Do you have a Fixed mindset or Growth mindset?

Fixed mindset versus growth mindset

The growth mindset says your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.   That people become leaders and are not born leaders.  The fixed mindset believes that your qualities are carved in stone.   Fixed mindset people believe that people are born leaders, so why even try.   If you are newer to personal development or leadership you probably lean more towards the fixed mindset.   That is because we have been conditioned to believe that that mindset is correct.   It is proven everyday because people are not growing and changing.   People  are not accomplishing their goals and dreams.   On the other hand, if you have associated with growth communities then you know that the growth mindset is completely true.   You have seen people that showed very little leadership ability but through effort and studying, they have developed themselves into leaders.   So you might be asking yourself, “What happened?”  As a society wouldn’t we want more of the population to have a growth mindset?


Fixed mindset or growth mindset, what happened?

Let me give you an example.   Five monkeys were put into a cage.   At the center of the cage was a ladder with a hand of bananas.  Of course, one of the monkeys leaves the corner, and climbs the ladder to get a banana.  As he is about to grab the banana, the scientist spray all the other monkeys  with  cold water.   Undeterred, the next monkey goes to the ladder and climbs to get a banana.   As soon as he gets on the ladder the scientist spray the other monkeys again.   When the next monkey goes to get a banana the rest of the monkeys attack him.   Now it gets interesting.   The scientist replace one of the old monkeys with a new monkey.   Guess what the new monkey thinks?   I don’t know why no one else is getting a banana but I’m hungry.   He goes to climb the ladder and gets attacked by his fellow monkeys.   He is probably thinking, “Man I won’t try that again.”   They replace another monkey and the same thing happens.   The scientist take out the rest of the original monkeys and now no monkey in the cage has ever been sprayed with cold water, yet no monkey will ever get one of those bananas.   They have been conditioned to believe that if they try, something bad will happen.   Sound familiar?   In a country that was FOUNDED ON TAKING A CHANCE, BEING COURAGEOUS, AND RISKING IT ALL, we are starting to become safe, fearful, and spineless.   Why?   Because someone tried something, was sprayed with cold water, or worse yet they HEARD that people were getting sprayed with cold water,  and now it’s their duty to protect you.

The death rate for people who play it safe and for those who live boldly is the same.  Patti Digh


Fixed mindset, how do you go from a fixed mindset to a fix-ed mindset?


You will become like the five people you hang around the most and the books you read.   As I write this  I think about what I did before I was involved with growth communities.   My friends were great guys and I love them but you need someone that is much farther down the road.   I think I had read two books from cover to cover over a twenty year time frame.  WOW!   I was proving this theory to be totally correct because my life was a mess.   Most of us have been around negative or limited thinking for so long we begin to think it’s normal.   Heck, the government and television tell you not to think at all!   I can do an entire article about that later.   Fixed mindsets have been scientifically proven to be inaccurate.   A group of scientists were studying the brain when they accidentally discovered what they now call, brain elasticity.   They discovered that the brain is ever changing.   They found that patterns in your brain can be re-wired, but the longer one subject has been grooved in that area, the harder it is to overcome.   Example:  young children have no problem learning multiple languages at the same time.   Ask an adult to learn multiple languages and they may break down and cry.   The reason is the area of the brain for language is being conditioned for multiple languages, when younger, but the longer we go with only one language we condition that area for one language.   So as an adult, you almost have to totally immerse yourself in the new language because you have to overcome the years of one language being grooved into that area.   The same is true with a fixed mindset and we just have to overrun that area of your brain with growth mindset.   Here’s what you do.

1.  Find a group of growth mindset people and associate with them as much as you can.

2.  Listen to positive audio recordings daily

3.  Read books from people that are teaching or have experienced a growth mindset.

4.  Try to eliminate as many fixed mindset activities as you can

  • negative people
  • limited thinking people
  • television that isn’t positive
  • magazines or movies that tear down instead of building up

5.  Do these over and over and over  and over and over and over and over …………………

Remember we have to overrun the areas that have been grooved with fixed thinking and try to get our brain re-wired for growth mindset.   You ever notice that fixed mindset people think that everything is hard or undoable.   Growth mindset people think that anything is possible.   The best thing about that is most growth mindset people started off with a very fixed mindset.   We know this works because the results are all around us.   Everything we use in our life was developed from a growth mindset person and they all have written books about what and how they did it.   Acquiring a growth mindset  is hard, it is annoying, it takes time, it takes persistence, but man, is it worth it.  You don’t know how great you can be until you get around people that see your greatness.

