People tend to be either fixed mindset or growth mindset oriented.
Fixed-mindset people believe their abilities are static. And, they think that you can only succeed if you’re naturally talented in a given area (e.g., some people are good at math and others aren’t).
This way of thinking leads them to avoid challenges because they don’t want to look bad or lose face when they fail.
Growth-mindset people view failure as an opportunity for learning and personal development – not something to fear and avoid.
They see mistakes as part of the process rather than the result of it all; this makes them more open-minded, curious, self-reflective, resilient, persistent, and willing to take on difficult tasks with gusto.
To become a growth mindset person is easy but not always straightforward – growing your mindset takes effort and time so here’s how you do it.
What is Growth Mindset? Definition & Meaning
A growth mindset is a belief that abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence.
People who have a growth mindset believe that anyone can improve their intelligence or skills over time. With this idea in mind, as long as you are willing to learn, put in the necessary work and take on your mistakes—you can achieve greatness.
Growth-mindset people don’t see failure as a permanent condition. They feel bad for a while about failing but bounce back quickly from setbacks and get right back into the game again.
They often treat failure as an opportunity for learning what not to do next time around. From there they go on to try new strategies or tactics with enthusiasm and vigor.
Growth-mindset people see challenges as opportunities for stretching themselves. For them, failure is merely feedback; not a judgment of their worth or potential. Growth-minded people believe that ability can be cultivated: if you work hard at it, with time and practice most things are possible.
People who have this mindset enjoy challenges and learning new skills just to see what they’re capable of. They work hard because they enjoy the feeling of getting better each step along the way.
On the other hand, fixed-mindset individuals view their abilities as innate and unchangeable—no matter how much effort you put into it… You either have “it” or you don’t. These people feel threatened by mistakes and failures because they think it makes them look bad.
They feel the need to protect their self-concept by wasting time on ineffective efforts and avoiding challenges altogether, which prevents them from learning and growing.
10 Key Characteristic of Growth Mindset
The following are the 10 key characteristics of a growth mindset. Read the list through and see which one describes you best.
1. Resilience from failure
This means that you see failure as a temporary setback rather than a permanent condition. You know that everyone fails at some point or another, and you don’t feel bad about it because you use your mistakes to learn how to be better in the future.
2. Develop confidence from the effort
Growth-minded people recognize their efforts are valuable sources of information about what works best for them; this leads them to push harder each time around. They’re not afraid of putting in extra hours if it means getting closer to their goal. The harder they work, the more they understand what it takes to be successful.
People with a growth mindset believe that striving for greatness is always a possibility—no matter how good you are now. If you have this kind of belief then you will feel hopeful and eager to put in the effort because you know that no matter how small the chances are, hard work can get you just as far as talent can at times.
4. Work well with others: A strength of teamwork & collaboration
The best way to increase your skills and knowledge rests on working together with others who share common goals and interests. Remember that growth comes through cooperation so if you want to improve yourself make sure your team members do too. This way you will enjoy some benefits together.
5. Confidence is not arrogance: keep humbly improving yourself
Arrogant people are simply those who believe they are the best and that no one can top them. On the other hand, growth mindset people see confidence as a healthy form of humility; nothing to do with ego or arrogance as long as it’s built on continuous improvement through hard work.
6. Determined Attitude towards Goals
Growth mindset people recognize that success comes from taking consistent action toward your goals—regardless of whether this action produces results or not in the short term. They don’t view failure as a bad thing, but rather an opportunity to learn and make adjustments toward their goals.
7. Focus on Process instead of Product
Instead of getting hung up with just having the result you want, growth mindset people try to enjoy the process—the journey it takes them from where they are now until they eventually succeed. This way they will enjoy every step along the way because it’s what leads them closer to success.
8. Develop Confidence from Deliberate Practice: hours of hard work & determination makes things perfect
The key to achieving excellence in anything is deliberate practice – putting your skills through a series of demanding tasks that go far beyond what you are currently capable of. This way you can push your limits to levels that would otherwise be impossible if you were to keep practicing the same old things over and over again.
9. Mastery Brings Happiness
Mastery is what makes people feel fulfilled because it’s what grants them control of their skills and knowledge. Through deliberate practice, growth mindset people know exactly how far and how far they can go as long as they continue improving themselves daily.
10. Never Give Up & Believe: Be Persistent Until Successfully Achieving Your Goals
Growth mindset people never give up, no matter what happens. They believe in their abilities to reach the top even when everyone says that’s not possible. It takes persistence and hard work, but if you keep going the way you were then nothing can stop you from getting there.
