What Is a Growth Mindset?

Unlocking the potential of a growth mindset is the secret sauce to improving your work performance into new heights. Let’s dive in and explore how you can adopt a growth mindset and make the extraordinary your new ordinary.

A study from 2019 found that the academic outcomes of adolescents could be improved by teaching people about having a growth mindset. Can this tactic be used to create success outside of the classroom, as well?

So far, signs point to yes.

What exactly is a growth mindset, though? Is it something that you can develop over time or do you have to be born with it?

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about having a growth mindset and how it can help you.



The Two Main Categories of Mindsets

The researcher Carol Dweck has found that there are two different types of mindsets that people can have. These are a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

When an individual has a “growth mindset” it means that they believe that their qualities and traits can be developed over time. They believe that intelligence and other abilities can be developed over time through dedication and hard work. Someone who had a growth mindset understands that they can always learn more and improve themselves.

fixed vs growth mindset

1. What Is a Fixed Mindset?

When an individual has a “fixed mindset” it means that they believe that their qualities and traits are unchangeable. They believe that intelligence and other abilities cannot change over time and simply are what they are.

2. What Is a Growth Mindset?

When an individual has a “growth mindset” it means that they believe that their qualities and traits can be developed over time. They believe that intelligence and other abilities can be developed over time through dedication and hard work. Someone who had a growth mindset understands that they can always learn more and improve themselves.



The Importance of a Growth Mindset


A growth mindset has been identified as one of the five personal abilities that drive your adaptability quotient.

And adaptability has been identified as the #1 in-demand skill by LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, World Economic Forum, and Deloitte.

A growth mindset can assist you in overcoming obstacles in your life. When you are developing a new skill or learning something new, having a growth mindset can help you push forward and reach the goals that you have

Believe it or not, you can change the way you learn by changing the way you think. Understanding that your intelligence and your talents can be developed through hard work can help you to achieve more in life as well as have more meaningful and fulfilling experiences.




carol dweck quote growth mindset



Growth Mindset Quotes

Sometimes it can be helpful to understand new concepts through the words of famous thinkers and people. Let’s take a look at a few quotes that reflect a growth mindset in some of the most successful figures in history.

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” -Albert Einstein

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” –E.E. Cummings

“You have to apply yourself each day to becoming a little better. By becoming a little better each and every day, over a period of time, you will become a lot better.” -John Wooden

“You’re in charge of your mind. You can help it grow by using it in the right way.” -Carol Dweck



Growth Mindset Examples

Now that you understand that there are benefits to having a growth mindset, let’s take a look at some growth mindset examples to help you understand what it means exactly to adopt this way of thinking.

An example of a fixed mindset is to say to yourself that “I’m either naturally good at something or I’m not.” A growth mindset approach to this same problem would be to say “I can learn to do anything I want.”.

Perhaps you have found yourself feeling jealous about people that are more successful than you. Maybe you envy them and hold a bit of animosity towards them. A way of seeing this same reality with a growth mindset would be that you actually find those successful people inspirational, as something that you can strive towards.

Another growth mindset example would be to keep going when you’re frustrated rather than giving up. You might even eventually find yourself actively seeking out challenging opportunities because you have learned how beneficial they are to your growth overall.



How to Develop a Growth Mindset

You will not necessarily develop a growth mindset overnight. It will take time and effort to train your brain to look at your life and the world through a different lens.

Two things that can prevent a growth mindset are fear of embarrassment and the need for approval from others. For this reason, it’s very important to cultivate self-acceptance as a part of your journey towards developing a growth mindset.

It can take time to break through old habits when you are learning something new. Try to see your mistakes and your errors as learning opportunities rather than being hard on yourself. When you encounter challenges or obstacles, try to see them as growth opportunities rather than something that makes you bounce off the project altogether.



Is It Time For Your Business to Grow?

Adopting a growth mindset can radically change your career, your academic life, and your life in general. It is an outlook that allows you to become who you want to be rather than settling for a life that you don’t find fulfilling. While it can take some time to develop, you will find over time that it gets easier and easier to see the world through a mutable lens rather than a fixed one.

Are you looking for job candidates or looking for a better way to help every employee grow and innovate? At AQPlus we help you hire, lead, and upskill smarter. As a top ranked global thought leader in the future of work, leadership, HR, and careers, we have everything you need to make your team everything you want it to be.


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First things first: what does grit even mean? You’ve probably heard the advice “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” attributed to coach Kunte Rockne. That quote captures the essence of grit.  The character trait of grit often refers to passion, the consistency of interest, and perseverance, the ability to endure tough times.

For instance, we’ve all experienced setbacks. They could range from struggling to learn a new skill, recovering from an injury, losing a job, or even bankruptcy.

What Does Grit Look Like?

People with high levels of Grit are confident in achieving long-term goals. They are often described as ‘determined’ and ‘hard workers’. No-pain-no-gain might be the grit motto. Gritty people tend to keep going until the work is done. They take pride in finishing what they start. Their mental focus and emotional stamina are very high. They don’t let short-term gains, negative feedback, or hectic schedules deter them. People with high grit are not discouraged easily; they see setbacks and obstacles as challenges that can be overcome with commitment and hard work. Grit, however, is not always a good thing. Gritty people are often so focused on their goals that they get blinded-sided by outside influences and have blind spots when it comes to alternative ideas. 

People with low levels of grit give up quickly. Setbacks and obstacles easily discourage them. When change happens they can find it difficult to stay on course with long-term goals. They flee at the first sign of trouble and often blame others. They start a lot of projects but get discouraged easily. 

How Grit Can Help Your Business

Why is grit something you need to look for when hiring and developing employees? The future of work is full of opportunity but the journey will be anything but certain. Perseverance and passion will be needed in abundance. These are some scenarios where employees with grit become a beneficial trait for your company.

They Understand That Good Things Take Time

Millennials have often been criticized for their need for instant gratification. While it might be true for some of them, grit had to be part of this generation’s makeup. Now in their 30s and 40s, they have endured school shootings, 9/11 terrorism, and the Great Recession…and they are now growing and thriving. It’s only human to get frustrated when we don’t see the instant rewards from our work. Contributing to a project day in and day out, and not getting recognition or confronting bureaucratic idiocy, is disheartening. Many employees may be tempted to just quit.

If your employee has grit, however, they know good things take time. Setbacks are not failures, but part of the journey.  When personal interests align with goals, it’s easier to persevere and feel that your efforts will be rewarded. People with grit stay and push through.