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Last Updated on December 27, 2020

9 Inspiring Growth Mindset Examples to Apply in Your Life

9 Inspiring Growth Mindset Examples to Apply in Your Life
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Whether you are a manager, parent, business owner, educator, or are in a serious relationship, understanding the core differences between a growth and fixed mindset is important. Depending on which circles you are in, the idea of a proper mindset is discussed all the time these days, and growth mindset examples are particularly important.

That is due to Dr. Carol Dweck, who wrote a popular book talking about this concept. One thing that stands out in the book is that, while Dweck talks about these mindsets, many of the examples that she presents are based around learning.[1]

There is nothing wrong with that, but I believe that when we see growth mindset examples that stretch beyond learning new things, we can see what it means to be successful in life.

What Is a Growth Mindset?

Before jumping into more detail on growth mindset examples, it makes sense to discuss what a growth mindset is.

Going into Dweck’s book, we’ll find she discussed two distinct mindsets: “fixed” and “growth” mindsets. Those that have fixed mindsets believe that everything from traits, talents, and intelligence is fixed. They’re something that is inherited.

A growth mindset, though, is the belief that the foundation of all of our skills can be developed when we devote time and effort toward them. This, in turn, creates an enthusiasm for learning and resilience when times get tough, which leads to success in the long run[2].

Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset

    While this all seems straightforward, it’s not always the case. Years later, as Dweck gained more knowledge on this, she looked at how her message was applied.

    And the results from others were mediocre—or worse.

    Because students and educators alike think about learning and intelligence in different ways, the actions that happen in response could impact learning for everyone, for better or for worse.[3]

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    For example, one poor application of this information has led to people developing a “false growth mindset.” This could have been a result of improper praise (i.e. “You are so smart.”) from parents or educators, or it could have come from the belief that growth only comes from intense effort.

    When Dweck came back to her research, she realized that it’s not always about effort, praise, and persistence.[4] A growth mindset is what I described above, but there is a bit more.

    It’s recognizing our fixed-mindset triggers and mitigating them, too. Whenever we face challenges or receive criticism, we can become defensive or insecure. This inhibits our growth. People with a growth mindset recognize what causes this and works around their triggers to identify what can really be developed and improved.

    Now that you have a better grasp of what a growth mindset should look like, here are 9 growth mindset examples. Keep in mind that some of these examples contain fixed growth mindsets in order to demonstrate how a growth mindset can solve certain issues.

    1. Receiving Criticism

    As mentioned above, criticism can lead us to be defensive as our brain can interpret these as attacks on our character and identity. We can run into these scenarios in all kinds of ways, but a common one includes talking to our boss or manager about our performance.

    In this scenario, a growth mindset example would be walking into those kinds of meetings with an open, relaxed mind that is ready to receive constructive criticism. 

    One thing to keep in mind about this is that you and your boss are on the same side. Therefore, whenever there is talk about performance or areas that could be improved upon, know that your boss is keeping your best interests in mind and that this is an opportunity for you to grow and learn.

    This can lead to you doing better with your craft.

    2. Approaching New Tasks

    It doesn’t have to be new tasks specifically. It could be a new path in your life or a new client. Whatever the case is, we tend to experience anxiousness whenever we step out of our comfort zone and have to do something new.

    A fixed mindset in this scenario is convincing yourself that you can’t make them happy or that things won’t go well for you at all.

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    A growth mindset example for this is having the confidence that you’ll make it through. Sure, it’s possible that you will make mistakes, but it’s an opportunity for you to learn.

    3. Changing Roles

    Another one of the best growth mindset examples is allowing yourself to take on different roles. While it may be similar to doing a new task above, keep in mind that someone is swapping with you. If you’re a manager, you could ensure that someone on your team in a lower position gets that spot.

    This leads to a chance for you to keep sharpening your skills in one area while the other person begins developing a new skill set.

    4. Eagerness to Learn

    This a prime trait for anyone with a growth mindset, but it’s still a good growth mindset example, nonetheless. This example can also be extended into other areas of work and life.

    For example, if you are adopting this mindset, this can change who you wish to spend time with or who you want to let in.

    If you’re a manager and want a more engaged and motivated group, it’s important that your employees want to be paying attention and improving their skills.

    If you want a stronger and better relationship with your partner, they should be someone who is learning along with you, not just in their career but in their understanding of themselves and the relationship.

    When hiring other people into your team, make sure that they are eager to learn new things.

    5. Building on Failure

    Jack Ma was the creator of the powerful eCommerce store Alibaba, but his story is a prime example of a growth mindset. Before he founded that company, he had already experienced a great deal of failure.

    He failed his college entrance exams three times.

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    He was turned down by Harvard ten times.

