Danielle's idea that people were innately confident on the job, or they weren't, is called a fixed mindset. We can have fixed mindsets about different things--intelligence, athletic ability, social savvy, thinness--but, whatever the case, a fixed mindset is a way of thinking in black and white. When it came to confidence, Danielle thought there were haves and have-nots and maybe she was a have-not. She feared her more self-possessed coworkers were cut out for the work when she obviously wasn't. This made work a scary place. Big mistakes or negative comments felt like verdicts. Those who use what is called a growth mindset believe that people can change, that success is something to be achieved. Maybe it's not the case that any person can be anything, but it is still true that within certain parameters, people can learn and grow. For those who have a growth mindset, failures may sting but they are also viewed as opportunities for improvement and change.