Words By Tara Wagner

What is a Fixed Mindset: 50+ Fixed Mindset Examples (Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset)

Tara in long sleeve gray tri-blend long sleeve shirt sitting on her desk in her office

We need to talk about your mindset, your Fixed Mindset.

It’s not going to be a pretty conversation but it needs to happen ‘cause it’s kind of hurting you and it’s hurting everybody around you too.

Watch here or read on below.

What is a Fixed Mindset: 50+ Fixed Mindset Examples (Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset) Share on X

What is a “Fixed Mindset”?

A Fixed Mindset is the belief or way of approaching life that says, “Your character traits, your skills, your talent, and so on are fixed, unmoving, barely changing throughout your life. People don’t change all that much, you’ve either got it or you don’t”.

This also applies to how we see resources, opportunities, circumstances.

“There’s not enough for everyone, you’re either lucky or you’re not, people or life are either on your side or out to get you.”

A Fixed Mindset often takes a negative view of things but can also take an overly optimistic view, becoming delusional, in an effort not to see things how they really are because to a Fixed Mindset things shouldn’t be bad. A Fixed Mindset sees the world as all or nothing, black or white, good versus evil, winners and losers and nothing in between.

Most people are fixed in at least one area of their life and the more fixed your mindset is the less you grow – the less you reach new heights or gain success or have fulfillment and generally, the harder life gets and the more miserable you become it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So how do you know if you have a Fixed Mindset?

Let’s go through some examples starting with the stories that we tell about ourselves. How often do you hear yourself saying things like:

  • “I’m just not good at that”
  • “That’s just not me”
  • “It takes a lot of luck to be successful and I’m not that lucky”
  • “I’ll never get good at that”
  • “Life is just unfair”
  • “I suck at this”
  • “This is too hard”
  • “I can’t do this”
  • “I’ll never get there”
  • “I shouldn’t have to try this hard, it shouldn’t be this difficult”
  • “It’s not okay for me to fail”

All of these thoughts and statements degrade us as human beings. They degrade our ability to learn and to grow and to develop ourselves.

Comment below and share a story that you’ve seen other people tell about themselves or if you’re brave enough one that you’ve told about yourself.

woman talking to another woman who looks critical
A Fixed Mindset with others

Now let’s look at examples of a Fixed Mindset through the stories that we tell about other people: 

  • “Well they just got lucky”
  • “They were born into the right family or the right country”
  • “They probably lied, cheated, or stole”
  • “She was just born with it”
  • “It comes so naturally to them”
  • “It’s because they’re so attractive”
  • “It’s because they’re so smart”
  • “I can’t believe they failed or messed up or did that”
  • “What a loser, what a terrible person”

With a Fixed Mindset we tend to take some amount of pleasure in other people’s flops or we only feel compassion when they’re struggling. We tend to minimize their wins, we tend to feel jealousy or even feel shame because we compare ourselves to them. All of these statements disrespect the amount of work, the time, the energy that someone put into growing and developing themselves their goals or their life and their family.

Living with a Fixed Mindset

When you’re living with a Fixed Mindset you tend to feel easily discouraged, easily frustrated or angered.

You have a lot of highs and lows because your emotions are determined by your successes or by the praise that you’re receiving.

You tend to feel more ashamed, more embarrassed, more negative or pessimistic about things or about how things could go. It’s easy to lose motivation faster or lack motivation altogether and you have a greater likelihood of depression. All of this leads you to maybe act like a diva, because big egos are always there to hide the shame.

It can lead you to use labels, pigeonhole or cancel other people.

You’re more likely to become obsessed with success and failure versus progress and growth.

You’re constantly seeking validation and praise; something doesn’t matter if you didn’t get praised for it. You need to feel confident before you take action and you might be a perfectionist either over-achieving to hit impossible standards or under-achieving because you don’t think you ever will, so what’s the point?

You’re also more likely to make more mistakes because of the pressure that you’re putting on yourself and you’re judging yourself and other people harshly, usually unfairly, and rarely allowing people to make mistakes or learn or grow from them.

