Definition of a Growth Mindset – Do you have one?

Definition of a Growth Mindset – The Jaw-dropping Secret to Overnight Success

By Hoffi β€’ Updated on July 11, 2019

Do you also have these tasks and problems that seem unsolvable and annoying? Who doesn’t. But you can change something about it. This article can turn your life upside down. πŸ™ƒ In such a way that you see all tasks and problems in a different light all at once. That you suddenly think that what seems unsolvable is possible. Because this is about a scientific discovery that has a lot to do with you and how you see yourself. So that you can shape your life the way you want it to be. Stay tuned.

tl;dr The Definition of a Growth Mindse is the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort. It is a way of thinking that can turn a failure into a success.

What is a Growth Mindset?

Every human being has certain ways of thinking which are fundamental for his view of everything. These ways of thinking shape one’s own self-image. So what is the definition of a growth mindset:

The growth mindset is therefore often called “dynamic self-image” or “growth thinking“.

Who has a Growth Mindset

  • is convinced that he can further develop his abilities,
  • to understand things better and to learn more,
  • sees errors as an opportunity to try something new and to develop further.
The biggest decision of your life is that you can change your life by changing your attitude of mind.Click To Tweet

The opponent of the Growth Mindset is the Fixed Mindset. It is also called “static self-image” or “static thinking“.

Who has a Fixed Mindset

  • is convinced that it depends purely on talent whether he can do something or not,
  • learns to get positive feedback (a good grade, a bonus, a chance for advancement, praise),
  • sees an error as a threat and devaluation of his person.
The biggest mistake one can make in life is to always be afraid of making a mistake.Click To Tweet

The Discoverer of the Growth Mindset

The research on mindset began in a school. In an experiment, Carol Dweck, an American scientist, wondered about pupils who were not frustrated with unsolvable tasks.

But who said something like: “I love tricky puzzles”.

Or, “You know, that’s exactly what I was hoping to learn here.”

Carol Dweck wanted to know more about what that attitude is, how it comes about and what the consequences are when people approach difficult tasks in this way.

This developed into years of research with countless experiments and studies with very different groups of people.

In the following years and decades, Carol Dweck researched the attitude of the Growth Mindset and the opposite attitude of the Fixed Mindset.

fixed mindset vs growth mindset

It can be observed that those who belong more to the fixed mindset category tend to judge certain skills as innate, i.e. as talent.

So if they fail in a task, they attribute this to the fact that they apparently lack certain talents.

Those in the definition of a Growth Mindset category, on the other hand, firmly believe that they can achieve anything as long as they make enough effort, train or learn.

It is this attitude that not only enables people to achieve a much lower level of stress, but also leads to more overall success.

In this very interesting lecture, she reports about her research work.

That doesn't mean they're all the same

A central finding of the research around the Growth Mindset is:

Our success in life depends primarily on our willingness to practice, learn and develop.

Carol Dweck’s studies show, for example, that of the graduates of a renowned music academy, the later solo virtuosos simply practiced considerably more hours than the musicians who later “only” played in the orchestra.

And orchestra players, in turn, practiced significantly more hours than those who later “only” became music teachers.

A connection between virtuosity and initial talent could not be proven. But there is a crystal-clear connection between the training hours and the later performance.

Success is a continuing thing.

Carol Dweck has studied completely different people: Competitive athletes, children from very difficult backgrounds, managers and lovers. The results were not expected by anyone.

She found out that:

  • Children who had been labeled as total losers discussed later in their class Macbeth with appropriate support.
  • Men and women who were considered completely unsportsmanlike later became mega-successful athletes.
  • Companies that were totally down to earth were brought back to the top by managers with a growth-oriented self-image.
  • Many successful scientists, musicians, and athletes were only gifted on average when they were children and young people. They have achieved their performance because they have always further developed their potential with a lot of practice and perseverance.

Carol Dweck says in this interview (from minute 4):

The realization of the growth mindset does not mean that everyone is the same. It doesn’t mean that we don’t all have different abilities. Research on the Growth and Fixed Mindset shows that all of us can grow.

If you can take the time, look at the whole interview. It’s worth it. πŸ™Œ

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

What is the difference for consequences?

People with a Growth Mindset:

  • Develop further in every area that interests them. Because they believe that all they have to do is practice and exert themselves and then achieve every realistic goal they want.
  • They make their life dreams and desires come true because they are firmly convinced that they have it in their hands whether they can achieve something or not.
  • Have a relaxed way of dealing with mistakes and failures (because failure simply shows where you can grow). A mistake only says: “You can’t do it yet.
  • Do NOT attribute their chances of success to their origins or to their natural talent.
  • Believe that they can achieve and learn almost anything if they bite through if they practice and make enough effort.
Definition of a Growth Mindset (2019) 🧠 Unleash your Power! 1

People with a Fixed Mindset:

  • Develop only in a certain area. Namely, where they are already quite good and will make as few mistakes as possible.
  • They hardly develop further at all if they are convinced that they have no real talent for anything.
  • Usually, don’t realize their wishes and life dreams because they shy away from challenges.
  • Are usually very afraid of making mistakes, because mistakes amount to a judgment: “You can’t do that“.
  • Have the feeling that they have failed if they don’t master challenges right away.
  • Often live with a diffuse sense of threat and fear because they know that even the most orderly life poses challenges. They are then afraid of them.
  • Attribute their prospects of success to their origins or to their natural talent.

