Fixed Mindset Vs. Growth Mindset [Yes, It Impacts Your Financial Success]

Ever wonder why some people succeed and others stay stuck for many years? It isn’t necessarily fate – it’s the way people think.

Your brain has a lot more to do with what you become than you’d imagine it does. Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset is one of the most essential comparisons you can make.

Have you ever felt like you wanted things to be different, but you aren’t sure how? Or you have trouble believing that you can reach your money goals?

If you’re feeling stuck in your finances, it might be your mindset. I’ll teach you about the difference between growth and a fixed thinking process.

You can forever change the way you approach problems and how you see the world.

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The Difference Between a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset doesn’t believe in what can be; it only sees the way things are. If you set your mind in this way, then you are not open to change.

This mindset will keep you from seeing opportunities or believing that things will improve. Keeping the status quo is how a fixed mindset operates – no improving your abilities. 

A growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that things can become better in the future. You won’t see your circumstances as “just the way things are.”

When you use a growth mindset you understand that everything changes and you believe that you have the ability to learn and transform for the better.

Someone with a growth mindset believes that they can upgrade their skills and learn more if they work hard. Someone with a fixed mindset thinks they have a set amount of talent or smarts, and it won’t change so trying to improve is a wasted effort. Basically, you are good or bad at something and that’s that.

What are examples of a fixed mindset?

What are the things that make your mind stay stuck in one place? Here are some common examples.

It’s too late to learn

If you think your abilities cannot improve, you’ll believe that it’s too late for you to learn something new. You’ll think you can’t possibly develop a new hobby or begin something for the first time.

If there’s a skill you’ve always wanted to have, a fixed mindset will tell you that you can’t. 

Someone with a fixed mindset will assume they can’t learn a new language because they aren’t good at languages. Or maybe that they cannot become an accountant because they didn’t already learn when they were younger.

No need to try; I’m going to fail anyway

“Don’t try” is a common phrase of those with a fixed mindset. People like this believe that it’s better not to attempt something new because they won’t be good at it, anyway.

This mindset assumes that you’re already good at something or not, and you can’t improve.

Things are as good as they can ever be

If there’s one thing a fixed mindset loves, it’s being stuck. You don’t move backward or forward but instead, stay the same. This way of thinking makes people believe that things are already as good as they’ll ever be. 

Even if your situation is not good, a fixed mindset will tell you things can’t change or become better. This way of thinking will keep you stuck in a job or a town you don’t like because you fear change.

I know all I need to know

Forget developing new talents or interests with this mindset. People with a fixed mindset assume they know everything necessary already.

It means if you have a skill, you’ll stay good at it but not improve. If there’s a skill you want to acquire, that’s too bad. A fixed mindset will not try to learn new things or see what opportunities are available.

Imagine your workplace has an opening for a supervisor position. You would be perfect for it. You have all the necessary skills except for one – there’s a new computer program you’d need to learn.

A fixed mindset will either believe that the new program is unnecessary (because you don’t already know it) or that you can’t understand it because you’ve never had any experience with it. Either way, you likely will not get the job with this attitude.

Threatened by people who are successful

Those with a fixed mindset don’t like more successful people. Instead of imagining what you could learn from someone better at something, you might feel like you don’t measure up.

And since a fixed mindset believes you can’t get better, then you can’t learn from someone that’s further up the corporate ladder or has a talent you want to know more about. 

You may instead feel resentful or like someone more successful is taking away success from you. It is untrue, but so are all the things that those with a fixed mindset believe about their capabilities. 

What are examples of a growth mindset?

Here are some common traits of people who are open and have a growth mindset.

I can do more

A growth mindset helps you believe you can work on things in your life to become better. It helps people think that they can become an expert at something.

It also assumes that no matter what, you are capable of more – more talent, energy, success, and everything else that leads to a better life.

If someone is more successful than me, I should learn from them

Instead of feeling insecure around more successful people, those with a growth mindset will think, “I want to know how to do what they do. If I spend time with them, I’ll learn.”

You’ll welcome those that know more because you don’t think that they are somehow more special than you. Instead, you believe that you can learn to succeed.

My life can change for the better

A growth mindset can help you believe that situations will improve. You don’t have to worry that you’ll stay stuck in a job or lifestyle you don’t enjoy. With a growth mindset, you can become more positive, successful, and happy in the future. 

