Some of the most influential people throughout history have found success because of their mindset. For many of these people, they have taken an approach where they go beyond what is expected of them. They challenged themselves and carved their own path through life. The truth is, our minds are exceptionally powerful6. The mind is more powerful than we might think and so, there are those who live within the constraints of their mind and those who are highly effective and think differently. This different style of thinking helps them to find success and so, they have growth mindset qualities, whereby they want to succeed.
So, what are the growth mindset qualities and how can you adopt a growth mindset to create change? Or improve your chances of success?
To begin with, the Growth Mindset itself is the primary quality. There are two types of mindsets known as fixed and growth. A fixed mindset leaves individuals believing that only talent and a certain set of circumstances will lead to success. This instantly holds individuals back from succeeding. In contrast to this, those who have a growth mindset will believe that they have the power to make a change. They seek out opportunities, they want to grow and they want to improve. Individuals don’t hold themselves back as they go out and get what they want.
They are mindful of who they are, how they want to grow and constantly learning. Mindfulness is closely related. What is mindfulness? Your relationship to yourself and awareness. Mindset, on the other hand, talks to the way you approach others and your growth. A Growth Mindset, therefore, is an approach to seeking growth as opposed to the more inward awareness orientation of mindfulness.
Psychologist Carol Dweck has undertaken a lot of work surrounding our mindsets and how they impact our success. She has said that
“My work bridges developmental psychology, social psychology, and personality psychology, and examines the self-conceptions (or mindsets) people use to structure the self and guide their behaviour. My research looks at the origins of these mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.”
Watch below Carol Dweck speaking at TEDxNorrköping exploring the Power Of Yet and how to give people feedback that helps encourage improvement. She calls this a "path to the future."
Those who have a growth mindset believe in living in the here and now. The past is the past and nothing can be done to change that. Therefore, highly effective individuals have the ability to learn and grow. This means that they focus on the present and don’t worry or think about what might have happened5. They realise that this present moment is for living and this is where a growth mindset creates a belief where they feel as though they can achieve and grow.
The reality is that the past should be left as the past. There are those who dwell and those who dust themselves off and begin to move forward once more.
Individuals who are elite achievers are those types who start off with small steps, despite having big dreams. They understand that they need a starting point but from there, they can take action. This taking action and doing something is all about them using their growth mindset to increase their knowledge, which they know is nothing on its own.
Through action, they can apply their knowledge and it is this deliberate practice that turns them into successful individuals4. To find success in life, you have to take action. Action, of course, can begin at any time in life. There are those who begin this process in high school and those who do it when they are older. The main factor underpinning this quality is that they move away from their comfort zones.
For those who have a growth mindset, a challenge is something they embrace. The reality is that they see a challenge as a way of proving themselves1 . When the opportunity to challenge arises, they face it head on and prove that mindset allows people to achieve. As a result, they become stronger and smarter.
Sometimes, challenges can frighten but until you have faced that challenge, there is no way of knowing how you will react. Individuals with a growth mindset believe that they can overcome any challenge that they are facing and come out of it a better person. The difference is that they get stuck in. Often they will take on the difficult projects first.
Individuals that have a growth mindset have a different thought process than others. Therefore, when it comes to succeeding and getting what they want, they are well aware of the fact that they will have to work for it. This means that they require an impressive level of self-discipline. This commitment allows them to put all of their focus on the end-goal.
As a result, their rigorous efforts and determination enable them to succeed and get to where they want to be. They don’t waste time proving that they can do it, they go beyond their basic abilities and find a path to success.
Everyone is aware of the importance of positivity and this is one of the basic qualities of a growth mindset. A happy life that avoids failure is one that is filled with positivity2. People with a growth mindset are optimists and this is one of those fixed traits that come with being a highly effective individual. Of course, they come across challenging times and tough periods in life. However, their positivity allows them to form new stronger attitudes whereby they understand the significance of positivity.
Positivity is something that drives success. They almost go hand-in-hand and that is why individuals with a growth mindset are the ones to move forward and achieve.
Successful people are not completely oblivious to the importance of help. Everyone, at some point in their life, needs the help of someone. As a result, they are well aware of how important it is to help others. This is where they identify that abilities can be developed with some guidance and help.
What underpins this kind of thinking is that if you want to get what you want, you have to help others. So, they aim to help people each day as that often leads to getting more back than what they have put in.
Growth is not something that happens in the blink of an eye. In fact, it is not something that happens overnight. Highly effective individuals are well aware that success does not come easily. What this means is that they commit everything possible to achieving their goals.
Whether they come across tough times, challenges or something that could stop them in their tracks, they will keep on going until they come out the other side. This allows them to continue on their path of growth and success.
Individuals who have a growth mindset have a desire to continue learning. Their aim is to improve their knowledge as much as possible. From a researcher at Stanford University to someone who has a job with fewer responsibilities, their desire to learn never diminishes3. Their ultimate goal is to become an expert in their field or industry.
At the dawn of a new day, they consider it a brand new opportunity to enhance their knowledge and learn something new. They see it as an opportunity to become stronger and remove any weaknesses that they might have. Their constant need to learn is one of the growth mindset qualities that sets them apart.
As Vincent van Gogh said,
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
The truth is, individuals with a growth mindset have a real self-belief. Whenever they come across problems or challenges, they have a belief that they will overcome them. Then, once they get past those challenges or setbacks, they will understand why they were there. This helps them to further their learning and experience. Their faith and belief in themselves help them to go on and do amazing things.
The difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset is that they know how to take risks. The risk-reward scenario is a huge driving factor. They do not consider themselves to be in a better position by never taking a chance. Instead, they believe that they are better off taking a chance while accepting the risk of failure.
Everyone is different, it is what makes the world that we live in so interesting. However, when it comes to mindset, there is no doubt that it plays a significant role in how we gain success.
There are those who are satisfied with sitting back and taking it easy. However, there are those who thrive off improving, growing, learning and ultimately succeeding in their own terms. The growth mindset qualities are undoubtedly a vital aspect of becoming successful. Despite this, it is possible to change your thinking, believe in yourself and create a future where you succeed in growing as an individual without holding yourself back.
|Chao, M. M., Visaria, S., Mukhopadhyay, A., & Dehejia, R. (2017). Do rewards reinforce the growth mindset?: Joint effects of the growth mindset and incentive schemes in a field intervention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(10), 1402-1419. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000355|
|Hans S. Schroder, Tim P. Moran, M. Brent Donnellan, Jason S. Moser, Mindset induction effects on cognitive control: A neurobehavioral investigation, Biological Psychology, Volume 103, 2014, Pages 27-37, ISSN 0301-0511, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.08.004.|
|Veronica X. Yan, Khanh-Phuong Thai, Robert A. Bjork, Habits and beliefs that guide self-regulated learning: Do they vary with mindset?, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Volume 3, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 140-152, ISSN 2211-3681, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2014.04.003.|
|Ng, B. The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation. Brain Sci. 2018, 8, 20.|
|What Having a "Growth Mindset" Actually Means. By Carol Dweck. Havard Business Review. January 13, 2016.|
|Carol Dweck Revisits the 'Growth Mindset'' By Carol Dweck. Education Week, 2015.|