What kind of mindset do you have?

Take the test and see if you also have the Growth Mindset of the top 1% among the most successful & happiest people!

Yes, Test me!

Mindset is not always the same

No one succeeds in acting out of a growth mindset at any time and in any situation. The mindset can change depending on the situation or the people involved.

At work, someone can think very growth-oriented. And in his relationship, the same person thinks rather statically.

You know it from yourself. There are situations in which you are naturally convinced that you can learn from your mistakes. You see the opportunities rather than the limitations. You dare to learn what you still lack.

And then there are other situations or relationships in which you have a rather rigid picture of yourself and your possibilities.

The chance of the Growth Mindset is that it doesn’t have to stay that way. That the whole life, seen through the glasses of the Growth Mindset, can become another.

Definition of a Growth Mindset (2019) 🧠 Unleash your Power! 2

The question of the Growth Mindset runs through all areas of life

The Growth Mindset is not only important for very concrete topics. So not only when it comes to learning something new, to developing a concrete ability.

No, it’s important in everything you experience every day:

  • How to get your job done
  • About how your relationship’s going
  • How the relationship with your children or friends develops
  • What your relationship to yourself looks like

That we can learn to play the piano or speak a language is understandable for most of us.

But that your mindset also plays a decisive role in your relationship to yourself is not clear to most of us so quickly.

The growth mindset perspective opens up all your opportunities and dreams when it comes to your relationship with yourself:

  • If you often suffer from self-doubt
    • with a Growth Mindset, you can learn to trust yourself because you always focus on your possibilities.
  • If you sometimes go to court very hard with yourself
    • with a Growth Mindset, you no longer offer your inner critic a target because you can leave the court.
  • If you suffer from fear of failure
    • with a Growth Mindset, the courage adjusts automatically, because “failure” is simply neutral feedback that you can try it again differently.
control your mind

How do you find out what mindset you have?

Analyze yourself. Try to observe yourself from a higher level.

  • Go through a few situations of the past week and ask yourself: “Did I think more growth-oriented or more static?
  • Think of a somewhat difficult situation that comes up in the next few days. An appointment at work or something else that goes on in your life. With what mindset do you go into this situation?
  • Think of something you wish for. Something you want to have or do. What do you think about it? Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset?
  • How do you react in challenging situations? What do you think when you think about your dreams and desires?
  • Find out what triggers you to static thinking. For example: When certain people are present when you are tired, do they annoy you in some way?

Take your time, get to know yourself anew and understand when and with whom you are more growth-oriented and when you think statically.

In addition, you can also strengthen your growth thinking in a targeted way. How exactly, that’s what our Mindset Test is about.

Is your mindset ready for success?

Take the test and see if you also have the Mindset of the top 1% among the most successful & happiest people!

Yes, Test me!

With the following ideas, however, you can already achieve a lot.

The power of "not yet"

A very simple way to convert a fixed mindset into a growth mindset:

If you say, “I can’t do that”, add “still” or “so far” as often as possible.

  • I don’t know Spanish
    • I don’t know Spanish yet
  • I don’t know how to deal with my daughter’s puberty
    • I don’t know how to deal with my daughter’s puberty yet
  • I don’t have the skills to make this career jump
    • So far I don’t have the skills to manage this career jump
positive mind finds a way

Really learning from role models

Analyze your hero, your heroine (heh heroin), his background, her resume:

What has the person done to develop this outstanding achievement?

We often think that our role models simply had a lot of talent, that their outstanding abilities were put into their cradle.

As a rule, they simply put a lot more effort into it and tried to develop themselves further. Mostly much more than others.

When we become aware of this, two things happen:

  • We usually value these people even more because we recognize their true performance more and take away their magic spell.
  • We can see our own possibilities better. Because if that person did all this because of their training and their ability to learn from their mistakes… What can I perhaps learn and achieve if I also train so hard and deal with my mistakes differently?
what you learn stays forever

Choose wisely

Faced with the choice of taking the safe, predictable path or accepting a challenge, many choose the former.

It is worth choosing the challenge more often. In this way, you give yourself the chance to make mistakes and learn from them.

As Carol Dweck says:

“If you have the choice between security and challenge, choose the challenge”.

accept challenges

Recognize the gift in the Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck has given us all a gift with her research.

Because she is showing:

You are not fixed. You are not stuck in a frame that limits you. The frame in which you see yourself is only determined by your thinking.

You are free. Of course not free to become everything you wish for. The way to the moon will be blocked for most of us 😞. And 0.00001% (I just made up the percentage) of us will be able to become a prima ballerina with all our practicing and training.

But we can all learn and grow in what inspires us, in what we desire, in what we dream.

Because neither talent nor our current abilities say much about what is possible for us. Our attitude is decisive.

You are free. To learn freely and to develop yourself further. To learn pretty much everything you want to learn.

You are free to develop an attitude towards yourself that takes away your fear of mistakes. Failure no longer turns into something bad.

It is an opportunity, a really good opportunity to move forward. And to bring to life what you wish for.

Imagine you would think more growth-oriented as a whole … What would you do differently? How would that change your life? Write to me in the comments. I am happy to read what you think. And if you liked this article, share it with someone who would also love it πŸ’™

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