About 40% of people have fixed mindsets.
A fixed mindset leads to poorer performance, reduced skill development, stunted business growth, sabotaged health, and lower happiness.
Are you in the 40%?
What is a fixed mindset anyway, and what can you do to move toward a growth mindset?
Believe in Growth
When you believe you can grow, you can.
Believing this statement has vast consequences for your brain, your behavior, and your life and business outcomes.
Many people superficially believe in their ability to grow, but not everyone deeply believes, as demonstrated by their inner dialogue and external actions.
Common fixed mindsets include:
- I’m not good at going to the gym.
- I’m not good at math.
- I’m not athletic.
- I’m not creative.
- I’m always late.
- I procrastinate.
- That’s just who I am as a person.
These are all false dilemmas.
Your brain is wired to improve with effort! When you have new experiences, you forge new connections between neurons, strengthen existing connections, and build insulation to speed up future impulse transmissions.
Don’t believe in what you “are” or you “aren’t.” Believe you can grow.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
Your mindset affects how you react to everyday challenges, learn, and respond to failure.
When you tell yourself that your abilities are fixed, you give instructions to your brain to avoid problems, stick with the status quo, and accept failures.
When you tell yourself that your abilities are subject to change, you give instructions to your brain to face problems, learn new skills, and turn failures into successes.
Let’s examine 3 common scenarios that illustrate a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.
Situation 1: You try something, but get a frustrating result.
You tell yourself, “I’m not good at this.” You stare blankly, get tense, or take a break and check your social media notifications.
You resolve to find resources to help you, perhaps by running a Google search, reading instructions, or reaching out to a friend.
People with growth mindsets deal with everyday challenges by asking questions, finding helpful resources, identifying possible solutions, evaluating solutions, and trying agin. They take breaks based on a planned schedule, not based on minor problems that arise during the course of a workday.
Situation 2: You identify a topic that you don’t know much about.
You tell yourself, “I’ll find an expert” or decide to just avoid the subject for a while. If your business is still working fine today, you figure you’ll be fine in the future too.
You learn new topics on an ongoing basis, at least every quarter. You never stop learning new theories and techniques.
People with growth mindsets know that their life and career will only get better through continued learning. If they’re ahead of their competition, they work hard to stay head. They read books every week or every couple months. They practice new skills. They don’t shy away from what they don’t know about. In fact, they welcome new challenges.
Situation 3: You fail at executing a project or reaching a goal.
You rationalize the failure. Perhaps you figure, “I would have been able to succeed if I just had more time…”
You diagnose what went wrong. You seek advice from a friend, colleague or mentor. Then you formulate a new plan and try again.
People with growth mindsets know that one failure is just a step in their journey toward success. They might recognize how a deficiency in their judgment led to the bad result, but they believe they can improve for the next time around.
60 Growth Mindset Quotes – The Ultimate List
The principles for a growth mindset are simple, but it’s easy to fall back into old ways of thinking.
To help you focus on growth, we’ve collected the best quotes from some of history’s most accomplished artists, businesspeople, influencers, philosophers, political leaders, scientists and writers.
We hope you gain inspiration from their mistakes and successes, and most importantly, the mindset they applied to move from one to the other.
Action Step: Write one of these quotes in your physical or digital notebook so you can ponder it during the week ahead. Then bookmark this article so you can return to it next week to pull out quote. Stay inspired!