    And out of a group of twenty-three applicants to KFC, he was the only one rejected.

    When he created Alibaba, it took him roughly 25 years to get it off the ground.

    Jack Ma has a growth mindset partly because of the sheer resilience that he has, but also his openness to learning as well. The fact that he kept on applying himself meant he learning during and prior to each attempt.

    6. Learning to Adapt With the Times

    A Lesson From Nike

    Nike is one of the top sport shoes company in the world and holds a series of beliefs: innovation, great performance, sustainability, and customization.

    Time and time again, we see these through the various shoes that they put out. After all, many customers are coming out satisfied with the shoes they get.

    How does this fall into the category of growth mindset examples? Consider their values. In order for a company to continue to retain these values, it’s essential for a business to adapt and change with the times. People’s taste in shoes changes, and as the years go by, we learn that new materials are stronger or can perform better.

    A company that wants to stay relevant and satisfy their customers must adapt and remove older ideas and concepts that no longer apply. This behavior is similar to growth mindsets that are constantly evolving as more knowledge is gained.

    A Lesson From Nokia

    On the reverse side of Nike, we have Nokia. There was a time where Nokia was adaptive in the cell phone market. The fact that any phone they put out was virtually indestructible was something customers remember to this day and loved about this company.

    However, how they made phones wasn’t the problem. It was their willingness to adapt. Whether it was stubbornness is hard to say, but refusing to change or adapt is something that a fixed mindset would do. As a result, Nokia can no longer break into the market as it’s been outraced by Android, Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft.

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    7. Openness to Change

    Another growth mindset example can be found looking at Blockbuster. Similar to Nokia, this company has vanished into obscurity as streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and others took over the rental industry.

    Though Blockbuster had other issues as well, refusing to change late fees and rental prices also hurt it.

    All of this leads back to a fixed mindset and an example of what can happen when we refuse to grow and adapt. Refusing to change in a world that is evolving every day means you’ll get left behind.

    9. Venturing on to New Paths

    A growth mindset is all about experimenting and doing new things, but it comes with a certain attitude. When someone has a fixed mindset and are performing well on a particular path, most tend to stick to that task and don’t bother branching out.

    We see this in children when they think, “I’m really good at this, so I’ll keep doing this so I don’t disappoint anyone.” Unfortunately, this mindset can stick with us as adults. We can find ourselves refusing to change paths or accept new positions.

    In some cases, it can be that we’re happy with everything in our lives, but in some cases, it may simply be a reluctance to trying something new.

    On the other hand, a growth mindset example for this would be freely exploring and trying new things. Every new path brings experience.

    Final Thoughts

    Now that you have some specific growth mindset examples, you will be able to better engage with your own growth mindset. Not only that, but these examples can shed some light on where new decisions may lead us or where past decisions have limited us.

    Regardless, what matters moving forward is that we are growing and adapting as best we can and that, ultimately, we never stop learning.

    More Tips on Developing a Growth Mindset

    Featured photo credit: Bonneval Sebastien via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement

    What Is SWOT Analysis? 5 Ways It Accelerates Your Self-Improvement
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    If I told you that there was one activity that you could do frequently that would dramatically accelerate your rate of self-improvement, would you do it?

    SWOT Analysis may very well be the solution to your problems of feeling lost, unproductive, worried about the future, and the general struggle that inevitably arises on the road to personal development. It is quick to carry out, reliable in terms of changing your perspective, and effective in getting you the results that you desire.

    So what exactly is this SWOT Analysis? You will find everything you need to know about it below as well as how to do it and all of the amazing benefits that it will bring to your life.

    What Is SWOT Analysis?

    SWOT Analysis is a business term that has steadily made its way over into the world of personal development due to its effectiveness in getting things to improve — whether that be a company or, more recently, a person.

    S.W.O.T. is an anagram that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When assessing these four key pillars in life, it gives a very good picture of which direction you should be heading in and even highlights some of the best ways to do it.

    All in all, it is a great way to reflect on past actions and to decide on the best way to move forward.

    How to Do a SWOT Analysis

    Carrying out a SWOT Analysis is relatively simple. The best way is to take out a pen and paper and write down four columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. From there, you can begin to fill out each one and apply it to whatever situation you find yourself in.

    If you are considering expanding your enterprise, you might want to write down the current strengths and weaknesses of your business as well as the opportunities that you could possibly move into and the threats that you might need to minimize.

    If you are an individual looking to improve yourself, you can carry out a SWOT Analysis either on the micro or macro level. A micro example would be focusing on one specific area of life. For example, you could write down your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to dating, productivity, or changing your job.

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    You can also take it to the macro level. You might simply write down your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats across all areas of life — or simply the areas that you want to focus on for now.

