Getting an A in French class is a performance goal. Being able to speak French is a learning goal.
Both goals can fuel acheivement.
A performance goal (Getting higher grades) is effective for relatively straightforward problems but often inhibits one to apply the concepts to a new situation.
It gives a feeling of entitlement, If I clear IIT (A prestigious engineering exam) I am entitled to the bests in life (Which is far from true).
Performance goal leads to the entity theory, If I do this, I will get this. And is a system that requires a diet of successes otherwise we give up easily on the goal (Or change the goal). As it’s more extrinsic than intrinsic.
People, therefore, choose easy targets that, when hit, affirm their existing abilities but do little to expand them.
In Learning goals, one doesn’t have to feel that they’re already good at something in order to hang in and keep trying. After all, their goal is to learn, not to prove they’re smart.
It is more in the belief that ability is malleable and working harder is a way to keep getting better and better.
Given a choice between the two, always go for the learning goal, as it’s much more fulfilling and rewarding than the performance goal.