20 Examples of Growth Mindset
While we have looked at the key characteristics of a growth mindset in the previous section, let’s now look at specific examples of such a mindset.
The following are 20 situations in which a growth mindset can shine through:
- When you face an unexpected failure and keep going
- When you fail to perform as well as others expect of you and prove them right the next time around
- When facing a problem that is too hard for you and you ask for help
- When listening to other people’s ideas and get the best out of them
- When moving on from a past failure or mistake you have made long ago
- In learning new skills and developing your talents
- When trying to understand something new that requires effort & time before getting it right
- In personal relationships when dealing with other people (e.g. colleagues, friends…) successfully
- When you feel like stopping and giving up because things are going wrong but you don’t
- When interacting with someone who is not performing well and needs help to improve
- When you have to deal with problems that require more skill, effort & time than usual (e.g., project or work deadlines) and keep at it
- When dealing with other people’s expectations of you (e.g., from friends, family members…) and are able to separate the good from the bad
- In accepting your weaknesses as a part of becoming a better person ( e. g. improving yourself in the areas where you lack skills/talent…)
- When facing new challenges and difficulties affecting your goals
- When working on solving a problem or accomplishing a goal
- When you want to get better and better at something ( e. g. playing tennis, dancing…)
- When realizing you lack confidence in your abilities but work hard at getting better because there’s so much room for improvement
- In therapy when facing your fears and gaining insights into what keeps you from succeeding personally and professionally
- When thinking about how far you’ve come since yesterday…and last week
- Whenever you need a reminder of where you are now compared to where you were a long time ago (e.g., graduating from high school or college…) and you look back with confidence at the past and hope for the future
15 Benefits of Growth Mindset
The benefits of a growth mindset are many.
1. The first benefit comes from the understanding that even if you fail to accomplish a task, this doesn’t mean you are a failure in general. If you get more practice at it, then one day soon you will be able to do it well.
Instead of focusing on your failures and past mistakes (e.g., “I don’t have what it takes to succeed”), focus on how far you’ve come in the last months/years and how much better you are today compared to yesterday (i.e., remind yourself that it’s all about perseverance.).
2. Second, growth mindset people believe that everyone is capable of great success – including themselves. This means they never give up and they always push harder to accomplish more than they have ever done before.
They see the positive side of every obstacle or failure because they know that it’s all part of a journey; one in which there are many bumps on the road to success.
3. Third, growth mindset people think differently about their talents and abilities compared to those with fixed mindsets.
Instead of always comparing themselves with others who may be better at something (e.g., being taller, smarter…), they focus on what can be done to improve their skills & talents through hard work.
4. Fourth, once you adopt a growth mindset then you’re going to become more optimistic because things such as failures, mistakes, setbacks, and toughness won’t bother you as much anymore.
They will be seen in a more positive light helping you to get better and better as the months/years go by. You’ll face obstacles and challenges with confidence saying, “I’m here because I can do this.”
5. Fifth, once you adopt a growth mindset, then learning becomes easier for you. During school, things were hard and some things required lots of effort and practice before getting right (e.g., how to solve math problems).
The great news was that after some time doing these things, your brain learned how to do them without any trouble or stress. This is because the brain is an organ that has the amazing ability to grow new connections (neural pathways) between different brain cells. This is what makes learning easier as time goes by.
6. Sixth, once you adopt a growth mindset then you’ll have more energy to do what you want in life because you will feel a sense of control over your future – no matter how hard things might get in the next months or years.
You’ll learn that even though setbacks and failures are part of life, they’re something that can be adapted to with some perseverance.
7. Seventh, once you adopt a growth mindset then you realize it’s never too late to make changes in your life. This ensures that you’ll gain the hope (as well as confidence) needed for making the big changes that come from setting bigger goals than before – or simply dream bigger than you used to.
8. Eighth, once you adopt a growth mindset you’ll understand that what’s inside your head matters more than others’ opinions. As a result, you’re going to feel less stressed by the little things in life. You’ll have a perspective on what matters most and how small changes can bring huge differences when it comes to being successful.
9. Ninth, once you adopt a growth mindset, you’ll get a greater sense of self-confidence than most people around you. You’ll start attracting better friends as well as new career opportunities will start showing up.
10. Once you adopt a growth mindset then you’ll realize that success is no longer dependent on your genes or how smart/talented/lucky you are. There will be no more excuses not to succeed. You’ll realize that it’s all about the decisions and choices you make in life determining whether or not you’re going to achieve what you want most.
