwhelm that a full view of the task might trigger. This approach can build persistence by setting targets that are within your sights. 
  • Ask for help: Effective effort requires having the support and resources necessary to accomplish your goal. Evaluate the task you’re facing, and see if someone or something would help you work more effectively or efficiently.

How to support others in moving toward a growth mindset:

  • Proactively provide support: Don’t wait for colleagues to burn out – check in with them when you know they are facing a high effort situation to make sure they feel supported in their work, and that they have the resources that they need to get things done. This may involve bringing in reinforcements if the effort required becomes too much for one person to handle.
  • Remove some pressure: If someone is struggling with a high effort task, remind them that it’s normal to feel challenged by tasks like these, and that the struggle is a sign that they’re pushing their skills to the next level. Make it clear that their struggle is not being viewed as an indicator of whether they’re capable, and acknowledge and celebrate learnings and wins as they come up along the way.

Back to your results ↑

Critical Feedback

In contrast to evaluative situations, critical feedback situations are those in which you’ve actually received some kind of evaluation. Whether you give a presentation at work or write a book, you’re likely to get feedback from others that is not 100% positive. This critical feedback can trigger you into a fixed or growth mindset.

If critical feedback triggers you into your fixed mindset, you likely feel upset or defensive. You may look for ways to discount the feedback, or the credibility of the person providing it–or you might ignore the feedback completely. On the other hand, if you’re triggered into your growth mindset, even if the feedback hurts a little, you focus more on what you can learn from it and how you can improve; you may even seek out opportunities to receive (actionable) feedback more frequently so that you can continue to grow. 

How to move toward a growth mindset: 

  • Take a breath: Criticism can hurt. Give yourself time and space to process the feedback so that you can think clearly and avoid any immediate defensiveness. Write down the feedback and take time to reflect so that you can formulate a response and identify follow up questions to maximize what you learn from the situation. 
  • Put it into perspective: Practice self-affirmation: remind yourself of how large and multifaceted you are and how many dimensions you have. When you widen the lens and think about your various roles and identities (i.e., a friend, a great artist, a Red Sox fan), the amount of your identity that feels threatened by the feedback shrinks. This new perspective can help us minimize the “ouch” of the feedback and refocus on the insight it provides. 

How to support others in moving toward a growth mindset:

  • Normalize feedback: Providing informal feedback more frequently can be one way to lower the stakes of feedback, while still allowing many opportunities to learn and grow. Additionally, it’s valuable when feedback is normalized up and down the organizational hierarchy, so that leaders can model not only how to give feedback, but also how to receive it.  
  • Make it effective: Use known best practices for giving effective feedback. Research shows that useful feedback identifies specific and targeted issues; focuses on behaviors, choices, and processes that people can control; acknowledges effort; focuses on progress and development; and discusses multiple strategies and approaches to improve.

Back to your results ↑

Success of Others

Whether it’s our co-worker getting a promotion or our teammate scoring the winning goal, when others succeed, we notice. 

The success of others may trigger you into your fixed mindset if they make you feel jealous or dejected, because a fixed mindset tells us that success is a limited resource that only some people can have. You might distance yourself from the successful person, try to undermine their success, or give up on your own path. In contrast, others’ success might trigger your growth mindset if it makes you feel proud, inspired, or curious about their success. In this mindset, you’re more likely to celebrate the accomplishments of others and compare yourself to them in order to learn from them (and not to see if you “stack up”).

How to move toward a growth mindset: 

  • Understand the process: When others succeed, we tend to focus on the result, rather than on the path they took to succeed. When we focus on how they succeeded, we’re more likely to identify useful strategies and opportunities that can help us on our own path toward success.
  • Find a worthy rival: A worthy rival is someone who not only inspires you to do better, but also helps you do so because they help you identify areas where you can improve, along with ways you can do so. Instead of viewing another’s success as a threat to yours, consider viewing it as necessary to identify areas where you can improve. 

How to support others in moving toward a growth mindset:

  • Avoid unhealthy competition: Sometimes, we think we’re breeding “worthy rivals” in others by pitting them against each other. However, that’s not always the case. When success is a scarce resource (e.g., course grades are on a curve; people with the lowest sales are automatically fired), the stakes feel too high to focus on learning and inspiration. Instead, focus on what and how we can learn from each other’s success.
  • Share your success: When you succeed, consider how your accomplishments might be triggering someone else’s fixed mindset. Support them in shifting toward a growth mindset by sharing your journey, including your moments of struggle, as well the strategies, resources, and people that helped you achieve.

Back to your results ↑

Get an exclusive excerpt of Cultures of Growth

Download an exclusive excerpt of the new book

Download the Exclusive Excerpt

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Home_BookB
Scroll to Top