Why is Having a Fixed Mindset a Hindrance?
Oct 15, 2023
Introduction - Why is Having a Fixed Mindset a Hindrance?
Imagine you have everything you ever wanted – happiness, success, financial freedom, love. Sounds like a dream life, right?
But here’s the catch: only 8 out of 100 people get to experience their dream life.
That means 92 percent of people fail to achieve their life goals. Yes, you read that right – a whopping 92 percent! But have you ever wondered why you're not part of that elite 8 percent of achievers who excel in all core areas of life?
Well, the reason is the hidden enemy inside your head. Whenever you face a difficult task or set a goal, the enemy discourages you and tells you you are not good enough to accomplish it.
The invisible, rigid, insecure, and self-limiting enemy is called a fixed mindset.
Having a fixed mindset hinders your growth and potential. It makes you believe your abilities are unchangeable, causing you to avoid new challenges. This can hold you back from achieving your goals and adapting to new situations.
But no worries. This article will discover why is having a fixed mindset a hindrance between you and your dreams. While we won't promise you a "magic bullet," we'll offer a new psychology-backed way to look at the world that will help you level up your life.
Ready to dig deeper?
What Are Fixed and Growth Mindsets?
Before we jump into dissecting the impact of a fixed mindset on your life, it's crucial to establish what "fixed" and "growth" mindsets actually mean. In a nutshell, having a fixed mindset means abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits. A person may think he can't do much to change their lot in life.
On the other side of the spectrum, having a growth mindset means believing that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. These are the people who relish challenges, embrace failures as learning opportunities, and see effort as the path to mastery.
The Domino Effect on Your Life
Once you have this foundational understanding, the next question that naturally arises is, "How do these mindsets impact various areas of life?" Your mindset isn't just a label; it permeates into your actions, decisions, and consequently, your outcomes in both personal and professional realms.
Fixed mindset characteristics: What are they, and how do they hold you back?
1 - Avoiding the Challenges
"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears." Les Brown
People who believe their abilities are set in stone avoid difficult tasks like the plague. They think success is playing “hide and seek” and they always pick the “hide” spot!
In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck gives the example of famous tennis player John McEnroe to explain how people with a fixed mindset feel threatened by problems" Dweck writes:
John McEnroe was among the most talented tennis players ever to set foot on a court. But he was also one of the most fixed-minded players. He believed that champions were born, not made. He thought that if he wasn't instantly good at something, like clay-court tennis or winning the French Open, it wasn't worth his effort. And he fell apart when he lost.
Just like McEnroe, all fixed-mindset people avoid challenges, missing out on opportunities for skill improvement. Their fragile ego couldn't handle failure or personal criticism.
2 - Giving up easily
According to a survey, 64% of people give up their New Year’s resolutions within a month. They aim too high and lose motivation when they don’t see immediate results. They fail to build momentum and a system to get better every day.
On the other hand, the secret to success is being consistent rather than ambitious. By making small efforts every day, one can get remarkable outcomes over time, thanks to the compounding effect. But fixed-minded people tend to lack patience and quit sooner than a sloth on a treadmill, believing they are meant to fail.
3 - Ignore negative feedback
Imagine a software developer who creates apps with a fixed design. Despite users suggesting features, they ignore feedback. Over time, their apps remain the same, missing a chance to innovate. Just as adding new functionalities enhances an app, embracing feedback enhances skills, leading to growth and better life solutions.
However, when fixed-minded people receive negative feedback – it's like they just won the lottery of nightmares! That's how they perceive it.
4 - Consider failure as a lack of ability
A fixed-minded person believes their abilities are inherent and cannot be changed. As a result, they will never be able to achieve their true potential.
According to Carol Dweck, "If success means they're smart, then failure means they're dumb. That's the fixed mindset''.
How Fixed Mindsets Limit You in Five Core Areas of Your Life?
Now you know what are the core characteristics of a fixed mindset. It’s time to get aware of how it limits you in all 5 cores of life.
It sabotages your career and finances.
Your mindset significantly impacts your career and financial prospects, either holding you back or propelling you forward. For instance, suppose you are looking for your first job. You find many job openings that suit your interests and qualifications, but they also ask for some skills you lack. How do you react?
If you lack a growth mindset, you will feel hopeless and not even apply. You may think your abilities are fixed and unchangeable. You will be afraid of failing and being rejected, and lose a great opportunity to learn new skills.
Not only that, this also applies to other aspects of career and finances, such as salary negotiations and investments. A fixed mindset can make you settle for less than you deserve because of fear of being unworthy or offending others. You would only invest money and build assets if it seems easy and safe. You avoid taking risks and end up a failure.
