People with a growth mindset think in these 10 unique ways

Want to succeed in life and become a better person?

The secret might be in your mindset.

A “growth mindset” is the belief that you can get better at something by working hard and not giving up.

People with a growth mindset aren’t afraid of challenges or failures because they know that’s how they learn and grow.

In this article, we’ll talk about 10 ways that people with a growth mindset think differently.

By thinking this way, you can unlock new opportunities and reach your goals.

So let’s get started and learn how a growth mindset can change your life for the better.

1. They see effort as a path to mastery

“Effort is one of those things that give meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it.” – Carol Dweck

The first thing you need to know about people with a growth mindset? They don’t shy away from hard work.

In fact, they see effort as the key to getting better at anything.

Where some might be discouraged by a challenging task, these folks roll up their sleeves and dive right in.

Think about it: ever tried to learn a new language or pick up a musical instrument? It’s tough, right?

But with consistent effort and practice, you start to get the hang of it.

That’s exactly what people with a growth mindset believe in – that effort is the path that leads to mastery.

So, next time you find yourself facing a tricky challenge, remember this: effort isn’t just about working hard, it’s about learning, growing, and getting better. 

2. Mistakes are not failures, they are lessons

“Failure is not a permanent condition.” – Angela Lee Duckworth

People with a growth mindset don’t view mistakes as failures. Instead, they see them as valuable lessons.

While many of us might feel down and out after a blunder, these individuals see it as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Let’s face it, nobody likes making mistakes. But guess what? They are an integral part of life and learning.

So when you mess up, instead of beating yourself up about it, try to find the lesson hidden in the mistake.

Remember, every mistake you make is a step forward in your journey of learning and growth.

Don’t fear mistakes, learn from them!

3. Challenges are exciting, not daunting

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” – Carol Dweck

People with a growth mindset find challenges exciting, not scary. 

When I first started learning to code, it felt like I had hit a wall. Everything looked like gibberish and it was incredibly frustrating.

But instead of letting the challenge intimidate me, I chose to see it as an exciting puzzle.

I knew each line of code I managed to understand and each problem I solved was making me better. It took time and patience, but eventually, I started to enjoy the process.

The challenge that once seemed daunting had become an engaging activity that I looked forward to.

That’s what having a growth mindset is all about – turning obstacles into opportunities.

When faced with a challenge, don’t back down. Instead, see it as an exciting opportunity to learn something new and grow.

4. They embrace change

”To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” — Winston Churchill

People with a growth mindset are not afraid of change. Instead, they welcome it with open arms.

They understand that change is not only inevitable but also a crucial part of growth and development.

Individuals with a growth mindset are significantly more likely to desire and embrace change compared to those with a fixed mindset.

They see change not as a threat, but as an opportunity to learn and adapt.

If you find yourself resisting change, try shifting your perspective. Embrace change, learn from it and use it as an opportunity to grow. 

5. They value the journey more than the destination

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

People with a growth mindset know that real success isn’t about the end goal alone – it’s about every step you take, every challenge you overcome, and every lesson you learn along the way.

Think about a time you’ve worked really hard for something – maybe it was a project at work, a personal goal or even a relationship.

The end result was important, sure, but wasn’t it the journey that made it truly meaningful?

The late nights, the perseverance, the moments of doubt, and ultimately, the triumph of overcoming obstacles – that’s where the real growth happens.

So remember, while goals are important, don’t forget to value the journey. It’s in the process where we learn, grow, and become better versions of ourselves.

6. They always stay curious

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” – Albert Einstein

One thing I’ve noticed about people with a growth mindset, including myself, is that we’re incurably curious.

We love to learn, ask questions, and delve into how things work.

For instance, I’ve always been fascinated by languages. So, some years back, I decided to learn Spanish.

Did I need it for work? No. Was I planning a trip to Spain? Not really.

I just wanted to learn because I was curious about the language and its culture. That curiosity made the learning process so much fun and engaging.

That’s the thing about having a growth mindset – it fuels your curiosity and drives you to learn new things simply for the joy of learning.

Stay curious, keep asking questions and never stop learning. Your mind will thank you for it. 

7. They’re not afraid to look foolish

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” – Epictetus

You know what’s seriously liberating about having a growth mindset?

It’s the freedom to look like an absolute fool and not give a hoot.

Yep, people with a growth mindset understand that sometimes, you’ve got to risk looking silly in order to learn and grow.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in situations where we were afraid to ask a question or try something new for fear of looking dumb.

But the truth is, nobody starts off being an expert.

We all fumble, stumble and make a fool of ourselves on the road to learning.

If you ever hold yourself back for fear of looking foolish, remember this:

Every expert was once a beginner who wasn’t afraid to look foolish. Don’t let fear stop you from learning and growing. Embrace the foolishness. 

8. They prioritize learning over validation

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” – Carol Dweck

People with a growth mindset prioritize learning over seeking approval. They’re more interested in improving themselves than in proving themselves.

For them, it’s not about being the smartest person in the room—it’s about constantly learning and growing.

Studies have shown that praising someone’s process (their effort, concentration, or choices) rather than their intelligence or talent can actually foster a growth mindset.

This reinforces the idea that it’s not about being naturally smart or talented—it’s about working hard to learn and grow.

Don’t get caught up in seeking approval from others. Focus on learning, improving, and becoming the best version of yourself.

The validation you seek should come from your own growth and progress.

9. They don’t let others define their potential

“Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.” – Angela Duckworth

One thing I’ve learned from having a growth mindset is not to let others put a limit on what I can achieve.

People with a growth mindset believe in their ability to grow and improve, regardless of what others may say or think.

I remember when I first decided to start writing. I had no background in literature and my grammar skills were far from perfect.

Some people were quick to point out my lack of experience and told me to stick to what I knew.

But I didn’t let their words define my potential. I chose to believe in my ability to learn and improve.

Today, I am not only a confident writer but also enjoy helping others improve their writing skills.

That’s the power of a growth mindset. It allows you to define your own potential and not be limited by the perceptions of others.

So, believe in yourself and your ability to grow. Don’t let anyone else define your potential!

10. They’re not intimidated by the success of others

“Other people’s success spurs me on to do well and gives me motivation.” – Nicholas Hoult

People with a growth mindset don’t get intimidated or jealous of other people’s success. Instead, they’re inspired by it.

They see the achievements of others as proof of what’s possible, not as a benchmark to make them feel inadequate.

In a world that often pits us against each other, it’s easy to feel like someone else’s success diminishes our own.

But people with a growth mindset flip this on its head. They say, “If they can do it, so can I.”

They use the success of others as fuel to motivate themselves to learn and grow.

So next time you find yourself feeling intimidated by someone else’s success, stop, take a breath, and shift your perspective.

Use their achievements as inspiration to push yourself further, not as a measure to bring yourself down.

Remember, their success doesn’t limit yours – the sky is big enough for everyone to shine!

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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