What are the key differences of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset?

We’ll cover those just below. But first… You might have heard this famous quote before:

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Normally it’s applied to the political and legal arena, but today, I’m going to use it to discuss mindset.

Understanding the qualities of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset can shape the way you approach challenges and personal development.

Mindset matters, as it influences every aspect of your life, from how you handle failure to the ways you pursue success.

Cultivate the right mindset

Your mindset is something that needs continual attention if you want it to be free of limiting beliefs.

Cultivation is a good word really.

Your mind is like a garden, and if you don’t attend to it, the weeds will grow up and take over.

  • Be attentive: Just like a garden, your mind thrives with regular care to prevent negative thoughts from overgrowing.
  • Continuous effort: A positive mindset isn’t a one-time achievement; it’s an ongoing process.
  • Limiting beliefs: Identify and challenge these often to keep your mental space clear.

What is mindset?

Hack those weeds. And by ‘weeds’, I mean negative self-talk and perspectives that you hold you back from reaching success.

So let’s do a little check-up to make sure we’re all moving forward.

Firstly, what is ‘mindset’?

Well, your mindset is all the thoughts that form how you talk to yourself.

It’s your beliefs and perspectives about how the world works, and your place in it.

It’s what you believe is possible.

How’s your own mindset?

Now, what’s important to remember, is that your mindset is going to direct the flow of your life.

It will influence the actions and decisions you make each and every day.

So, I’ll ask you this: Do you have a fixed mindset? Or a growth mindset?

  • Fixed Mindset: Do you see challenges as obstacles?
  • Growth Mindset: Do you embrace challenges as opportunities?

Your mindset shapes your daily actions and decisions. Which one reflects you?

Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is when you believe your personal qualities are fixed traits that can never be changed.

You might believe that people are rich and talented simply because they were born that way and no effort was required.

You might think people are intelligent because that’s just they way they are.

They were born that way and no effort was required.

People with a fixed mindset don’t understand or believe that intelligence and talent can be developed and improved over time.

  • Traits: You see your qualities as set in stone.
  • Talent: You think being talented means you got it from birth, no sweat needed.
  • Intelligence: The idea is that if someone is smart, they’ve always been smart.
  • Effort: Believing that effort doesn’t really change ability.
  • Growth: You’re skeptical about the idea that skills and smarts can be cultivated.

Remember, in a fixed mindset, you’re likely to see abilities as innate and static.

Growth Mindset

The other side of the coin is the growth mindset.

People with a growth mindset believe that talent, wealth and intelligence can all be developed over time.

They invest in themselves, they never stop learning and they believe anything is possible if they want it to be so.

But they also know it will take effort and persistence.

And so, they focus on the process, not on the end result.

  • Adaptability: You recognize that skills and intelligence can improve with time and effort.
  • Self-Investment: Continuously learning and developing yourself is a priority for you.
  • Potential: You’re driven by the belief that anything is achievable with the right mindset.
  • Effort: You are aware that it takes consistent effort and persistence to grow.
  • Process Focus: The journey matters to you, not just the destination.
  • Personal Influence: You understand that you have the power to shape your own abilities and future.

In the growth mindset, you realize that things are very malleable and that you are the one who can shape them.

Your mindset helps you reach your goals

Believing in your ability to succeed is essential.

Stay committed to your development, and maintain a consistent approach towards achieving your goals.

Setting clear definitions of success and creating a step-by-step plan can pave the way for progress.

Tackle each step one at a time, and don’t hesitate to seek a strategic roadmap if you need a boost to get started.

  • Consistency: Stick with your plans and commitments.
  • Self-Belief: Have faith in your capability to reach your targets.
  • Planning: Define success on your terms and plan the journey.
  • Action: Take steps towards your goals methodically.

If you’re thinking of amplifying your journey, an accountability coach might be just what you need.

Gaining strategic advice can propel you forward, ensuring that you’re not just dreaming about success, but actively chasing it.

Here’s to your success!


Nigel Cook
Accountability Coach
Holding Your Feet to the Fire

PS: Want to reach your goals faster? Check out one of the online accountability coaching programs and book a free Coaching Call.