11. When things don’t go to plan there won’t be any reason for beating yourself up, crying over spilled milk, or making excuses as to why you failed. You’ll see failure as a way to help you improve and grow even more than before.
12. Once you adopt a growth mindset then your relationships with those around you will reflect all of the above-mentioned benefits. Your partner/spouse will love how positive you are each day and how eager you are to spend more time together doing activities that bring out the best in both of you.
13. Once you adopt a growth mindset then it will be easier for those around you to trust your advice on how they can live their lives better and reach for their goals more effectively. Because of this, they’ll see you as someone who cares, is dependable, honest, and genuine with lots of wisdom to share with everyone.
14. Next, when you adopt a growth mindset then it will be easier for those around you to help each other out more by sharing their different strengths and weaknesses without any embarrassment.
15. Lastly, once you adopt a growth mindset, then as time goes by, your relationships with others will get better and stronger than before, even if some of them choose to leave your life because they don’t want to change.
You’ll know that yours is an open-door policy for those who want to grow and develop more. But if those around you simply refuse to change then it will be a clear sign that they may not be the best friends or partners for you after all. Imagine living life with all these benefits? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy way to get them without much effort? Of course, it would.
So adopting a growth mindset is well worth doing. I’d say a change in mindset like this has the potential to revolutionize your life…and how people around see you as well.
How to Develop Growth Mindset in 3 Easy Steps
nSo now that you know the power of shifting your mindset from fixed to growth, the questions are: How can you develop a growth mindset by yourself? What are some simple steps you can apply starting from today? I’m happy to say there are several easy ways for you to get started right away.
1. First, sum up all the benefits of having a growth mindset mentioned above. How often have these come in useful for you over time? Be honest here. Create a visual image if possible…like writing them down on pieces of paper and arranging them around your space with whichever one stands out the most at the center. This will help keep reminding you why it’s so important to adopt this way of thinking.
2. Next, list all the reasons why you might not be able to adopt a growth mindset…or don’t feel like it’s worth it to try. Again, be honest here and create your visual image of these two with the least motivating reason being at the center. This will help keep reminding yourself why you need to learn how to change your fixed mindset into a growth one instead.
3. Finally, I want you to reframe your thinking about this because having a growth mindset does require work on your part. It’s simply not going to happen overnight by itself or automatically through outer influences alone either. So instead of looking at this as just a challenge, or just as something you have to do, think of it more like your responsibility.
By extension, it will also mean living up to the trust placed in you by those around you. By simply taking personal accountability for your life and recognizing that having a growth mindset is one of the best ways that you can reach your goals.
In other words, once you adopt or develop a growth mindset, it becomes less about what others think about you and more about what you can achieve with such a mindset.
Whenever negative thoughts pop into your mind about this way of thinking over time, remind yourself that having a fixed mindset means things are out of control.
By contrast, adopting a growth mindset is all about putting things back under your control. And as such, the growth mindset is about people taking responsibility for their lives and reaching higher levels of achievement with it.
The possibilities are endless when you learn to make these changes in your fixed mindset ways of thinking. I’d say that this is one habit change you can never regret making since the rewards will come in on so many levels: physical, mental & emotional.
Growth Mindset for Students
Now when it comes to students, having a growth mindset is extremely important because it directly affects learning in school and later on in life as well. What’s more, this isn’t just about how you learn new information from books and teachers.
For example: If you have a fixed mindset, you’ll probably learn best through memorization and repetition, especially if you’re under pressure or forced to do so.
In this case, the student will take all new information in like a spon – memorizing what’s needed (and just when needed) before going on to perform rote memorization drills over and over again – until it gets ingrained into their short term memory and forgotten after it’s served its purpose.
But if you have a growth mindset, you’ll probably learn better when you “show what you know”. You could easily solve lots of math problems in your head because you’re not just solving a short-term issue (exams).
This is yet another reason why teachers, parents & other adults have been telling you from when you were little that what’s most important isn’t memorizing or repeating info over and over again.
Rather it’s about your personal ability to think critically, solve problems as well as asking lots of great questions too.
Growth Mindset for Kids
For kids, having a growth mindset is especially important because they’re still growing and developing their brains.
I’d say adults who have gotten stuck in a rut of negative thought processes are heavily influenced by where they once were as youngsters who adopted the opposite type of mindsets – or even perhaps it was due to the influence of others around them at the time.
Whatever the case may be though this is why it’s so important for parents to instill these positive habits into their children from an early age.