For example, if you work a minimum wage job and are in debt, a growth mindset can remind you that getting out of debt is possible. It will also help you make plans to improve your circumstances by making more money. 

I’ll succeed if I keep trying

Above all, a growth mindset refuses to give up. You understand that you may not automatically be good at something, but that’s no reason not to try. You believe success is possible if you only continue to reach for it.

A growth mindset doesn’t focus on the negatives but instead stays positive and sees what could be. This mindset is not unrealistic, but it does assume the best and not the worst.

Should you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?

By now, you’ve probably drawn some conclusions about which mindset is better. Fixed mindset vs. growth mindset means you can choose which way you want to think.

A fixed mindset will hold you back and keep you from being your best self. But a growth mindset will help you keep improving and is a more positive way to look at life.

Is it possible to change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset?

If you feel like you’ve spent a lot of time living with a fixed mindset, you may be concerned that you can’t change. But there’s good news – you can!

Even if you feel like you’re struggling at first, it is entirely possible to change your thought patterns at any point in your life. How? Begin by making small changes.

Find out what you want to believe about yourself, and begin to change the ideas that don’t agree with this.

For example, if a fixed mindset says, “I’ll never learn how to code because I’m not good with technology,” retrain it. Instead, allow a growth mindset to tell you, “Coding is new to me, but I believe I can become great at it because I’m willing to learn.” 

Anytime you notice a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset thought, you can replace it. Do this until it becomes a habit.

How can you start thinking with a growth mindset about money?

First, take a look at your financial picture. What do you want to improve? Then, using the technique mentioned earlier for changing your mindset, begin to think in new terms about money.

Try to remind yourself of these phrases: “I can always learn new concepts about money.” “I believe I’m going to earn more and more over time.” “I’m going to listen to financially successful people and change my habits.”

Using these ways of thinking, you can begin to believe that more money, savings, and success are achievable for you.

Related: 11 Wealth-Building Habits To Start Now

How a Growth Mindset Contributes to Financial Success

Here’s you with a fixed mindset regarding money: You work the same job for years and years, never learning more and rarely earning more.

You believe that you’ll stay in the same income range forever. You think you’ll only be as successful as your parents are. So you never achieve all you can because you don’t believe it’s possible.

And here’s you with a growth mindset for finances: You start in one job and get promoted to another because you learned new skills. You believe there is no cap on how much money you can make.

The sky’s the limit because you don’t feel stuck based on how much money your family makes or what you do for a living. You aren’t worried about being successful because you’re constantly developing new skills.

After reading this, which mindset do you think will help you be more successful? You guessed it – growth mindset.

Cultivating a Growth Money Mindset

Now that you know which is better regarding a fixed mindset vs. growth mindset, what practical steps can you take to have a growth money mindset?

  • Decide how much income you need to be comfortable. Start with an annual amount of money you’d like to make. Then brainstorm. How can you achieve it? By getting a second job? By getting a raise? Work hard to help yourself reach your goal. When you do reach that goal, set a new one. 
  • Use big numbers when thinking about and planning your future. Even if it seems scary, when planning your retirement or for the future, imagine yourself with more money than seems reasonable for your situation. It will leave you room to grow and expand your success to get to those numbers.
  • Dream big. What job do you want? What level of education? What amount of money? Allow yourself to decide what you want, even if it seems far away. From there, you begin to make plans. Take baby steps to achieve your dreams. For example, if it’s your dream to open your own business, decide what type of business. Then take some classes, then work on it on the side, then go full time, then make more money. Dreams are easier to get to when you use small steps.

Your Mindset Will Impact Your Financial Success

This is absolutely true. Your mind is your most crucial resource for being successful at anything. A fixed mindset vs. growth mindset will keep you from getting where you want to be, so it has to go.

You’ll need to work hard to begin thinking in new ways before you can be successful. After you take the time to develop growth thinking in your life, you can then begin the steps to help you cultivate a growth money mindset.

Remember to check in with your attitude continually. Make sure that your thoughts are still supporting the prosperous life you’re creating.

A growth mindset can help you achieve all kinds of things, regardless of circumstances or education. One thing to take from all this: your mind should help you to succeed. And it will if you believe you can do more financially, in your career, and your life.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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