Fixed vs. Growth Mindset: Does The Concept Apply To Cold Approach?

“Becoming is better than being”

Carol S. Dweck


Over Christmas and New Years, I had a few days off work and I was visiting some family. I had a book with me as I traveled that I had wanted to read for a while – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. Some of you might be familiar with it: in the book, Dweck discusses fixed mindset and growth mindset, tells the reader what they are, and gives examples from sports, business and relationships that prove growth mindset leads to success, achievement and satisfaction, while the fixed mindset leads to unfulfilled potential and amazement with natural ability rather than progression. As I read that book, a thought popped into my head: “How are the mindsets applicable to cold approach and improving as a player?” In this post, I will describe what the fixed and growth mindset are, talk about examples of the mindsets in cold approach, and share my thoughts on actionable advice to take if you want to reach your potential as a player. Let’s dive into it!

What is the difference between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset?

Study the two images above. They describe the differences between the two mindsets in a visual, easy to contrast way. Here are quotes from the book to reinforce what the mindsets are, and how they differ from each other:

Fixed Mindset

“For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?

Believing that your qualities are carved in stone — the fixed mindset — creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character — well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.”

Growth Mindset

“There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. 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.

Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.”

How does this apply to cold approach?

You are probably thinking to yourself “That’s an interesting concept, but how can I use this when I pickup chicks?” I was wondering the exact same thing after I finished the book, and have since consciously used the growth mindset to evolve my game and focus on becoming a better player. Have you ever thought or said any of the following things?

  • “I am not tall enough to have success with women”
  • “I am not having success with girls because I am not fit enough”
  • “A chick like that will never go for a guy like me because I am not good-looking enough”
  • “I can’t fuck hot blondes because I am Indian”
  • “She won’t like me because my cock is not ten inches”

Let’s be honest, everyone who has ever approached women consistently has experienced some form of approach anxiety, and has said some form of the statements above to justify not approaching. Well, guess what? Hopefully at this point you realize that all those statements that we use to weasel out of approaching hot chicks are fixed mindset statements: I am not good enough for her, so I shouldn’t bother her. In the fixed mindset world, you are either good enough or you are not, and your brain does a damn good job of sabotaging your success with women by telling you that you are not good enough (especially when you are a beginner overwhelmed with approach anxiety) and you should avoid approaching her because she won’t like you anyway. This mindset leads to lots of failure and frustration long-term.

How to apply growth mindset to approaching

Now, let’s look at these statements and compare them with the ones above:

  • “I didn’t get her number because my eye contact wasn’t strong enough”
  • “Even though I got her number, my body language wasn’t open enough, I can improve that”
  • “She rejected me because I didn’t speak with enough confidence”
  • “I got her on a date with me, but I didn’t sexualize the conversation often enough”

Can you see the difference? While the fixed mindset statements were that the player isn’t good enough, the growth mindset statements above basically all say the same thing: “I got rejected, but I could improve X. Even though I succeeded with that girl, I can still improve Y.” If you adopt this mindset, then no longer are your successes and failures defined by the girl and how she reacts to you. Success is defined by your own progress – if you go out and approach 10 women with the intent of holding stronger eye contact and you get no numbers, yet by the end of your daygame session you hold stronger eye contact, was your session a success? Absolutely! If you go out and approach 10 women with the intention of opening direct each time, yet you chicken out and do 5 indirect approaches but get three numbers which eventually all lead to bangs, was your session a success? No, it wasn’t, because you went out with the intent to make your direct openers stronger, yet you failed to do that.

I know what you’re thinking: “But I got laid three times, how is that not a success???” We as players are often too eager to define our happiness and success by the amount of numbers, dates and notches we get from approaching. Believe me, I am guilty as charged on that, and truthfully I am still working on overcoming that. By defining our success with dates and sex, we effectively subconsciously tell our brain “My happiness is based on whether random strangers will have sex with me. If they don’t, then I must not be good.” If that isn’t an example of fixed mindset, I don’t know what is. Instead, we should tell our brain “My happiness is based on whether or not I am making progress towards my goals. I wanna fuck hot bitches, and I need to improve my eye contact, body language, and dating model to achieve that.” Counterintuitively, if you ignore your number ratios and focus on improving your sticking points, then the amount of dates and sex you have will increase. As RPD told me on Twitter – “Process > results.

Actionable Advice On Growth Mindset

You might be wondering “How do I make sure that I apply growth mindset as a player to improve my game?” Firstly, chase away thoughts about you being not tall enough, not muscular enough, not “anything enough” for women. We all get them from time to time, but they are making it harder for you to get laid with women. You are a man and she is a woman, that is all the reason you need to approach. Am I saying that any guy can be a Casanova? Recall the quote from Dweck above – not anyone can become Einstein or Beethoven (or Casanova), but at the same time you don’t know what your true potential as a player is until you put in years of effort and thousands of approaches. Instead, leave your ego at the door and ask yourself what your sticking points are. Make a list of all of them and prioritize them. Then, pick the top one and focus on it for your next game session and keep going until you don’t think that is your biggest sticking point anymore. Then hit the next one on the list and go on.

For example, let’s say you have trouble holding eye contact with women you approach and that is your biggest sticking point. For your next daygaming session, focus on making sexual eye contact and holding it as you are in set until the girl looks away first. Remember: your session is a success as long as you have made progress on your goal, not as long as you get a number/date/instadate/bang.

Personal Example

I will give you an example from my own daygame sessions this year that show how I have been using the growth mindset to improve my skills as a player. As I said in this Tweet, I had a streak of 21 approaches without getting a single number this year. If this happened a few months ago when I was a total beginner, I probably would have told myself a bunch of the fixed mindset statements such as I wasn’t good enough, attractive enough, tall enough, etc. Instead, I kept my head up because I hit my targets in those sessions – I had some good sets with good stacks, which is what I was focused on. I had noticed that my stacks were getting quite predictable and I was using the same ones too much, so I wasn’t having as much fun when gaming. I improvised and got good reactions out of the girls and amused myself, so even though I didn’t get numbers for a while I knew I was on the right track. And as you can see in the Tweet, I got an instadate after 21 approaches with no numbers after basically talking to the girl for 2 minutes. Progress is not always linear, and if you focus on improving the skills necessary to take your game to the next level, then sooner or later you WILL reach your potential. It won’t be for a while and you will have to work hard for it though!


Fixed mindset is when we believe that we are either good at something or we aren’t, and there is little we can do about what we can’t do. On the contrary, growth mindset is when we accept the fact that our current level does not define us, and our true potential is unknown until we put in years of effort to improve. When it comes to cold approaching, focusing on what you can do and what you have to improve in your sessions will make you a better player, as opposed to focusing on what someone else can do or how the girl reacts. Give the growth mindset techniques described above a try, you will be surprised at how effective they are!

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