I was first introduced to the concept of a growth mindset as a sports psychology student in college. Surely most of the students who learned about Carol Dweck’s idea felt very empowered. Essentially, people with growth mindsets believe that talent and intelligence are not fixed traits. In other words, they hold the idea that success is a result of persistence and effort rather than luck.
While I learned about this idea, I thought about successful people and all of the hours of frustration, setbacks, and obstacles they had to overcome before finally breaking through. For instance, Thomas Edison encountered failure thousands of times before his quest for the light bulb was a success. Edison realized that with each failure he learned something new and became one step closer to reaching his goal. His persistence and belief embodied what a growth mindset is all about.
As a soccer coach, embracing a growth mindset has helped me see the potential in all of my players, even the ones who aren’t technically or physically gifted. I know that every member of my team can learn, grow, and improve by harnessing the power of growth mindsets. I coach with the attitude that all my players can achieve great things through persistence and hard work, and this belief makes players more confident and inspired. By having a growth mindset, I’ve been able to foster a culture of belief that spreads contagiously throughout the team. In a team culture centered around a growth mindset, players make miraculous improvements, develop a high level of confidence, and are unafraid to pursue their goals.
After a few years of coaching and having seen the benefits of growth mindsets first hand, I started to take note of the types of mindsets people had around me in my daily life. The most successful people I encountered were confident, they believed in themselves, and they were not afraid to take on challenges. I was also surprised by the number of people with fixed mindsets I encountered. Many people had limiting beliefs about themselves, their organizations, and the people around them. They told themselves that people’s potential is predetermined. Due to this belief, they didn’t take the action necessary to achieve their goals. They only stuck with what they knew and they were afraid to challenge themselves and grow.
In order to achieve what we want in life, we must overcome the shackles of fixed mindedness. Here are the top seven reasons why a growth mindset is the key to success.
1. Growth Minded People Aren’t Afraid To Challenge Themselves
People with growth mindsets aren’t afraid of challenges, in fact they embrace them. According to the overload principle, we have to challenge ourselves to improve. Mia Hamm, one of the greatest female soccer players of all time constantly challenged herself to get better. Whether it was growing up playing against older brothers who were bigger and strong, going through the competitive cauldron at North Carolina, or playing on the international stage in the women’s world cup, Hamm always embraced challenges which was an important factor for her success.
There are always new, grander challenges to confront, and a true winner will embrace each one. -Mia Hamm
2. They See Failure As An Opportunity To Grow
When people with growth mindsets fail, they don’t take it personally. They learn from mistakes and keep a positive attitude to come back stronger next time. Failure is never final unless one gives up. Persistence is the key to overcoming adversity and achieving goals.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill
3. People With A Growth Mindset Use Feedback Constructively
Throughout our lives we receive constant feedback. From the guidance of coaches and mentors to the number of likes we receive on our Facebook posts, feedback is everywhere. People with growth mindsets use feedback as a way to improve. Although facing criticism can be tough, the most successful people constantly look for ways to get better and therefore embrace all kinds of feedback.
We all need people who give us feedback, that’s how we improve. -Bill Gates
4. Growth Minded People Keep An Open Mind
Being open minded can have many benefits. In a world where change can happen quickly, the ability to think openly and try new things can be helpful to find solutions. With a little bit of creativity and imagination, it is possible to solve any problem. An open mind is also helpful when building relationships with other people. Being open and supportive of other’s ideas makes them feel good about themselves. Growth minded people strive to give others the benefit of the doubt and find the positive.
Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart. -Phil Jackson
5. They Know That Attitude & Effort Determine Success
Growth minded people understand that to achieve their goals, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. They approach things with the right attitude and they have the mindset that they will succeed if they stay positive and constantly give their best.
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. -Pele
6. People With Growth Mindsets Are Inspired By Others
Since people with growth mindsets realize that success is a result of attitude and hard work, they are inspired by people who achieve big things. They have a genuine appreciation for the accomplishments of others and they think about the factors that helped them break through. Growth minded people find successful role models, mentors, and information to help them reach their goals.
Find someone who has a life that you want and figure out how they got it. Read books, pick your role models wisely, find out what they did, and do it. – Lana Del Rey
7. Growth Minded People Believe They Can Achieve Anything They Put Their Mind To
People with growth mindsets feel empowered because they realize that their potential is unlimited. Anything they want to learn, anything they want to achieve, is possible through dedication, persistence, and hard work. They know that their levels of intelligence and ability are not fixed and that they can grow and improve to make whatever their dream is a reality.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. -Napoleon Hill