Growth or Fixed? What’s YOUR Mindset?

The term “mindset” has been seen a lot lately; many writers are finding gold in describing how our mindset – no matter what it is – governs so many of our thoughts, which then govern our actions.

There are numerous quotes around that concept, including this one many of us have seen from Gandhi:

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

― Gandhi

So what is your mindset when faced with action?

“I can’t possibly do that!”

“Maybe I could do that.”

“I don’t know how, but I am going to do that!”

“I am definitely going to try that!”

Now, I’m presuming the actions are legal and moral … not the opposite.

But for some folks, any challenge – even the ones that could easily lead to great success and/or happiness – stop them cold. Are seen as not possible.

If you automatically say no, without even thinking about it, do you ever go back and ask yourself why? What was so awful about the idea that you couldn’t even contemplate it? What was so awful about YOU and YOUR skills that you instantly decided it wouldn’t work?

Is it because you’ve never tried it? Is it because others have and failed? Is it because you have tried it and failed?

Is it because others think it’s useless?

Lessons to be learned …

We either grow or stagnate, and it’s important to learn why we choose what we choose.

Obviously, no one says yes to everything; that’s what we have free will and brains for. We can always decide what’s right for ourselves. But some of us are more rigid than others, less willing to tackle something new, less willing or able to believe we have the skills, less willing to learn what we might need to have or do in order to succeed.

The fixed mindset is all set with what’s happening right now. What it knows now is enough; why rock the boat? What it has now works just fine.

“Don’t’ fix what ain’t broke” and all that.

The growth mindset is one of … growing. Learning. Changing. Adapting. Wanting to move to another level somewhere, somehow, with something. Knowing that our minds are not fixed at birth, knowing that we can grow every day, every week, every year if we choose to.

And that’s the central idea I got from thanks to Bernie Heine, founder of Professional Business Coaches, Inc., in Marshfield, Mass. I attend his monthly networking events, and every month I learn something new. This past month’s topic was the Fixed or Growth Mindset, largely based on a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck.

If we choose to grow, we will. We will find the outlets that allow for that.

If we choose to stay safe, we will likely stagnate.

All in all, I realized as we talked that I do have a growth mindset, that I do want to keep learning and adapting, especially at my age. Science shows us over and over that the old adage “use it or lose it” is true for a lot of us. I’m grateful that we have the internet, and that we can do as much as we want to in terms of finding new sources and resources to keep our minds moving and our knowledge base expanding.

How do you see yourself in terms of growth? Do you embrace it? My best guess is that if you’re reading this, you’re are already somewhat – if not fully – settled in the growth mindset because you’re on one of the internet platforms that encourages it. You’re here – wherever “here” is – because you’re writing your own articles and/or reading those of others. You’re curious. Interested. Eager to see what your next steps will be, what new ideas will pop up that you can use.

I am grateful every day for this amazing world we live in, for the folks who share their life with me from around the globe, and where so much is possible – if we want it.


Susan Rooks
Susan Rooks
With 25 years’ experience as an international speaker and workshop leader, Susan Rooks is uniquely positioned to help people master the communication skills they need to succeed. In 1995, Susan formed Grammar Goddess Communication to help business professionals enhance their communication skills. She creates and leads three-hour “Brush Up on Your Skills” workshops in three main areas: American grammar, business writing, and interpersonal skills. And recently she created and began leading introductory workshops to help business pros maximize their LinkedIn experience, offering it to Chambers of Commerce free of charge. As a copyeditor (and editor of nonfiction only), Susan has worked on projects ranging from blogs to award-winning children’s books to best-selling business books to corporate annual reports (with clients from half a dozen countries), ensuring that all material is professionally presented and free from grammatical errors. From the beginning, Susan’s only goal was to help everyone look and sound as smart as they are.