In contrast, a growth mindset sees every problem as an opportunity to explore their potential. They know the only person who never wins is the one who never tries.
Damage your relationships
Nearly 68% of marriages crumble because of one simple issue – communication. Good communication is like the heart of a happy relationship, but it often goes haywire because we're too stuck in our own ways.
A fixed mindset makes you believe that your personality and your partner's traits are set in stone. You would think relationships are meant to be or not and that compatibility happens and never changes.
This thinking can cause issues like avoiding responses, not expressing needs, and not listening to your partner. It also leads to neglecting self-improvement, not appreciating your partner's efforts, and avoiding conflict resolution.. Trust and love might fade, and the relationship could end.
Harms physical and emotional health.
Research has shown that young people who think their abilities can't change have a 58% higher chance of experiencing severe anxiety and depression than those who believe they can improve.
Not only that, it can also increase your risk of dying early. A study found that individuals who perceived themselves as less active than others had a 72% higher mortality risk compared to those who perceived themselves as more active. That's alarming.
How can your thoughts be so powerful? Well, here's a story of a cancer patient featured in the NY Times that describes the power of a growth mindset on your health.
Mr Wright was diagnosed with cancer and given only days to live. He begged his doctor to give him an experimental drug, Krebiozen, which he believed could cure him. His doctor injected him with water, pretending it was the drug, and his tumors melted away. He was overjoyed and felt healthy again. But when he read a report that Krebiozen was worthless, he died two days later.
So, do you believe abilities are fixed and cannot be changed? If so, you might be harming your health more than you realize.
The Science Behind Fixed and Growth Mindset
You are aware that your mindset is limiting your potential, but you still struggle to leave your comfort zone. What makes it so hard? Here are some factors that keep you stuck in this state.
Bad habits are like cozy blankets on a chilly morning - they can make change feel less inviting!
For example, a USC psychologist named Wendy Wood, Ph.D. discovered that many of our daily activities—like shopping, exercising (or not), and talking to others—are based on habits, and therefore hard to change.
Her studies reveal that much of what we do is done frequently enough in the same situation to become habitual. This can make people spend more effort on concealing their weaknesses than improving them, which can limit their potential.
Read more on Top unhelpful habits everyone should quit
2. Early Experiences
Early experiences can shape an individual's beliefs about their abilities and potential.For example, if a child is praised for their intelligence rather than their effort, they may develop a fixed mindset and believe their abilities are innate and unchangeable.
3. Cultural Influences
Cultural values and beliefs can also influence mindset. For example, in a culture where having a good job is considered the norm, and pursuing a business is discouraged or frowned upon, people may think getting high paying job is the only way to secure their life.
Individuals may adopt a fixed mindset as a form of self-protection. For example, if someone believes they are not good at a particular subject, they may avoid it altogether to protect their self-esteem.
Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
Here are some no-brainer signs to differentiate between fixed and growth mindset folks. These signs will also help you understand why is having a fixed mindset a hindrance?
1. The Legendary Know-It-All vs The Eternal Learner
Imagine you've got one colleague who thinks they've got all the answers. When a fresh project shows up, needing skills they don't have, they say, "I'm too genius for new tricks." That is the ‘’Legendary Know it All’ or a fixed mindset folk.
Now, picture another colleague who's always curious and believes their smarts can grow if they work at it. They're up for any challenge, saying, "Another chance to show off my ever-expanding brilliance!" Such growth owner is called ‘The Eternal Learner’’
2. The Art of Avoidance vs. the Fearless Explorer
For Fixed mindset people, failure is a forbidden word. They would rather avoid tasks they might fail than risk their ego taking a hit. So, they shy away from new experiences, assuming, "Why risk my perfect reputation by trying new things? I will do what I always do."
Growth owners enjoy not knowing what will happen next and think they'll learn from it even if they fail. They shout, "Hello there, problems! Show me what good things you have for me.
3. The Talent Whisperer vs. The Effort Champion
Why use my special talents for things that don't just happen easily? It's like making a cat bark!" That's the cry of a fixed-minded person who believes only their natural talents can bring success.
On the other side, there's the super-determined hero! The Growth Champ. They think they can turn anything into gold if they try hard and practice enough. When they meet something they're not great at, they say proudly, "I'll tackle this challenge and turn it into my next big win!"
For such people, Tim Notke said, "Hard work beats the talent when talent doesn't work hard."
How do we shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset?