    SWOT Analysis is very easy to do and is excellent for the bigger picture stuff. Here is a rough template with a few questions across various areas of life that you can use for your own personal development purposes:

    Strengths

    What professional qualifications do I have that make me stand out from everybody else?

    What do I exceed at where most people are either average or below average?

    What achievements have I been awarded?

    What struggles have I overcome in the past that give me hope for the future?

    Weaknesses

    Where do I fall short where others seem to excel?

    What bad habits do I have?

    What thoughts tend to hold me back?

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    Opportunities

    Is there any significant advancement happening or about to happen that I can take advantage of?

    Is there a new position in a company that maximizes my skillset?

    Is there a gap in the market that I could potentially fill?

    Is there an opportunity that is low-risk (i.e. I can fail fast and decide if I want to keep pursuing it)?

    Threats

    What competition do I face in a certain area?

    What is the most likely thing to throw me off course? Is it me?

    If there was an economic downturn, would I be in a position to survive? Could I even turn it into an opportunity?

    Benefits of SWOT Analysis for Self-Improvement

    Now that you know what it is and how to do it, you may already start to see all of the benefits for your personal growth that can come from a SWOT Analysis. If you haven’t already started to think about how to use it in your own life, here are a few ideas to get you started.

    1. It Gives You an Actionable Plan

    One of the most obvious benefits of doing a SWOT Analysis is the fact that it gives you an actionable plan. It is rare for someone to actually sit down and write out their strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats they are facing, so you will be getting well ahead.

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    More importantly, taking the information from all four of these areas allows you to create an effective plan for yourself going forward — whether that be doubling down on your strengths, a plan to overcome your weaknesses, or how to leap at one of the opportunities in your life.

    SWOT Analysis is designed specifically to drive actions and decisions — it is not simply a discussion exercise that you put to one side once you are finished with it.[1]

    2. It Allows You to Zoom Out

    Far too many people are so trapped within their day-to-day activities that they forget to see the big picture. Not being able to see the forest for the trees is one of the things that hold many people back from reaching their full potential.

    SWOT Analysis allows you to take a moment of reflection, see the big picture, and then to make an informed decision about what your everyday tasks and activities are going to be, rather than the other way around.

    It is important to be able to zoom out from time to time to make sure that you are on track with whatever your objectives are in each area of life. SWOT Analysis is the best way to do just that.

    3. It Helps You Recognize New Aspects and Patterns

    One of the unique things about SWOT Analysis is that it manages to combine different areas of your life and lets you see patterns, opportunities, and much more that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

    An example would be the combination of your strengths and your opportunities. When you look at both of these side-by-side, you get a good idea about where the crossovers are, and, as a result, you get a clear picture of what opportunities are worth pursuing based on your strengths.

    Another example would be looking at your strengths and threats next to one another. When you have a decent idea about what your strengths are in a certain situation, you can start to see how those strengths might come in handy when it comes to mitigating certain threats that you might face.

    The truth is, any combination across SWOT Analysis creates a unique perspective that will be extremely useful for your own self-improvement.

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    4. It Minimizes Risk

    Branching out from the previous point, a SWOT Analysis is carried out to help minimize risk [2]. Although this is primarily a benefit from a company’s standpoint, it can also be helpful from an individual’s perspective as well.

    On a personal level, risk can come in a variety of forms. It might be an imaginary risk that feels real, like asking your crush out or asking your boss for a raise. It might be an actual risk where you are thinking of expanding your business or entering a new market where you have little experience. Either way, seeing the threats you face as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities you have allows you to go down the path that minimizes risk and maximizes gain.

    5. It Can Marks Stages of Your Path

    An interesting way that companies use SWOT Analysis is that they carry it out every month or every quarter in order to reset and recalibrate their destination. It can be used in a similar way by you as well. Just like there are certain times when businesses use them, there are certain times when you should use them.[3]

    Every month or every couple of months, take the time to do a SWOT Analysis to see how you are progressing. What strengths have been added? What weaknesses have been discovered? What opportunities have revealed themselves or been lost? What new threats are you facing and which have been removed from the picture?

    Not only will carrying out a SWOT Analysis on a frequent basis accelerate your self-improvement by helping you see where you want to go with less distraction, but it is also nice to see how things change and, hopefully, get better.

    It is also worth looking back at your SWOT Analysis from the start of the year when you reach the end of the year to see how far you have come.

    To Wrap Up

    So there you have it. SWOT Analysis might just be the tool and technique that you have been waiting for to truly take the next step in your self-improvement journey. It is practical, easy to carry out, and effective in terms of planning your next moves.

    Whether you do it on a consistent basis to ensure that you are moving in the right direction or you only do it when you feel lost, SWOT Analysis will always be right there waiting to help.

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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    Reference

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