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How to Tell if You Have a Fixed Mindset and What You Can Do to Change It

September 10, 2019
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

Sometimes I feel like I have a fixed mindset, especially when I was younger. Life was black and white, there was no grey and if the answer was not yes or no, I remember avoiding the question. I thought life was the way it was and there was no meaningful way to change it.

I was not completely fixed minded. Aspects of my life had grey areas. I could change in these areas better or worse depending on my decisions, my attitude, and my outlook on life. And yes, some of my decisions were not the best ones ever.

People migrate towards others who are like-minded for the most part. Family and friends think, feel, and act similarly, you can get out of the fixed mindset, but it's not easy.

I've figured out there are five things people who have a fixed mindset have in common:

1) A desire to look smart. People with a fixed mindset would rather look smart than actually be smart. Looking smart allows those with a fixed mindset not to work at it. If they look smart that's good enough for them and no further work is needed.

2) Giving up when things seem challenging. Instead of overcoming an obstacle, avoidance was the name of the game for me. Anything that pushed me out of my comfort zone was avoided.

3) Not taking constructive criticism. It's natural for people to have their guard up when it comes to criticism. But constructive criticism, can help a person grow and develop their potential the individual with a fixed mindset would rather bury their head in the sand and ignore what is being said.

4) Feeling threatened by the success of others. Fixed minded people see someone else's achievements as unattainable for them.

5) You believe your partner should put you on a pedestal. The individual with a fixed mindset thinks their partner should be able to recognize that they have "the perfect partner" and put them on that imaginary pedestal.

I decided this was not the mindset I wanted. I wanted to be able to grow as an individual. I began small. Retraining the brain to think a different way from what it has always known takes time.

Starting with constructive criticism is a good area to start with. Learning that this type of criticism is meant to help you not attack you. It is a way to help you grow personally and professionally

Find things that you are truly passionate about. It may be a simple hobby or it may be our job. It's only natural to want to progress and develop whatever it is you enjoy.

Pick something small and let yourself learn and understand as much as you can. For me, Henry VIII and his six wives fascinated me. I started with short stories on the Internet. I found myself so intrigued that to date, I have read every book I could get my hands on. Plus I have seen almost every show on the subject. Not only did my mind open up to the subject of Henry VIII, but I have continued to expand my knowledge in other areas as well. Keep building on the things you have learned and take on more challenging hobbies will show growth and progression you never thought was possible.

Remember it's all about retraining your mind. Recognizing that mindset is a choice will help bring about change.

A fixed mindset can be both a blessing and a curse. The core is all about self-preservation, however; when it starts to rule your life, it's time to make a change.

Change will not be quick nor easy, but it's important to remind yourself how much better life will be when you have changed to a growth mindset.



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