Growth Mindset Vs Fixed Mindset
A fixed mindset is a belief that your intellectual abilities and personality are static. This means you believe that intelligence and talents can’t be changed.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, is when you believe intelligence and talents can change as a result of new experiences or with hard work. This is the most important character trait children can develop because it predicts whether they’ll be successful in life, not just academically but also professionally.
Children with a growth mindset believe that if they work hard and practice, they will improve over time. In contrast, students with a fixed mindset believe their basic abilities are static and unchangeable.
They often avoid challenges and give up more easily when facing difficulties because they don’t think there’s any point in trying to improve or learn new things.
With a fixed mindset, you might say something like “I’m no good at maths” or “I can’t write”. With a growth mindset, you would say “I need more practice at math” or ” I need to write more so I can improve”.
So if you want to have a successful and happy life, it is important to develop this critical character trait. It all starts from an early age. If you have children in your life, show them that they can learn new things at any time in their lives.
Teach them how to take on challenges as opposed to giving up when something becomes hard. Helping your child develop a growth mindset will help him or she become more confident and motivated to succeed both academically and personally. The same applies to older adults, including yourself.
8 Growth Mindset Quotes
The following are some of my favorite quotes when it comes to a growth mindset:
- “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship.” – Little Women
- “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” – Jack Sparrow
- “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
- “Always do what you are afraid of doing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark
- “All things are difficult before they are easy.” – Thomas Fuller
- “Just because you haven’t found your talent yet doesn’t mean you don’t have one.” – Kermit the Frog
- “Improve by 1% a day, and in just 70 days, you’re twice as good.” – Alan Weiss
Growth Mindset Books
1.) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Author: Carol S. Dweck
This book is about two different types of mindsets. The first is the “fixed mindset” and that’s where you see yourself as unchanging…and this means your abilities to learn & grow too.
According to Carol Dweck, the problem with a fixed mindset is that it limits people from reaching their full potential in life. The second type of mindset is known as a “growth mindset”.
This means taking personal responsibility for your actions and being open to change or improvement every day instead. With a growth mindset, you’re always working towards something better than what you were yesterday. It’s also about embracing new challenges to improve on them like never before either.
2.) Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Growth Mindset Learning Community, Author: Mary Cay Ricci
This book is about getting your students to have a growth mindset. . Mary Cay Ricci explains that this isn’t just about teaching new and exciting topics in the classroom either.
She goes on to explain how having a growth mindset in school is all about getting your students to reach their full potential too. This book is geared towards teachers and faculty members who already use research-based strategies for their classes.
It’s meant for anyone who wants to help their students change their playbook when it comes to learning though. Of course, you want your students to be happier, more responsible citizens – not only in college or university but also as adults while growing up too.
3.) Growth Mindset Lessons Author: Shirley Clarke
This book is about helping you have the same growth mindset that has helped others excel in life. This author believes that young people need help in being able to cope with failure without giving up as well as how to embrace challenges and solve problems.
It’s also meant for those that want to continue to grow throughout their years…while building a solid foundation towards a great future. To do this, you first need to have a mentality that focuses on growth – and not just one that believes it’s “stuck” in life.
Frequently Asked Questions About Growth Mindset
How can a Growth Mindset Lead to Success?
The reason we concentrate so much on cultivating a growth mindset is that it does help us become more successful people.
From an early age, you’ll notice that children who have a fixed mindset don’t like challenges and they’re not comfortable with putting themselves out there to try new things or learn new skills that are difficult for them.
This is not good because if you want to succeed, you have to put yourself out there and take risks; even if it means failing at something while working towards success.
How can a Growth Mindset help you Learn?
1. By having a growth mindset, you are less likely to give up when things get hard. You will be more determined to push through and keep trying until you succeed or see improvement.
2. To make the most of your learning opportunities – whether they’re presented by the school, work, relationships, or personal interests – you need to have the courage to follow the process necessary for success. That means putting yourself out there and being willing to try new experiences that may come with some risk or discomfort.
3. With a growth-oriented mindset, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the good things that happen in life by using them as learning experiences.
Overall Conclusion For Growth Mindset
The growth mindset theory can be applied to everyone – children and adults.
Changing your way of thinking may not happen overnight but if you keep at it, you will see improvement in yourself and your relationships over time.
A growth mindset allows us to admit that we sometimes make mistakes. That’s okay because we can learn from them and get back on track.
A growth mindset also helps us understand that success is not something that comes easily – especially at first.
It takes hard work, dedication, and determination to achieve our goals in life. Those are some of the reasons why it’s so important for adults and children alike to cultivate a growth mindset if they want to be successful in life.