5 Dangers of Having a Fixed Mindset

5 months ago   •   4 min read

By Zero Machina

Your mindset determines the outcome of your entire life.

There are two types of mindsets: A fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

A fixed mindset has many disadvantages for your career and personal life. Choose your mindset carefully.

What's a Fixed Mindset?

The terms "fixed and growth mindset" emerged thanks to the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck.

After decades of research, she found that our success is influenced by how we think about our abilities and talents. Other experts call this our self-concept.

There are two main mindsets:

  • A fixed mindset means you believe talent, intelligence, and other personal qualities are innate. Therefore, if you’re not good at something, you’ll never be good at it.
  • In contrast, a growth mindset means you believe you can develop your talents and intelligence through hard work and continuous learning.

The mind is incredibly powerful and the messages we tell ourselves shape our reality. Staying in a fixed mindset limits our success.

Here are 5 dangers of having a fixed mindset.

1. It Stops You From Overcoming Adversity and Changing Dire Situations

Challenging situations will always arise throughout your work and life.

To overcome these challenges, you’ll need to adopt a growth mindset and work hard to overcome roadblocks.

But what happens if you have a fixed mindset?

You’ll fail to overcome adversity. The underlying belief is that the world — or some other external condition — has already determined the outcome. So you’ll struggle to believe it’ll change or your ability to influence it.

The world’s most successful people have always faced adversity regardless of their situation. They operated with a growth mindset, learning from their mistakes and turning the situation around.

2. It Prevents You From Taking Important Risks

Few people enjoy taking risks. It often creates anxiety, uncertainty, and self-doubt. But successful people understand the importance of taking calculated risks, as nobody has ever achieved excellence without them.

What’s the likelihood of taking risks when you have a fixed mindset? Very small.

If you don’t believe hard work, diligence, and perseverance will create a successful outcome, why bother trying?

A fixed mindset also fixates on the fear of failure, often paralyzing its victim from taking action.

Although failure never feels nice, every successful person has endured it. It's the wisest teacher you'll have.

If you want to take your work or life to the next level, you'll want to adopt a growth mindset and take risks. It'll help you be more productive and spend less time fixating on your mistakes.

3. It Creates Poor Confidence and Self Esteem

In spite of what the world threw at them, the most accomplished people believed they could achieve their dreams. They had unwavering confidence.

But when you have a fixed mindset, you won’t believe in your power to change a situation. As a result, you’ll self-sabotage because you don’t feel worthy enough to climb the ladder of success.

Not only is poor self-confidence terrible for your career success, it often creates insecurities that lead to major mental health issues. Although self-confidence issues typically have deep roots, you can overcome them with a growth mindset.

Having a growth mindset allows you to judge your abilities accurately without feeling insecure. You’re more likely to improve your skills, as you'll improve with learning and hard work. In turn, this will make you more productive.

4. It Creates a Lack of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness comes from pushing yourself into uncomfortable situations and a willingness to change your life situation.

But a fixed mindset doesn't allow you to see your challenges as opportunities for growth. You'll stay stuck in the same place, unaware of your need for change.  This lack of self-awareness creates a blind spot. Without the ability to see your weaknesses, you'll never improve them.

Your relationships may also suffer. For instance, a leader who lacks self-awareness has no idea how their actions impact others. As a result, they're unable to express empathy and create win-win situations.

5. It Promotes Negativity

We should always stay on top of our mental health and well-being.  It’s essential for living a high-quality and fulfilling life.

But a fixed mindset often promotes negative feelings—sadness, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and anger. And these feelings cloud your perception and poison relationships.

Many people believe their negative feelings represent their reality. Though this is subjectively true, they can rearrange or remove the clouds and see a brighter future. It's possible for us to control our thoughts and better regulate our emotions. Those with a fixed mindset, however, often give up too soon or don't bother trying at all.

Your productivity levels and time management worsens when you have a negative mindset. Ultimately, negative thoughts are a by-product of an unhappy and unsuccessful life, but a growth mindset can prevent this before it becomes self-destructive.

Common Traits of a Fixed Mindset:

  • Believing hard work is useless.
  • Ignoring feedback from others.
  • Hiding flaws to avoid judgment.
  • Avoiding challenges to prevent failure.
  • Being risk-averse due to low confidence.
  • Quitting tasks when they become difficult.
  • Feeling threatened by other people’s success.
  • Believing intelligence is static and unchangeable.
  • Viewing feedback as personal criticism instead of positive feedback.

Next Steps:

Nobody is born with a fixed or growth mindset: We can change our mindset anytime. Adopting a growth mindset improves your chances of success, personal happiness, and overall productivity.

Want to learn more about how mindest influences your success? Read our article: The Difference Between a Fixed and Growth Mindset: How They Impact Your Life.

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