7 fixed mindset mistakes that prevent your happiness and growth [infograph]

Do you follow the fixed mindset thinking, believing that your traits are permanently fixed? Or do you believe they can be developed? Research has shown traits and behaviours are flexible which means you can always develop them. This includes anything psychological, from intelligence to business skills to being an introvert and more – you can improve pretty much anything!

Why you should switch from fixed to growth mindset

  • You’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • You’re more likely to perform better.
  • You will learn and grow more.
  • You will enjoy what you are doing more.
  • You’re more likely to be happy.

So how do you get from a fixed to a growth mindset? It’s not an overnight switch that makes it happen but the first step is awareness of your thoughts and acknowledging you want more of a growth mindset. The next step is starting to challenge your fixed mindset thoughts when you hear them. The infograph below, from Carol Dweck’s inspirational read Mindset, shows the clear differences between fixed and growth mindset. Below it, you’ll discover 7 common real life fixed mindset mistakes and how to overcome them.

Fix your fixed mindset

The next step is challenging some thoughts and behaviours you have – which I refer to as “mistakes” below.

7 real life fixed mindset mistakes and how to avoid doing them

  1. Fixed mindset: Thinking that you can’t develop in something.
    Growth mindset: Whatever it is, you can always develop in it, even if it’s simply figuring out how to do it more efficiently or differently. If you want to become more of an extrovert, learn about how to socialise and find events which you find interesting to network in. If you want to improve your fitness, work with a personal trainer, like Oitoo, to come up with a suitable training scheme.
  2. Fixed mindset: Being obsessed with being perceived a certain way, such as “smart”.
    Growth mindset: Be the real authentic you.
     The thoughts people have of you shouldn’t matter. And if you focus on learning and growing, I guarantee you will be appreciated and seen in a completely different positive light for wanting to continuously develop and grow.
  3. Fixed mindset: Avoid challenges for fear of failure.
    Growth mindset: Take up challenges as an opportunity to learn.
     If you don’t fail, you’re less likely to learn. So take risks, look for challenges and try things differently. You’re more likely to discover the real gems that will make you succeed and it will be a hell lot more fun too!
  4. Fixed mindset: Give up easily.
    Growth mindset: Persist at the things you want most
    . Don’t let obstacles stop you but motivate you further. Most things worth having don’t come easily.
  5. Fixed mindset: See effort as something untalented people have to do.
    Growth mindset: Effort & hard work will get you where you want to go. And when you’ve put hard work into it, good results will taste so much sweeter.
  6. Fixed mindset: Ignore useful negative feedback.
    Growth mindset: Use feedback to help you progress forward. Your friends, customers, and managers want to help you to improve, so listen to the feedback they have for you.
  7. Fixed mindset: Feel threatened by others’ success.
    Growth mindset: Get inspired and learn from them instead. Ask them how they got to where they are and what were their secrets behind their success. Learn from their learnings.

This can sound like an overwhelming list of things to try but the best thing is to simply get started on building awareness on your thoughts. Once you have awareness around them, you’ll learn to challenge them with growth mindset thinking. When I evolved my fixed mindset into a growth mindset, both in my positive psychology studies and in my equestrian competitions, I found myself enjoying them more and having better results! It doesn’t mean that I never hear fixed mindset thoughts anymore, but now I am prepared to challenge them and switch them into growth mindset ones.

Which of these 7 mistakes do you suffer from most? Comment below with how you will work on overcoming it!

As always, if you found this post useful, please like it, tweet it, pin it and share it – I really appreciate it! :)



  • Hi Susanna,
    Thanks for your mindset advice! As a Ph.D student at CGU with Mike Csikszentmihalyi, I often think about the relationship between Mindset and Flow. I have always been a self-described “flow-junkie” but as I entered adulthood I found myself only choosing activities I excelled in right away. This left me feeling one-dimensional and stagnant. By adjusting my mindset I’ve been able to find flow in new rewarding activities such as singing and gardening. In the past these new activities presented too much challenge for my novice skill and I defeated myself before really trying. It was too threatening to fail and have to give up my dreams of being on stage or harvesting a colorful bounty of veggies and herbs. However, by practicing a growth mindset, I found the courage to take singing lessons and plant tomatoes in the yard. I still have fixed thoughts from time to time but they are much less powerful now that I know I can choose to believe in my ability to develop and learn.

    • Hi Monica,
      Wow sounds like you’re researching some exciting stuff with Mike!
      I know exactly what you mean – as we grow up we tend to get so fixated on success we forget to enjoy the things we do.
      I love your story and how you’ve evolved into more of a growth mindset, it’s very similar to mine!
      Good luck with your PhD and would love to hear more about it some time!

  • Karen says:

    Sure. When I was in first grade, several decades ago, we said the same thing in a mantra of many fewer words: “I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can” from “The Little Engine That Could.”

    • Spot on!
      Isn’t it funny how it’s usually the simplest things which are the hardest ones to do? You just have to keep reminding yourself of them actively and your childhood memory seems like a great way to do this!

  • Sue says:

    I liked Monicas comments about flow. I have found that it is great fun to explore different things just for fun. I was surprised that I do follow some of your chart, however some bits do need work as I skip in and out of them!

    • Great comment Sue, exploration is often fun!
      It’s a great start that you follow some of the chart and it’s completely normal to skip in and out of them. You’re on a good path so keep at it, and good luck! :)

  • Mary says:

    I am studying this website and other resources now to help myself live a happier, more fulfilling life! I can do it!

  • Snovia says:

    I just came to know about your website…I am reading articles and really enjoying them. Would love to follow valuable stuff.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and research.

  • Sally says:

    Same here I am new to your website, this if the first article I have read and it was thought provoking reading. Look forward to reading much more. Thank you.

    • Glad to hear this Sally – thank you for sharing :)
      Do also sign-up to my bi-weekly newsletter and you’ll be the first to know about new posts and also get exclusive offers to my offerings. Have a great weekend! :D

  • Kalu Alicho says:

    So i googled “fixing your mindset” and this was the first link I clicked. I’m happy I made it here. Thanks for sharing.

  • Vedant says:

    I am currently struggling to shift my thought process and mindset from ‘I know I can but I’m not completely capable’ to ‘I know I can I should and I will’. Came across your site, read about fixed and growth mindset and it was all the same what I’m going through, like my brain knows what to do and for quite some time at start my mind also goes with that flow but as soon as I get my hands onto work or when it takes a fair amount of time for results, it slowly redirects to earlier position just when I’m about to pass that threshold, just when I’m about to succeed… I was really fed up, fearing failures, not going to college, not working on time. So I was searching through articles and came across this and this perfectly describes me, I deeply and heartily hope and pray that I should achieve the growth mindset sooner. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap