What is a fixed mindset?
A fixed mindset is one where it’s assumed our character, creative ability and intelligence are fixed traits cannot be changed. People with a fixed mindset believe their basic abilities are what you are born with.
These type of people always want to appear intelligent since they don’t believe intelligence can be modified. They fear appearing dumb to others believing they will always look that way once others see them as being unintelligent.
With a fixed mindset you are content with who or where you are, without any potential for change or growth. You’re focused on just one direction and it can be the exact opposite of what a growth mindset is all about
Some common fixed mindset thoughts include:
- Either I’m good at something, or I’m not.
- I can’t learn now; it’s too late.
- There’s no point in trying if I’m going to fail.
- I always struggle with…
- I’m a procrastinator.
- I’m not creative.
- It’s hard for me to lose weight.
Here are 4 advantages of a fixed mindset
Advantages of a fixed mindset – 1. It’s a secure mindset
Since a fixed mindset is focused on just one direction, you’re secure enough with exactly where you are that there’s no need to prove otherwise to anyone else. This also means that you’re secure enough with the core of who you are and you can focus on the things that truly matter in life.
This is in comparison to a growth mindset where you have to constantly be evolving and expanding your skill set consistently, which can easily be exhausting over time.
Advantages of a fixed mindset – 2. It saves time and energy
With a fixed mindset, instead of investing so much time and energy in expanding your knowledge, you can use the things you already know to your advantage.
This also means spending less time on expanding your strengths and more time using the skills you already have to the test. For instance, instead of spending time reading more books, you can apply your expertise to writing instead.
With a growth mindset, you have to consistently have the awareness to choose growth and knowledge over everything is. While this is good, it can be time-consuming in every aspect of your life.
Advantages of a fixed mindset – 3. It’s realistic
Individuals with a growth mindset work on their flaws and have the self-acceptance to be okay with them, whereas those with a fixed mindset tend to dwell on them.
While this can be seen as a disadvantage, with this kind of mindset it helps you become a more realistic individual.
Advantages of a fixed mindset – 4. It doesn’t require validation from others
One of the key differences between a fixed mindset from a growth mindset is that one is wary of accepting feedback from others while the other actively accepts all kinds of feedback.
With a fixed mindset, since you’re content with who you already are, you don’t need others to tell you that you did a great job or the improvements needed.
Even when someone isn’t pleased with your work and decisions, you don’t let their opinions get to you and change who you are since you’re already secure enough.
Disadvantages of a Fixed Mindset
- You’re afraid to take risks
With a fixed mindset, you don’t bother facing your fears and taking leaps of faith, even with the possibility of leading you in a better direction. If it’s a risk, you’d rather stay in your current position.
You’d do everything to avoid mistakes and failures at all costs because you either fear screwing up or you think you need to maintain perfection all the time.
For instance, you’ve always wanted to start a business but you don’t push through with your plans because you’re scared your business might fail, so you end up not risking it altogether.
- You stay stuck in your current situation
Since you’re not willing to move, whether you’re going through a difficult situation or not, you stay stuck in where you are. The idea of change isn’t something you’re willing to embrace so you’d rather live a life of mundane routines rather than changing your life in a better direction.
For instance, if you lost a job, you’d rather dwell in the unfortunate situation you’re in rather than grow from that experience and do something to change your life.
You’re willing to stay stuck in a mediocre life, even if it means you’re miserable in it.
- You don’t bother with growth and knowledge
You believe that you’re the best person in the room and you’re content with that. You’re not entirely open to learning and growing more. You hold on to the belief that if you have the talent and skills, then you don’t need to master those skills since you’re adequate.
For instance, in a competition to see who’s the best, you believe your talent and skills will rise above someone who mastered and worked their way to equip themselves with those skills.
- You feel threatened by people better than you
Instead of seeing wise and successful people as an inspiration, you feel easily threatened by them with a fixed mindset. You become envious or jealous of them instead of using that opportunity to learn from them.
You can also view this as an attack on your reputation, credibility, or success. For instance, if someone gets the promotion and you don’t, you feel a certain sense of envy or resentment towards them for being better than you.
With these efforts, you benefit by having a more open growth mindset that can lead to success in every area of your life.
With all of this being said, even with a fixed mindset, it doesn’t imply that you’ll stay with this mindset forever. It’s still possible to change your mindset over time as people are constantly evolving, and this includes mindsets and perspectives.
Just because you have a fixed mindset today, doesn’t mean that you’ll always be that way for your entire life.