Bill Lewis



20 thoughts on “Do you have a Fixed mindset or Growth mindset?”

  1. Bill I remember years ago when you used the example about the monkeys from stage. But so true what you write about here. I grew up around so many fixed mindset people and it took a lot of cds and association and books to get to the growth mindset, like you said over and over and over…….

  2. This business is definitely proof of the mindset changes that occur. And the truth of who you ‘hang out with’….I look back now and many of my friends are still in the same ‘boat’ they were 6-7 years ago and I am so grateful for the LIFE business and the information I received so that I became part of the GROWTH mindset group…moving forward and experiencing the life that God has promised us. Working with you and Jackie and the belief you have in us has definitely grown us into the leaders we are today….which is proof that ‘who you hang out with’ truly makes THE difference. Thanks for setting an amazing example of this ‘mindset’….
    Brenda Hatcher

  3. If it weren’t for a few folks in LIFE reaching out to me while finishing up college, I’m sure I’d have a fixed mindset like a bunch of the people that I graduated with. I know I was headed that way, but thankfully I was given some new information early on that changed my course.

    The fixed mindset seems to lead to envy. People with a growth mindset look at successful people and think, “If he did it, I can too.” People with a fixed mindset look at successful people and think, “It’s not fair that they have more than me. He must have cheated to get his success.”

    The results of the two trains of thought couldn’t be more different. One leads to innovation and creativity. The other leads to class warfare and bitterness.

    I’m proud to be a part of a community of people that is succeeding in changing people’s mindset from fixed to growth.

    Thanks for the post Bill!

  4. Great insight Bill. You clearly show the value in being around people like you who have focused on growth for a long time.

  5. This is an exciting article to share. It goes along with what President John Taylor stated “It is not because somebody has seen things, or heard anything by which a man will be judged and condemned, but it is because that record that is written by the man himself in the tablets of his own mind–that record that cannot lie–will in that day be unfolded before God and angels, and those who shall sit as judges.”

    This article describes what will happen if we constantly put good or bad information into our brain. We will be judged by what is imprinted on the tablets of our brain.

    Thanks, Bill.

  6. Interesting. I have been studying the trivium method to grow my ‘mindset’ in discovering truth in i look back on my life I was so ‘fixed’, unknowingly. I also recognized that I first needed to be “open” to change, then remove all of the logical fallacies (unlearn fixed mindset) and start on the path to critical thinking and growth mindset. Still working on unlearning fixed mindset..there was soo much garbage;)
    Thanks, Great insight.

  7. Bill, the last sentence says it all! You dont know how great you can be until you get around people that see your greatness! Awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Bill, right on man right on! It blows me away how much the monkey experiment parallels so much with our world. It makes me think if a monkey would have gotten a banana even after being sprayed the entire experiment would have failed. That monkey would become the cheer-monkey. You can do it man your a winner. Thanks for being a cheer-monkey;)

    Mike Kolp

  9. This is a great article. I love the story about the monkeys and see it happen consistently with a group of guys I ride with. A growth mindset is a winning mindset. Thanks Bill for the leadership principles.

  10. Bill,
    Once again, you have proven your wisdom. What I have come to find interesting is how many people will let what other people think to fix their mind to the wrong way of thinking. As Chris Brady says, you have to make a mental shift. Many fellow employee are still in the monkey cage because they care more about what others think. Their minds are fixed!
    Thank you for your continued guidance and mentorship!!


  11. Great article Bill! Looking back to when I graduated from college, I had a growth mindset but it was only in my area of study. Being involved with the growth community of LIFE continues to stretch me in many areas. I appreciate the LIFE education so much because it has provided resources for continued growth.

  12. Bill,
    Thank you for posting about this. I read about growth mindset vs. fixed mindset in an old roommate’s textbook once and it interested me (yes, I am the nerd that reads my friends’ textbooks for fun! LOL) But I have forgotten about it until I read your post. I love your blog!!

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