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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

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2021

    11 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021

    11 Best Self-Improvement Classes in 2021

    Even during the midst of a pandemic, self-improvement is still a crucial aspect to our lives today. There are tonnes of articles that you could be reading from our site or from others. However, the articles aren’t able to provide the depth and the growth you need when compared to courses or programs.

    So if you are looking to step up your own self-improvement and invest in yourself and the life you want to lead, here are some of the best self-improvement classes to consider.

    But before getting to that, here is the criteria that we use to determine these courses. All of these qualities have been present in the best self-improvement classes we could find:

    • Little commitment – All these courses can be done in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace as well. Most of these courses recommend spending a few hours each week on their material.
    • Prestigious – These courses are done by recognizable institutes with good reputation on their education quality.
    • Leverage on skillset – Each of the courses focuses on one area of your life, however it also helps develop other areas of your life at the same time.

    1. Lifehack Mastercourses & Free Fast-Track Classes

    Lifehack isn’t just a blog but rather a hub with all kinds of resources at people’s disposal. You may already be familiar with our particular workbooks, but we also provide courses of our own.

    The first set of courses are free courses that are designed to teach you about your full life skills – the Fast-Track Classes. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on skills that multiply your time, energy, and the overall quality of your life. There are four courses that are about 20 minutes long each ensuring you have the tools and resources you need to achieve your goals fast:

    Our second set of courses are the courses where we help you break free of your limitations to become the best version of yourself. These courses aren’t free, but each course goes into extensive detail on everything from motivation, overcoming challenges and staying focused to improving your overall learning capabilities, controlling your emotions and mindset:

    2. The Truth Seeker’s Handbook

    In a world where everything can be implied, half-true or misleading, how are you able to tell whether something is actually true? How are you able to convince other people to believe in the facts presented?

    There is a lot of research out there showing that the human mind is prone to making thinking errors. We fall into predictable mistakes that lead us to believe in lies that are comforting for us and that the truth is an inconvenience for us. The mistakes we make lead us to be vulnerable and we ultimately make decisions under false beliefs.

    This cycle goes on to cause all kinds of pain in our lives in many ways. However, cognitive and behavioral scientists have been able to uncover and find useful strategies we can use to overcome these mental flaws.

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    One such method is through the course The Truth Seeker’s Handbook. It’s a 4-week book club micro-course hosted by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky. Through these courses, members will learn how to recognize resist biases in their own thoughts and make truth-based decisions by reading Dr. Gleb’s book The Truth Seeker’s Handbook. Enroll now before the next session begins!

    3. The Science Of Well-Being

    Yale University has been around for over 300 years at this point and one of the most popular classes in that time span is this one: The Science of Well-Being. After all this time, Yale is providing this course to everyone for free.

    In this class, Yale Psychology Professor Laurie Santos introduced this class as “Psychology and the Good Life” in spring 2018. The class was designed to help students in navigating anxiety, depression, and stress in their lives. The class at the time was so popular that roughly a quarter of Yale undergraduates enrolled in it that spring.

    Going into more detail about this course, this 4-week course is designed to provide a step-by-step process for boosting happiness. The course heavily focuses on positive psychology – what misconceptions we have about happiness and what has been scientifically proven to make us happier.

    Enrol in the course here.

    4. Learning How To Learn

    Another notable course to consider is the Learning How to Learn course. On the platform Coursera, it is one of the most popular and loved courses on the platform with nearly 2 million students enrolled since it’s been there. It’s taught by the distinguished professors Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski.

    The premise of the course is what you’d expect, the goal of this course to teach you to learn more. It’ll ultimately lead to you training your brain to effectively process information and learn complicated subjects even. All of this is done through various tools and methods – from stories to goofy animations like surfing zombies, metabolic vampires and an “octopus of attention”.

    Enrol in the course here.

    5. Mindshift

    Another course developed by Dr. Barabara Oakley is this course: Mindshift. If you’re planning to take the course Learning How To Learn, this one builds off of that popular course. Overall, it’s meant to help learners boost their career and life by shifting their mindset to a learning one.

