Have you ever asked yourself … “What is a growth mindset?”
Mindset is a term that’s been thrown around more in the past year than ever before. People in sports, education, and even in business are beginning to understand that mindset is everything.
With the right mindset, you can become the greatest version of you. With the right mindset, you can do things you had never imagined possible.
But, with the wrong mindset, you can self-sabotage and limit your potential without even knowing it.
Don’t fall victim to the wrong mindset and lead a less than amazing life because of it.
Learn what is a growth mindset and how you can learn the habits and tools to allow you to conquer your biggest goals!
The Two Types of Mindsets
There are two types of mindsets; a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
As Carol Dweck, considered the founder of the growth mindset and author of the bestseller, “Mindset” said, “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I”m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.”
The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. Your mindset can determine whether you become the person you were put on this earth to be or a less ideal version.
The wrong mindset can lead to a life of pain, weakness, embarrassment, shame, and anger.
But the right mindset can lead to a life of fulfillment, happiness, fun, laughter, and success.
The concept of a growth mindset was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck and popularized in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In recent years, many schools and educators have started using Dweck’s theories to inform how they teach students.
Keep reading to learn what is a growth mindset, what is a fixed mindset, and how you can reshape yours to create to live your best life.
What is a Growth Mindset?
Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students’ attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks.
After studying the behavior of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.
When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.
Growth Mindset Definition
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” said Dweck.
Individuals who embrace growth mindsets—the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere—may learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills.
Does this sound like you when a challenge arises in your life?
How to Develop a Growth Mindset Video
If you have a fixed mindset don’t worry, you can absolutely change it. Learn how with this Carol Dweck video:
What is a Fixed Mindset?
Remember, your mindset determines how you experience life. With a negative (or fixed) mindset you suffer unnecessarily and make failures much bigger events than necessary.
Bad experiences and feedback are impossible to take with a fixed mindset.
But the most successful people in the world LOVE to fail. They understand that failure is part of the process of success.
Fixed Mindset Definition
According to Dweck, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”
Her research suggests that individuals who have adopted a fixed mindset—the belief that they are either “smart” or “dumb” and there is no way to change this. For example, people with a fixed mindset think they may learn less than they could or learn at a slower rate, while also shying away from challenges.
Because poor performance might either confirm they can’t learn, if they believe they are “dumb,” or indicate that they are less intelligent than they think, if they believe they are “smart”.
Dweck’s findings also suggest that when students with fixed mindsets fail at something, as they inevitably will, they tend to tell themselves they can’t or won’t be able to do it or they make excuses to rationalize the failure.
The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming someone new. They have to already be.
As you know this isn’t possible as failures are an inevitable part of life.
If you’re still not sure what mindset you have, watch this quick video.
Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset
So which mindset are you? Some are raised with a growth mindset while others are raised with a fixed mindset.
The good news is that you can change your mindset regardless of age and background. The fact you’ve read this far in the post means you are interested in potentially changing your mindset and your life forever.
Here are some growth mindset examples and fixed mindset examples to help you understand how they affect you on a regular basis.
Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset Comparison
|Fixed Mindset||Growth Mindset|
|Some people are born to be athletes and clearly, I’m not one of them.||I didn’t start with any athletic ability or talent—I’ve had to learn it all.|
|I suck at writing.||Writing has been challenging for me but I’m getting the hang of it.|
|I’ll never be a morning person.||The mornings have been hard but I’m learning to get up early and start to appreciate the morning times.|
|I would never be comfortable offering hugs to strangers.||I’m finding it really hard to imagine offering hugs to strangers.|
|I am so disorganized I gave up having a clean desk or house.||In the past, when I tried to keep my notes organized, I didn’t have much success but I just kept improving each day.|
|I’d really like to learn to speed read, but I just can’t since I’ve always been a slow reader.||I’d really like to learn to speed read and just haven’t found a course for it yet.|
|I’m not good at dancing.||I haven’t learned how to do dance yet but will try a class one day.|
|I’m just bad at running, and I don’t think I will ever be good at it. Plus, no one in my family was either so why bother.||Well, it’s not a priority for me to become a runner right now but I might sign up for a club or hire a trainer in the future.|
|I’m usually off in my own little world.||I’m realizing that I have often been off in my own world but want to be more social.|
|He tends to shut people out when she feels unsafe in a relationship.||He used to have a pattern of shutting people out when she felt unsafe in a relationship.|
|I always get fired up when I start talking about religion.||In the past, I’ve usually gotten worked up about religion but I’ve overcome it.|
|Public speaking makes me really anxious.||I’m still working through some anxieties I have around public speaking but it’s already getting better.|
Here are even more examples for situations you’ve probably faced at least once in your life.
How do you react to each?
