What You Don’t Know About The Difference Between A Growth Mindset & A Fixed Mindset Could Hurt You

Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset Jeff Heggie Coaching

Mindset is defined as the established set of attitudes held by someone.

Jeff Heggie Coaching - Mindset: the established set of attitudes held by someone

A lot of my recent work and research has been focused on helping people create a mindset that will allow them to achieve their goals and dreams. Using the simple definition above, that would mean that I’m helping people develop a set of attitudes that will help them achieve their goals and dreams.

There are a lot of different strategies and practices that I use to help people develop what I refer to as a Powerful Mindset. For some people, this is an easy process to follow and trust. For others, there is a lot more work involved because of doubts they have in themselves, the process, or other factors.

The intention of this article is not to go through all of the strategies and tools that we use to develop a Powerful Mindset. In this article I want to focus more on the reason this road is easier for some than it is for others.

Types of Mindset

The mindset isn’t about seeking a result – it’s more about the process of getting to the result. It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality.

Kobe Bryant

When you consider the type of mindset that you have, it comes down to whether you believe that such qualities as intelligence and talent are fixed or changeable traits.

If you believe your qualities are inborn, fixed, and unchangeable, you have a fixed mindset.

Those who have a growth mindset believe that these abilities can be developed and strengthened through commitment and hard work.

Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, says that “having a growth mindset doesn’t mean you believe that you can become anything you want with enough education and effort. Not everyone will become the next Einstein or Mozart just because they try”. Rather, she notes that the growth mindset is about living up to one’s possible potential.

Jeff Heggie Coaching Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset Photo by Benjamin Grant on Unsplash
Photo by Benjamin Grant on Unsplash

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

In Dweck’s book, “Mindset – The New Psychology of Success,” she says, “believing that your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.”  

She continues by saying that the “growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. Although people may differ in every which way – in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”

The Impact of Your Mindset

You can see why the different mindsets will change what you believe about being able to create a “Powerful Mindset.”

Those with a fixed mindset have the belief that “it is what it is” and things can’t change. They will often go through great effort to prove this to be so.

On the other hand, those with a growth mindset are hungry and eager to learn. They’re ready to start implementing my strategies because they believe things can change.

Changing Your Mindset

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Henry Ford

Dweck suggests that people are capable of changing their mindsets. She says, “Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways.”

When I’m working with someone to create a Powerful Mindset, if they currently have a fixed mindset, the first step is to interrupt their belief pattern. They need to believe they can make the change before it will happen.

We can go through all the work and implementation, but if they never believe that it will work, it won’t.

Creating a Powerful Mindset begins by creating a Growth Mindset

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.”

Carol S Dweck

As a person develops a growth mindset and believes that they can make changes and implement improvements in their life through efforts, strategies, and help from others, they open up and are willing to accept that through a Powerful Mindset they can bring change and find success in whatever it is they are working towards.


Your mindset plays a critical role as you navigate through life. Having a growth mindset can contribute to more success and fulfillment throughout your life. I also believe that a growth mindset will help you deal better with adversity and setback and overall bring more joy into your life.

The first step is a self-evaluation to understand your own dominant mindset and then determine if and what you may need to do to change it.

Dweck poses the following questions about intelligence to help you to determine your own type of mindset. Read each statement and decide whether you mostly agree with it or disagree with it.

  1. Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.
  2. You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.
  3. No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit.
  4. You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.

She says, “Questions 1 and 2 are the fixed-mindset questions. Questions 3 and 4 reflect the growth mindset. Which mindset did you agree with more? You can be a mixture, but most people lean toward one or the other.”

She continues, “It’s not only your abilities; it’s your personal qualities too. Look at these statements about personality and character and decide whether you mostly agree or mostly disagree with each one. “

  1. You are a certain kind of person, and there is not much that can be done to really change that.
  2. No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially.
  3. You can do things differently, but the important part of who you are can’t really be changed.
  4. You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are.

“Here questions 1 and 3 are the fixed-mindset questions and questions 2 and 4 reflect the growth mindset.”

Do You Need More?

At this point, you’ll have an idea of whether you tend to have more of a fixed- or growth mindset.

I want to tell you now, that you do have the ability to create a Powerful Mindset (which is a growth mindset), that will help you to achieve all of your dreams and goals.

Through my programs we can help you do that!

If you are an athlete and you want to separate yourself from your competition by working on your mental game, learn more about The Confident Athlete Program! This is an incredible program with six modules that you can work through at your own pace, combined with some weekly, live group coaching calls. Find out more about The Confident Athlete Program HERE!

If you’re an entrepreneur, coach, or any other high achiever you can take things to the next level with our High Achievers Mindset Secrets program! You can find out more about this incredible program and the other opportunities that come with it HERE!

Also, whether you are interested in the High Achievers Mindset Secrets Academy or not, you can apply for a FREE 45-Minute Strategy Session to discuss your thoughts, mindset, or business, and to see how these strategies and tools can help you. If you’re interested in this FREE 45-Minute Strategy Session, email info@jeffheggie.com with the subject line “Strategy Session.”

Get the free “Mindset Questions” checklist here immediately >>

Please Take My High Achievers Mindset Survey HERE

Published by D. Jeff Heggie

Father, Husband, Coach & Entrepreneur

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