Growth Mindset Inspiration from Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers
Failure is not fatal, but failing to change might be. ― John Wooden
The problem human beings face is not that we aim too high and fail, but that we aim too low and succeed. ― Michelangelo
I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. ― Vincent van Gogh
The team that makes the most mistakes usually wins. ― Ward Lambert
It takes 20 years to make an overnight success. ― Eddie Cantor
A genius! For 37 years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius! ― Pablo de Sarasate
Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not. ― Virgil Garnett Thomson
Don’t tell me how talented you are. Tell me how hard you work. ― Artur Rubenstein
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. ― Babe Ruth
I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. ― Muhammad Ali
Nothing will work unless you do. ― John Wooden
It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. ― Walt Disney
Growth Mindset Inspiration from Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. ― Henry Ford
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ― Thomas Edison
Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. ― Thomas Watson
Whenever an individual or business decides that success has been attained, progress stops. ― Thomas J. Watson
There isn’t a person anywhere who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can. ― Henry Ford
Growth Mindset Inspiration from Influencers and Teachers
What you get by reaching your goals is not nearly so important as what you become by reaching them. ― Zig Ziglar
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. ― Napoleon Hill
After living with their dysfunctional behavior for so many years, people become invested in defending their dysfunctions rather than changing them. ― Marshall Goldsmith
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. ― Franklin P. Jones
History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heart-breaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats. ― B. C. Forbes
Failure is success if we learn from it. ― Malcolm Forbes
I don’t believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process. ― Oprah Winfrey
Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen. ― Phillip Adams
I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures. I divide the world into the learners and the non-learners. ― Benjamin Barber
Dreams don’t work unless you do. ― John C. Maxwell
If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything. Success is not coming to you, you must come to it. ― Marva Collins
Growth Mindset Inspiration from Philosophers
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake. ― Confucius
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. ― Voltaire
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. ― Confucius
The real fault is to have faults and not to amend them. Confucius
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ― Confucius
Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. ― Erich Fromm
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could … Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Growth Mindset Inspiration from Political Leaders
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. ― Winston Churchill
Security is not the meaning of my life. Great opportunities are worth the risk. ― Shirley Hufstedler
Believe you can and you’re halfway there. ― Theodore Roosevelt
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. ― John F. Kennedy
We find comfort among those who agree with us, and growth among those who don’t. ― Frank Clark
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. ― Winston Churchill
When the facts change, I change my mind. ― John Maynard Keynes
He who wrestles with us, strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skills. Our antagonist is our helper. ― Edmund Burke
The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it’s the same problem you had last year. ― John Foster Dulles
The worst bankrupt in the world is the man who has lost his enthusiasm. Let a man lose everything else in the world but his enthusiasm and he will come through again to success. ― W. H. Arnold
Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. ― Sherman Finesilver
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ― Maya Angelou
Growth Mindset Inspiration from Scientists and Psychologists
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. ― Albert Einstein
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.― Albert Einstein
Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training. ― Carol Dweck
Vowing, even intense vowing, is often useless. The next day comes and the next day goes. What works is making a vivid, concrete plan. ― Carol Dweck
Certainty is a cruel mindset. It hardens our minds against possibility. … We should open ourselves to the impossible and embrace a psychology of possibility. ― Ellen Langer
There is always a step small enough from where we are to get us to where we want to be. If we take that small step, there’s always another we can take, and eventually a goal thought to be too far to reach becomes achievable. ― Ellen Langer
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. ― Albert Ellis
There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy. ― Albert Ellis
Most people never run far enough on the first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got, and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you. ― William James
Growth Mindset Inspiration from Great Writers
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.― Mark Twain
What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. ― Viktor E. Frankl
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make a mistake. ― Elbert Hubbard
Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. ― J. K. Rowling
Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be. ― Samuel Johnson
We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something. ― Elizabeth Gilbert
All things are difficult before they are easy. ― Thomas Fuller
How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win. ― Gilbert Keith Chesterton
It is never too late to be what you might have been. ― Mary Ann Evans (George Elliot)
Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible. ― Miguel Unamuno
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ― George Bernard Shaw
The next time you fail at something, don’t say to yourself, “I’ve failed.”
Instead, reframe your thought. Try saying: “I haven’t succeeded… yet.”
Telling yourself that you haven’t succeeded “yet” reminds your brain that you’re still learning and that you still need to take new and different actions to reach your goal.
With this new mindset, you won’t get frustrated and you won’t give up. Instead, you’ll get back to work. And as the world’s luminaries will tell you, that makes all the difference.
As you go off into your day now, ask yourself the question—which mindset do I choose?