Growth Mindset Examples vs. Fixed Mindset Examples
Example 1: Running Late and Miss Your Bus or Carpool
We’ve all been here. Skip the alarm, check our phones and realize we are already late. It’s a horrible way to start the day and a good reason to have a sound morning routine.
If you wake up stressed and run out the door, skip breakfast, throw an outfit together and miss your ride two things can happen depending on your mindset.
A fixed mindset response will be to mutter, curse and call yourself or someone else names and then, remain in a foul mood for the rest of the day.
A growth mindset response will be to decide to go to bed earlier tonight, set an alarm and lay out your clothes and breakfast dishes in the evening itself so that tomorrow can be better and different.
Example 2: Receiving Poor Feedback From Your Boss
I hated hearing feedback so much from my boss I left the 9-5 as I couldn’t stand it. Maybe it was a mindset or maybe it was him. Either way, feedback in life important to grow, develop, and learn.
Some people shut down when feedback occurs. But without feedback, you will never improve. As the legendary trainer, Tim Grover said, “The difference between criticism and feedback is how you take it.”
So, let’s say you are at the office and your boss calls you in to yell at you about a report you prepared or a project you’re taking leading on. They think you are doing a horrible job.
The fixed mindset response will be to beat yourself up. You feel that you aren’t talented or skilled enough for the job or that your boss is an idiot. Then, you spend the rest of the day and complaining, talking bad about your boss, and maybe even, job hunting.
The growth mindset response will be to evaluate your performance, seek actual, constructive feedback that can help you improve, figure out what can be better with your project and then, do that and move on!
Example 3: Praising Your Child For a Job Well Done
Kids love praise and parents love giving it. So, when your child comes to you with an A on his latest test, you can choose to give praise in two ways.
You can either go the fixed mindset route and say “You’re so smart.”
You can go the growth mindset way and acknowledge the effort he or she put in, saying “Wow, you really worked hard on that paper!”
This is HUGE in determining what mindset your child will end up with later in life. Do everything you can to empower your kids with a growth mindset. The world doesn’t need more people with fixed mindsets dragging down others potential.
If you have kids here’s how you can help them create a growth mindset early in life.
How Students Can Use The Growth Mindset
Dweck’s delineation between fixed and growth mindsets has potentially far-reaching implications for schools and teachers since the ways in which students think about learning, intelligence, and their own abilities can have a significant effect on learning progress and academic improvement.
If teachers encourage students to believe that they can learn more and become smarter Dweck’s findings suggest it is more likely students will learn more and faster!
Her work has also shown that a “growth mindset” can be intentionally taught to students.
Teachers might, for example, intentionally praise student effort and perseverance instead of ascribing learning achievements to innate qualities or talents—e.g., giving feedback such as “You must have worked very hard,” rather than “You are so smart.”
Just look at this example…
Fiske Elementary School: Mindset Quiz Results
What does growth mindset teaching look like in the real world? When they took the research out of the laboratory and into the classroom, amazing results followed. One such case study is Fiske Elementary School.
With a diverse student population of English language learners and special education students, the administrators at Fiske infused growth mindset into the school culture by starting with teacher mindsets. Teachers took part in a Mindset book study the first year of implementation and completed the MindsetMaker™ online professional development the second year.
While state test scores in math remained stagnant, Fiske Elementary saw amazing growth, which they attributed to a growth mindset teacher practices and culture shift.
Need some more motivation to finally create a growth mindset? Use these quotes!
Growth Mindset Quotes
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”― Walt Disney
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. “― Henry Ford
“Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.”― Samuel Johnson
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could … Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”― Winston Churchill
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ― Isaac Asimov
Be the change you want to see in this world.”― Gandhi
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
“We don’t see things the way they are. We see them the way We are.” – Talmud.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” – William Blake
“The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.– Carl Bard
Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.”– Marilyn Vos Savant
If you want more motivation, check out these amazing growth mindset quotes.
Growth Mindset Book — Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
This is one of my favorite books ever. If you want to take your life to the next level, Mindset by Carol Dweck is a must read.
Your mindset has such a big impact in all areas of your life. You might be suffering and not even know it until you read this post or watched one of these videos!
End the suffering and start taking action to change your mindset and your life today!
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Book Summary (Video)
Not a big fan of reading? Don’t let that hold you back, check out this video book summary of growth mindset to get the main points below.
Similar to limiting beliefs, your mindset is something that you acquired a long time ago and might not even be aware of. Don’t let a fixed mindset hold you back from living the life you truly deserve.
Now that you know what is a growth mindset make it a daily effort to think from that mindset.
Remember, you have the ability to choose how you think, feel, and act. If you catch yourself acting from a fixed mindset forgive yourself, learn from the experience and try to do better next time.
Choose to be great because greatness is within you!
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