Using the equation of life to make a mindset shift
The equation says: Your BELIEF SYSTEM + your REPEATED ACTIONS + TIME = WHO YOU WILL BECOME
Let's apply this equation to a failed entrepreneur.
Beleif: An entrepreneur with a fixed mindset might believe that his product is the best in the market.
Repeated Actions: Based on his belief his repeated actions can be not studying market trends closely, ignoring negative feedback, and not reaching enough people for promotion.
Result: His business fails to make any sales or impact.
Equation of life (growth-mindset entrepreneur ):
Belief: My product can solve the problems of my target audience.
Repeated Actions: Paying close attention to the pain points of customers creating customized solutions, building relationships, incorporating feedback, measuring the impact, scaling the outcomes
Result: A successful entrepreneur who brings value, change lives, and inspires others.
The equation of life holds to any situation. Whether you want to acquire a new skill, begin a new relationship, or advance in your career, you can use the equation of life to identify what prevents you from reaching your goals.
Read more on Faith Driven Entrepreneur
Build Growth Mindset Habits
By developing growth mindset habits, you can break free from the shackles of fixed mindset habits and understand why is having a fixed mindset a hindrance. Here are some of the most important ones that you need to cultivate to succeed in life
1. Facing challenges: Don't run away from hard things; see them as chances to learn and get better. Mistakes are okay – they help you move forward!
2. Celebrating progress: Take a moment to enjoy even the small steps you take towards your goals. It keeps you excited and focused.
3. Learning from others: Be around people who inspire and push you. Learn from their successes and mistakes. Feel free to ask for advice when needed.
4. Being curious: Stay interested in new things. Ask questions, explore ideas, and keep learning. Enjoy the journey.
Use gamification and proven principles to overcome a fixed mindset.
Games are fun, and the best thing about them is you can utilize them to level up the game of life while having fun.
You can also gamify your life and change from a fixed to a growth mindset while enjoying and avoiding any stress. Here are some ways to use gamification and proven principles to build a growth mindset.
Set challenging and specific goals:
Gamification can help you set goals that are challenging but achievable. For example, instead of saying, "I want to improve my body shape", you can say, "I want to lose 10 pounds and run a 5K within the next three months".
Setting challenging and specific goals can help you focus on your progress and self growth journey rather than on your performance and comparison with others.
Seek feedback and learn from mistakes:
Gamification can help you seek feedback and learn from mistakes by providing immediate and constructive feedback, such as points, badges, levels, or leaderboards.
For example, if you miss a workout or eat unhealthy food, you can see the impact on your fitness score and progress towards your goal. You can also see your strengths and weaknesses on the app dashboard.
Celebrate success and effort:
Gamification can help you celebrate success and effort by rewarding your achievements and efforts, such as completing a workout, reaching a milestone, or achieving a personal best.
For example, if you finish a 5K run, you can earn a badge or a certificate that recognizes your accomplishment. You can also share your achievements with your friends or other users in the app community. Celebrating success and effort can help you boost your motivation and confidence.
Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to analyze which category you fall in
Do you believe you are born with a certain amount of intelligence or talent, or can you improve them with practice?
Do you enjoy learning new things or stick to what you already know?
Do you seek challenges, or do you avoid them?
Do you persist in facing difficulties, or do you give up easily?
Do you view feedback as helpful or as harmful?
Do you learn from your mistakes, or do you ignore them?
Do you feel inspired by the success of others, or do you feel jealous?
If you said yes to four or more of them, you should rethink your life choices because you might be one of those 92 percent of people who fail to achieve their dream life.
Ready to Transform Your Mindset and Level-Up Your Life?
You've just embarked on a crucial journey of understanding why is having a fixed mindset a hindrance in your life. From career growth and relationship management to your overall mental and physical well-being, your mindset is the epicenter of it all.
Are You Stuck in a Fixed Mindset Loop?
We get it. You're tired of trying self-improvement methods that promise the moon but deliver dust. You want something that's not just research-backed but also personalized to you. Something that speaks directly to your entrepreneurial spirit, to your pain points in maintaining a growth mindset across all 5 Cores of your life.
Take the First Step Now!
Don't let another moment slip away in inertia or self-doubt. You deserve a balanced life, and it starts with upgrading your mindset.
This isn't just another quiz; it's a starting point for lasting change. You'll get a clear snapshot of where you currently stand in the 5 Core Areas of happiness: Mindset, Career and finances, Relationships, Physical Health, and Emotional Health. And most importantly, you'll get actionable steps, tailored to you, to start gamifying your habits for exponential growth.