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    Dr. Oakley firmly believes that any person can train themselves to learn at any stage in life. She believes that from personal experiences but also how this course is designed. Through this course, you learn how to be seeking out mentors to learn from, how to avoid common learning pitfalls, career ruts, and the general ruts in life.

    By the end of this 4-week program, you’ll have access to new tools and strategies to face any career challenge and seek better methods to surmount new learning curves.

    Enrol in the course here.

    6. De-Mystifying Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is something that we’ve all been trying to obtain in recent years and people are noticing it. Whether we strive for this for therapy, lifestyle choice, or for other technology, many of us consider this a pastime we do in solitude at this point.

    But despite the number of us practicing mindfulness, not many of us fully grasp it. De-Mystifying Mindfulness is a course designed to help people get up to speed with it through various methods. This course gathers information from various disciplines in science, social sciences and humanities to help unlock and understand mindfulness in its various forms.

    This is a truly unique course as it’s rooted in experiential learning mixed with evidence base of what mindfulness can do to people. And a conceptual base of what mindfulness might actually be.

    Enrol in the course here.

    7. Achieving Personal And Professional Success Specialization

    The best way to explain what Achieving Personal And Professional Success Specialization is. is that it’s four of the most popular courses taught by Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania wrapped into one Specialization. Through these four courses, you’ll be able to maximize your potential and be more successful in both personal and professional life. You’ll learn various techniques and exercises that this school teaches.

    Going into more detail the four courses consist of these four:

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    • Success – learn about defining goals, understand how goals connect to long-term images of yourself.
    • Communication skills – tools to improve communication with others. You’ll also learn to take other people’s perspectives, where trust comes from, and build relationships.
    • Leading the Life you want – skills that allow you to lead in the four domains of life: work, home, community, and private.
    • Influence – how to develop it and become more effective in achieving organizational goals.

    Enrol in the course here.

    8. Think Again

    Reasoning is another important aspect of life. Think Again is all about teaching you how to reason and argue well with people without raising your voice and getting flustered. It’s four short courses that explore the logic behind arguments, how we construct arguments and deconstruct them, how to identify and evaluate arguments, and what makes a good argument.

    Specifically, you’ll learn about the vital rules to be following in thinking about any topic at all and common and tempting mistakes that people fall into all the time when providing reasoning.

    Enrol in the course here.

    9. Neuroplasticity

    Amongst the scientific and psychology circles, this has become quite the buzzword: Neuroplasticity. The concept promises to rewire our brain and improve everything from health and mental wellbeing to our quality of life. Gregory Caremans teaches the concept of Neuroplasticity and how you can take action and use this to your advantage in the course Neuroplasticity. Through it, you can develop mental flexibility, change habits, stop procrastination and even alter memories.

    Gregory is a psychologist with a Master’s in communication and is specialized in Neurocognitive and Behavioral Approach. And even though he comes from a complex field, his course is instructed in such a way that you can easily use this information and apply it in your daily life.

    Enrol in the course here.

    10. Become A SuperLearner® 2

    Similar to Learning How To Learn, this Udemy course Become A SuperLearner® 2 is all about learning faster and unlocking the vast potential of your mind. This course is different though in that it focuses more on improving your ability to learn new skills, provide advanced memory techniques, long-term retention and application of information.

    Another way to think about this course is that it looks into cognitive and neurological factors that make learning easier and more successful with longer retention of information.

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    Enrol in the course here.

    11. Get Beyond Work-Life Balance

    The final course on the list is Get Beyond Work-Life Balance. As this course suggests, this is all about getting skills that help you to achieve balance and have effectiveness in both aspects of your life. This applies to both people in leadership roles and for individuals.

    The course focuses a lot on the importance of inclusive leadership in creating flexible and productive work environments. Beyond this, the course provides a lot of research and real-work examples from various situations to deliver information and strategies you can apply in your life.

    Enrol in the course here.

    Final Thoughts

    There are all kinds of courses that you can use to further enhance your life – be it personal or professional. And the beauty of personal development courses is the fact they are designed to be applied in your life more readily. You can begin to see the impact and change when applying this information from courses to real life.

    As such, we encourage you to try out these courses. They could very well change your life.

    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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