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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

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

    Reference

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    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2021

    12 Learning Goals For Personal Growth And Self Development

    12 Learning Goals For Personal Growth And Self Development

    Learning is an essential part of life. The more you learn, the more you need to learn. As Harry Truman put it,[1]

    “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

    Your attitude toward personal growth and self-development through continuous learning is an important factor in how you succeed in life. In this article, I have highlighted some learning goals to help you become a better version of yourself and be more successful.

    How Independent Learning Leads to Growth and Development

    When you are dedicated to lifelong learning, you will experience development in key areas of growth. This includes intellectual, professional, social, and physical growth.[2] You can pick these areas of growth one by one and learn something to improve yourself. When you have achieved your goal in one area, you can then consider another area that also needs improvement.

    There are different ways to learn, and these include reading, listening, webinars, online courses, mentoring and any other means by which knowledge can be passed and absorbed. You can also learn by observing people: friends, colleagues, bosses, or any other person whose lifestyle you admire.

    Examples of Personal Learning Goals

    We learn not just for the sake of learning but to gain knowledge and improve certain areas of our lives. Highlighted below are areas where you can set personal learning goals. There is a sample learning goal statement for each of the items on the list. You can adopt these goals or adjust them as they apply to you.

    1. Develop Communication Skills

    Your ability to communicate effectively plays a crucial role in your pursuit of success. This applies to both verbal and non-verbal communication to colleagues, clients, customers, friends, and families. While everyone cannot be an orator or great writer, we can all be great communicators by learning.

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    In whichever industry you are in, having a goal towards improving your communication skills would be of great advantage.

    Enroll in online courses to learn topics in communications, such as speaking to an audience, communication strategies for sales and marketing, effective corporate communication, virtual communication, etc.

    2. Negotiation Skills

    Whether it is about contract terms, business deals, salary, or prices of commodities, negotiation skills are essential to have at hand. They can save you tremendous time and money and can also give you leverage in your dealings with people. You might not be able to always get everything you want, but negotiation skills can help you get more of it.

    Take an online course or read three bestsellers on strategies and skills for negotiating effectively.

    3. Ethics and Social Responsibility

    Sometimes we know what is expected of us, but at other times, we are not so sure. We often come across situations where we get confused about what we are supposed to do.

    Knowing what to do and being able to meet up with expectations can boost your positive image and earn you a favorable reputation at work or in the community. It can also open a door to leadership or make you more effective in your leadership capacity.

    Continue to learn about ethics and social responsibility by reading wide on the subject. In addition, read all available information within an organization regarding its ethics and core values. Read also the ethics of the particular industry.

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    4. Teamwork and Flexibility

    Some people find it easy to blend into a team, while others are more of the solo type. If you belong to the second category, you need to be intentional about being flexible and working in a team to achieve a common goal.

    Learn to be open-minded, volunteer to help out, and ask for help from colleagues. Also, offer suggestions on solutions to fix a common problem.

    5. Reasoning and Making Good Judgment

    The ability to make sound decisions depends on how you can deploy your reasoning skills. Unfortunately, this is not something everyone can pull off easily, especially when it comes to making tough decisions.

    A Harvard Business Review article outlined the following useful tips for making good judgments[3]:

    • Listening attentively or reading critically to turn knowledge into understanding.
    • Picking up what is not said and interpreting body language.
    • Cultivating sources of trusted advice: people who are bold enough to tell what you need to know and not what you want to hear.
    • Understanding, clarifying, and accepting different viewpoints.

    Improve the capacity to listen and read information and intentions carefully to gain proper understanding and assess different viewpoints before making a decision.

    6. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

    Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are described as the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve problem.[4] It is being able to think about a problem and proffer an immediate solution or come up with ideas that can lead to a solution. The competitive world of work requires a great deal of critical thinking, and being able to fix problems is a great advantage.

    Learn how to analyze and synthesize information and predict the future outcome of a decision. Use puzzles and games to develop logic and create mind maps to practice visualizing a problem and its solutions.

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    7. Analytical Thinking

    Analytical thinking is also a component of problem-solving skills. It is described as visual thinking that gives one the ability to solve problems quickly using a methodical step-by-step approach.[5] Analytical thinking helps to break a complex problem down into smaller, manageable components.

    Improve analytical thinking capacity by practicing brain games, reading books, and using the analytical approach in solving problems.

    8. Creative Thinking

    Thinking about new ideas and ways of doing things rather than the old way is creative thinking. It can also be referred to as disruptive thinking — bringing new, fresh perspective into current realities. In this era of innovation, creative and disruptive thinking are essential to achieve success at work.

    Improve creative abilities by tapping into inspiration from books, videos, documentaries, and other sources. Create time daily or weekly to brainstorm and create something new.

    9. Improved Memory

    A good memory prevents us from forgetting important dates, facts, and deadlines.[6] Memory also helps us to avoid committing the error of omission due to forgetfulness. Such an error can have serious consequences on our work and business.

    Boost memory by learning to memorize and recall. Learn a foreign language or learn to play a musical instrument.

    10. Staying Organized

    Take control of your schedules, activities, and routines by getting organized. Getting organized will give you focus, increase your productivity, reduce stress, and help you manage your time better. Some have assumed that being organized has to do with personality types, but being organized is really not an issue of personality. Anyone can learn and develop this habit.

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    Learn more about how to be organized. Create a daily to-do list. Learn to keep things in their proper place and declutter regularly.

    11. Build Self Esteem and Confidence

    One of the ways to build your self-esteem and confidence is through reading. Reading equips you with valuable information that makes you knowledgeable and vast. It also makes you more intelligent as you will gain a broader perspective on issues, and this makes you more articulate and confident when communicating with people.

    You can also build your self-esteem by learning to make positive affirmations about yourself. Read self-help books and make daily positive affirmations.

    12. Toughness and Resilience

    Your ability to stand strong in the midst of storms depends on how tough and resilient you are. Whether you anticipate them or not, there will always be some tough times on your success journey.

    Learning to be tough and resilient will ensure that you don’t buckle when under pressure. It also helps you to keep your mind sane when working through difficult situations. Read biographies or watch movies and documentaries featuring heroic acts. Participate in mental drills.

    Final Thoughts

    As much as it feels good to learn new things, consider perfecting an area of learning before moving on to something else. You might have a number of things to improve on (and you should), but you can’t take on everything at once. When you have chosen your learning goals, put a timeframe on each of them. You can also create a yearly calendar for your learning goals and pick them one after the other.

    More Tips on Learning

    Featured photo credit: Seven Shooter via unsplash.com

    Reference

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