You may have heard about growth mindset for kids, but really this perspective can be developed at any stage of life! Having a growth mindset is a critical element in your happiness, achievement at work, and success in life.
We’ll look at how each mindset works, the 2 types of mindsets: growth mindset vs fixed mindset, as well as, provide tools like affirmations and books to help you develop this important shift in your thoughts!
Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset
There are a few basic qualities separating the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. The two belief systems are created from your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and outside environment.
Stanford University Psychologist, Carol Dweck, is the leader in the study of the mindset. Dweck’s work tells us, people have to have one of the two main mindsets – fixed or growth.
Before we continue, it’s important to note our thoughts have a profound effect on our attitude and work ethic — this idea that we can cultivate a host of different beliefs is a powerful thing because our thoughts shape our whole reality.
What’s a fixed mindset?
Fixed mindset people assume they can’t change or grow on a fundamental level. They believe their innate abilities, intelligence, moods, and personality cannot improve, and therefore, they don’t strive to be better.
They often avoid challenges and feel like they’re unable to do anything to succeed or improve themselves. Negative feedback and hard times can cause the person to feel out of control instead of seeing it as a learning opportunity. These people can be found to even lie or cheat in their relationships and at work to “get ahead”.
What is having a growth mindset?
Growth mindset people believe they can develop talents, abilities, and skills through hard work, strategies, and dedication. People that see the world in this way have a love of learning. They also have more emotional fortitude than those with a fixed mindset.
The good news is anyone can develop a new belief system no matter his or her starting point!
We’ll look at different ways to overcome the fear of failure and become a person who seeks to grow everyday.
Here’s a quick recap of how the 2 different mindsets vary when faced with challenging times:
What are the characteristics of a growth mindset?
One of the underlying beliefs of a growth mindset is that you can learn, grow, and improve at any point through life. This doesn’t mean someone won’t fail at something, but it means that you are willing to try new things and take on risks.
Growth Mindset Examples
People who have a growth mindset:
- embrace new challenges
- are persistent and don’t give up
- practice self-care
- are always learning new skills
- focus on the journey, as well as, the destination
- are inspired by others
- encourage others
- love the learning process
- focus on getting better
- take constructive criticism and apply it in a positive way
- view mistakes as a learning opportunity
- aren’t afraid to take risks
- have a higher level of creative ability typically
- focus on personal development
- seek to improve themselves daily
Our habit tracker can help you track your progress and reflect each day!
You may hear people with a growth mindset say things like:
- It’s never too late to learn.
- This failure is a learning experience.
- I learn something even if I fail.
- Criticism helps me become better.
- I can always improve something.
- Determination and perseverance will help me accomplish anything.
- My results don’t define me.
- I’m comfortable getting out of my comfort zone.
- People’s approval isn’t needed to reach my true potential.
- I see the bigger picture.
- I am patient.
- I believe I can.
- I’m not afraid to try another way.
- I can’t do that, yet.
- The success is in the journey not the end.
Why is it important?
Having a growth mindset empowers you because you know you’re in control of your abilities, skills, and overall success. It focuses on hard work and encourages positive self-talk which can help you mentally and emotionally through challenges.
All of these characteristics are helpful whether you are in a school, a work or an entrepreneurial setting! This one skill has helped us grow our online business the most!
How to Create a Growth Mindset
Now that you know the importance of having a growth mindset, let us look at some of the tools and resources you can use to develop those characteristics in your life.
33 Ways to Improve Your Growth Mindset
- Be mindful of your thoughts
- Stop seeking the approval of others
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Ask questions to learn and understand
- Cultivate a sense of purpose
- Try a new challenge often
- View challenges as opportunities to grow
- Learn from other people’s successes and failures
- View mistakes as a learning opportunity
- Ask for feedback from those you trust and learn from it
- Set goals with a specific, actionable game plan
- Add “Yet” to your can’ts. “I can’t do this…yet.”
- Instead of worrying about failing, focus on learning
- Focus on your effort versus the end result
- Surround yourself with encouraging people
- Share your mindset work with them
- Accept your imperfections
- Believe change and improvement are possible
- Avoid comparing yourself to others
- Stop judging and criticizing others
- Practice positive self-talk
- Celebrate others’ successes
- Focus on progress versus pace (Habit tracking works great for this!)
- Reward progress versus the end goal
- Take time to reflect daily on what you’ve learned
- Learn resilience by never giving up
- Let go of ego and focus on your work
- Always set new goals (We love a bullet journal goal page for this!)
- Take calculated risks
- Own your mood and attitude
- Be realistic with your goals and time to accomplish them
- Speak to yourself kindly
- Surround yourself with others with a growth mindset
Quotes, affirmations, and books are a great place to start with positive self-talk as well!
Positive self-talk is one of the foundations for improving your mindset.
Think about it:
If you tell yourself, “I’m not good at this,” you’ll likely quit.
Next time, flip the your inner dialogue. Try saying, “How can I improve at this?”
The same can be said for comparison. If you say, “She’s so smart; I’ll never be that smart,” you’ll slack off.
By changing this to, “I’m going to figure out how she does it so I can try it!” will encourage you to take action and improve to be your best self.
One way to make this mindset shift automatic is to surround yourself with positive affirmations every day.
Growth Mindset Quotes & Affirmations
- Mistakes help me learn.
- Learning requires effort.
- If she can, I can too.
- I will learn how to do this.
- Challenges make me stronger.
- I am not a quitter.
- I view failure is an awesome teacher.
- I can succeed with determination and effort.
- I embrace life’s challenges.
If you’re like me, you’re feeling like this is corny.
BUT – I beg of you to fight through this feeling.
In order to break through your mental walls, take some advice from successful people like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford.
It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with it longer. – Albert Einstein
I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work. – Thomas Edison
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right. – Henry Ford
All things are difficult before they are easy. – Thomas Fuller
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. – Joseph Chilton Pierce
Ralph Waldo Emerson summed up his growth mindset by saying, “always do what you are afraid of doing.”
Growth Mindset Books
- Dr. Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
- You’re a Badass and You’re a Badass at Making Money
- Failing Forward
- The Power of Habit
Keep in mind, it’s not easy to stay in this high level of thinking. If it were, everyone would do it! It’s worth fighting to attain though.
Even as someone with a growth mindset, I still can struggle with insecurity, defensiveness, and fear. All 3 of these things can lead me to feeling burned out or less-than.
The cool thing is, I recognize that and the negative mindset triggers, and you can do the same thing! By noticing what brings me down into a fixed mindset, I can talk myself out of it and get back on track pretty quickly!
This helps me have confidence in who I am, what I believe, and how I want to run my business!
If you like this post, you may also like this episode of The Kim & Kalee Show!