As defined by psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is the idea that abilities can be developed through commitment and hard work.
You can exhibit many behaviors that show whether you have a growth mindset or not.
So take a closer look at yourself and find out if you have what it takes to accomplish great things in life.
1) You step out of your comfort zone
If you’re regularly stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing opportunities that push your boundaries, you definitely have a growth mindset.
There was a 2017 study that showed that 55% of people in the United Kingdom don’t venture outside of their comfort zones, and 45% fear that one day they might live to regret it.
Those are some alarming but not surprising numbers. Taking risks and trying new things is hard for most of us.
I’d say it’s even more difficult for introverts that have a knot in their stomach just thinking about it.
But at the end of the day, embracing the unknown as an opportunity for exploration and discovery and allowing yourself to learn and adapt in unfamiliar situations is what people with a growth mindset do.
However, if you’re still struggling with this, try identifying the fears and beliefs that hold you back from stepping out of your comfort zone.
After that, start by taking small, manageable steps and define clear goals that involve stepping out of your comfort zone.
2) You have a desire to learn
Your constant desire to learn is another behavior that clearly shows you have a growth-oriented attitude.
This means you actively seek out new information, perspectives, and feedback and are open to adjusting your beliefs and opinions based on new evidence.
This, of course, includes reading books but also listening to industry podcasts and YouTube videos. As well as taking part in webinars and courses.
For me personally, podcasts and interviews with people in the industry I’m interested in offer the best value and the most information and insight into how things work and what one is supposed to do.
In 1 to 3 hours, you can get so much valuable information that you often wouldn’t get from 3 books on the topic.
3) You see feedback as valuable information
Frankly, I still don’t always react too well to negative feedback. Even though I know it’s a vital part of personal and work life, hearing what others think about your outputs or actions can be difficult and even devastating for some.
So if you seek feedback from mentors, peers, or experts in your field and are receptive to constructive criticism, I salute you.
You definitely know how to use feedback as a valuable tool for growth and improvement. By using it as an opportunity to reflect on your strengths and areas for advancement, you can take actionable steps to improve your skills and knowledge.
You don’t feel threatened or defensive but use it to adjust and grow. Let’s continue in a similar tone with this next behavior.
4) You surround yourself with growth-oriented people
If you surrounded yourself with growth-oriented people and like-minded individuals, you must have recognized just how much influence the environment has on you and your success.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
So, if you seek out and maintain relationships with individuals who share their growth-oriented mindset, you’re definitely on the up and up.
And if you use this (or another) group of people as an accountability group, only the sky is the limit.
Another important part of this equation is understanding the value of guidance from more experienced individuals and actively looking for mentorship opportunities.
There’s no reason for you to try and grasp everything by yourself. Many others have been through the same things you are. You just need to find them and reach out to them.
5) You learn from failures
Many people have one significant thing going against them. They just can’t seem to learn from their mistakes.
I’m sure you know the type. They keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
Don’t me wrong, making mistakes and enduring setbacks is a vital part of life. Still, if you’re so thick you can’t see what’s under your nose and keep doing the same (wrong) thing all the time, you might be hopeless without some serious guidance.
People with a growth mindset analyze their mistakes, understand what went wrong, and use those lessons to improve and approach future efforts with a fresh perspective.
That’s the way to do it. Do, fail, regroup and improve, do again.
6) You learn from successes
We don’t have to learn only from our mistakes and failures. An important part of a growth mindset is to learn from our and others’ successes.
Instead of feeling threatened by the success of others, those with a growth mindset find inspiration in it.
There’s NO reason to be envious or think that if someone else succeeds, it must mean they’re falling behind. Success isn’t a zero-sum game.
We should use it as motivation and encouragement and be energized to pursue our goals with even more dedication and persistence.
7) You believe in growth over time
Most of us are in a battle against the clock, aren’t we? Although we have 657,450 hours in our average lifetimes (75 years), we never seem to have enough hours in the day to accomplish things.
But when we zoom out and see things on a bigger scale, let’s say 5 to 10 years, suddenly, we seem to have more than enough time to do many great things.
If you have a growth mindset, you view time as a tool for growth rather than a limiting factor and know it takes time to learn and grow, and are willing to invest that time.
Instead of saying, “I can’t do it,” you adopt a mindset of “I can’t do it yet,” acknowledging that skills and abilities can be developed with practice and persistence.
This then includes doing this next thing; emphasizing the power of “not yet” in goal-setting.
8) You’re setting and achieving goals
Setting and embracing goals means deciding what you want to achieve and being committed to making it happen.
Those with a growth mindset set specific, measurable, and achievable goals for themselves.
They believe in their ability to learn and improve and set goals that reflect their desire for growth and progress.
A great example of that is Chris Gardner. His life was depicted in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith.
After facing homelessness and countless other hardships, Gardner pursued a career in finance and became a successful stockbroker, eventually founding his own brokerage firm.
9) You are willing to change your beliefs or approaches
People with a growth mindset enjoy experimenting. They aren’t afraid to try different ways of doing things to see what works best.
If you watched the movie or read Gardner’s memoir (or Wikipedia page), you know that he, too, was willing to try different things and often changed his approach to things in life.
I too, had to experiment and be flexible in my personal life as well as my career. There’s often no way to move forward without looking at different viewpoints and having the will to consider alternative ways of thinking.
But my last point is where the growth mindset really shines.
10) Encourage and support others in their growth and development
Giving back to the community and fostering a growth mindset in others really shows you have a mature growth mindset that isn’t focused solely on you.
If you share resources, provide constructive feedback, and celebrate other peoples’ progress, you are truly the champion of promoting a growth mindset culture.
By fostering a growth mindset in others, you empower them to believe in their own potential and strive for continuous growth.
Through encouragement, support, and providing resources, you can create an environment that nurtures and celebrates personal development.
In the end, tell me, how many behaviors did you reveal about yourself? Is there room to improve upon your forward-thinking mindset?
Are there perhaps habits that are holding you back from achieving your dreams?