This means we punish ourselves and we punish other people unfairly and too harshly.

With a Fixed Mindset you’re going to take fewer risks, you’re not going to try new things because new things increase the likelihood of failure, you’re more likely to give up too soon if your results aren’t coming fast enough. You’re more likely to get bored really easily, especially when things start getting hard and you’re more likely to tell yourself if it’s not working or it’s not fun that’s a sign I shouldn’t be doing it which means you’re more likely to jump from idea to idea looking for that emotional high until finally you quit trying.

You just live your life zoned out distracting yourself and never asking for help when you need it often because you feel like you shouldn’t need it.

Examples of a Fixed Mindset in relationships

This could be that you expect your partner to put you on a pedestal or you set impossible standards for the people that you love, expecting perfection of them. You’re more likely to question their compliments and you expect them to know what you need or want because “if they loved me they should know”.

Tara holding a sign that says "I was shooting for badass, but settled for a nap"
Examples of a Fixed Mindset when it comes to your goals
  • Doing things like using these grandiose affirmations that are really just black and white statements or judgments on where you are now
  • You set big goals that you’re not ready to hit or you’ll only set small goals because they’re safe
  • You’re also more likely to look for and find really good excuses to not reach your goals (blaming the fact that you have a family or health issues or lack of time or that your life’s too crazy, the economy is not good – anything you can do so that you don’t have to take the blame yourself if you end up failing
  • Being too focused on the outcome versus the process. It’s all about the goal and reaching it and having that success and not about the growth and the learning to get there
Examples of a Fixed Mindset in business could be
  • Focusing too much on your strengths and not enough on your weaknesses, and not enough shoring up those gaps
  • Worrying that you’re not gifted or talented enough
  • You don’t believe that you can develop those skills over time and so you limit your opportunities
  • Choosing goals that look good in the short term or look good on paper but are going to hurt you in the long run
  • Working endless hours sacrificing your values to either reach impossible standards, keep up with the Joneses, or prove something to yourself or others
  • Spending way too much time worrying about your vanity metrics and what other people are thinking of you
  • Thinking that other people have the answers or the secret or the key and if you could just figure it out then all your problems would be solved
    *This means that you’re more likely to quit a course or a book when it doesn’t offer you that quick win, that quick solution, even blaming the other person saying they ripped you off or becoming frustrated because they didn’t tell you what to do in your own business.

All of this leads us to compare ourselves to other people’s success, using it to beat ourselves up or finding some way to criticize them instead of using it to learn how to better align ourselves to our goals, our values, and our growth. Again comment relatable if any of this is sounding way too familiar.

How do you feel listening to this list? It’s not awesome, right?

It’s not always fun or sexy to look at these things in ourselves but it is necessary because how we view the world becomes how we live in it.

If you want to cultivate a Growth Mindset and a life that you’re proud of I highly recommend you get the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, consider subscribing to my channel, and…

If you’re an entrepreneur who wants more support in crushing your goals not your soul…

I have a free mindset training called Bottlenecks to Breakthroughs. It’s going to teach you the things we discussed today, but it’s also going to teach you what else you need to be focusing on in order for you to overcome the habits, fixed mindset, limiting beliefs, blocks – the things that are keeping you stuck in your business and in your life that are not allowing you to grow and move forward and reach your goals.

It’s going to lay those out for you and show you what you need to be focusing on, how you need to be focusing on them, and which ones are the most important.

And it’s probably not what you think.

In fact, I guarantee you like 97% of the time it’s not what people think, so if you would like to get your hands on that, again it’s free. it’s going to teach you my Breakthrough Formula that I’ve been teaching to women for the past 10 years to help them crush their goals, not their soul

Learn more here or grab it by clicking the button below.

What about you, boss lady?

What’s one area you have a FIXED mindset, and one area you have a GROWTH mindset?

Scroll to leave your comments below.


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Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate. Click here to learn more.
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