What is a Growth Mindset?
Read on to discover why you need to know.

What is a growth mindset? Well,  let's begin by explaining what a mindset is. A mindset is essentially the set of beliefs and values you have that guide your thinking and decision making. It is your attitude. If those beliefs and values are not in alignment with your dreams and desires you ultimately will either find yourself sabotaging your own success, not finding fulfillment, or not finding balance in your life. The term growth mindset was developed by Psychologist Carol Dwek. 

What is a Growth Mindset According to Dwek?

Carol Dwek, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, developed the idea of a growth mindset. She says her work “examines the self-conceptions people use to structure the self and guide their behavior. My research looks at the origins of these self-conceptions, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes.” She claims there are two primary mindsets, fixed and growth. The context of much of her research is the area of education which unfortunately has given it too narrow of a focus. Below you will see the essential descriptors that answer the question what is a growth mindset.

Growth Mindset 

Core belief: Intelligence can be developed

Leads to a desire to learn and therefor a tendency to:

  • embrace challenges
  • persist in the face of setbacks
  • sees effort as a path to mastery
  • learns from criticism
  • finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others

As a result they attain higher levels of achievement.

Notice the behavioral characteristics that are evident in someone with a growth mindset.

Embracing challenges will certainly entail facing setbacks but knowing that does not prevent a person from taking on a new challenge. In fact, Dwek says, they embrace these challenges. They seek them out. They also recognize embracing challenges takes considerable effort on their part but they view the process as a path to mastery. It is a path to success.

Further, people with this mindset are not typically thwarted by criticism but view that as part of the learning process. It makes them better.

Finally, they relish hearing stories of others success. Others who have achieved and succeeded are a source of inspiration. In short then, the answer to the question what is a growth mindset is: it is the mindset of a champion.

Growth Mindset vs Mindset of a Champion

We at Growth Mindset Training Academy and its parent Success Institutes prefer the term mindset of a champion to a growth mindset because it is more encompassing.

Champion is a word with a couple of different applicable definitions to help understand this mindset. While champion is often focused on winning a competition it can also refer to achieving something substantial or significant, which does not have to imply you have defeated another person. You may defeat the enemy of success - most often your own mindset. 

Champion also can refer to a person who fights for another person or a cause. In this context, a mindset of a champion is the mindset that enables a person to "win" at the game of life and or be a champion of a cause or for a person, which would imply successfully defending a person or a cause.

A well-trained mindset will allow you to deal with all the trials and tribulations that life brings about and still achieve your desired outcomes and attain high levels of achievement in any area of your life that you apply a mindset of a champion. If instead of asking the question what is a growth mindset, we were to ask the question what is the mindset of a champion we would get slightly different descriptors. The essential descriptors of a mindset of a champion are found below. 

Mindset of a Champion

Core belief: I am at the cause of what happens in my life

Leads to a competitive attitude and a tendency to believe:

  • they are in control of how to interpret what happens to them
  • there is no such thing as failure only results
  • I can achieve anything I set my mind to
  • There is no substitute for hard work
  • People are your greatest resource
  • I am a master of my destiny

Which leads to a tendency to

  • embrace challenges
  • persist in the face of setbacks
  • sees effort as a path to mastery
  • learns from criticism
  • finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others
  • have a loving mindset
  • have faith 

When Carol Dwek answers the question what is a growth mindset, she focuses on the core belief that intelligence is not stagnant but can "grow" or be developed, which is true. That belief does indeed lead to other very valuable beliefs and character traits to develop. Those beliefs are actually part of the mindset of a champion, which as I wrote earlier is a more encompassing idea.

It is our opinion that there is a different over-arching belief that high achievers and highly self-satisfied people have. It is the belief that I am at cause for what happens in my life. This belief is not about blame. It is not saying anything bad that happens to me is my fault. The belief is all about taking control over the events that happen to you that are outside your control. It certainly includes embracing those challenges while believing that you can and will overcome them. That is a powerful belief found in all the high achievers and highly self-satisfied people I have studied over nearly 45 years of studying success.

The most important thing to understand is these beliefs can be trained and developed. They can be adopted fairly quickly and easily, but nurturing them and strengthening them takes a life-time. Creating a growth mindset is fairly straight forward and easy. Maintaining that mindset in face of the trials and tribulations of life, that is the part many do not find easy. There is a secret weapon though to make that process far more likely to succeed in the long-term. That secret is to apply HEAT.

Enjoy this video at the bottom of the page and then look at the offer below...

What is Growth Mindset Training for Teens and Why it is so vital?

So many parents say to me they are trying to find something… anything to help their child develop the self-confidence and inner fortitude that is necessary to succeed in school and life, but they are still stuck with the old, school based solutions like guidance groups, special education classes, or “alternative” education classes that don’t address the core problem.  

I know this sounds crazy, but go with me  

The parents we work with go from seeing their child struggle with any one of the following: high stress, low self-confidence, poor peer relations, academic pressures, or fear to watching their child thrive in and out of the classroom without having to rely on ineffective and stigmatizing school based or community based classes or programs.  

Sure, someone could try guidance groups, social work groups, or whatever else public schools might offer them, but only if they want their child to address their problems slowly and with more of a struggle.  

But, the simple fact is our parents watch their teen train the habits, emotional management, and attitude that will prepare them for success in and out of school without having to worry about their child feeling insecure, or stigmatized by being placed in “special” programs and classes.  

Ready to see how it’s done? Then hit the link below to watch my 100% free presentation.  

It’s a must watch for any parent who is serious about helping their child become happy, well rounded and confident adults. 

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