What Is Growth Mindset? A Beginner’s Guide to Growth Mindset

The topic of growth mindset has been coming up more and more in media and conversations of late, but there isn’t a lot of clarity on what it actually means. To help with that, today’s guide explores what is growth mindset, and aims to finally give you clarity on what growth mindset means. 

Read on to learn more. 

Mindset, the starting point

Today, I want to talk about a question that comes up quite often about growth mindset – this is the question I am talking about: what is a growth mindset.

Before I talk about what growth mindset means, I want to clarify what mindset is. Because that is the start – you can’t really understand the growth mindset without having clarity on what mindset actually is.

So, what exactly is a mindset?

To put it simply, our mindset is the way we think.

It is our operating system.

A person’s mindset basically determines how that person thinks. And the way we think determines our actions, it does a lot more in fact, as it determines everything we do and even how we feel. This makes our mindset an extremely important matter, as it affects every part of our lives.

The difference in mindset, ultimately, is why two people facing the exact same situation will often come out with very different results, one better than the other.

Mindset is what is talked about when you hear people mention the whole glass half full or empty thing.

What Is Growth Mindset
Learn what is a growth mindset in today’s guide

Also read: How To Deal With Negative Thoughts: The Definitive Guide


Good vs Bad mindset

When Henry Ford said “Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right – he was talking about our mindset. Those with a good mindset believe they can, whereas those with a bad mindset believe they can’t.

Having the right mindset is the difference between having a great life despite challenges, and having a shitty life because of those challenges.

The right mindset is what sets apart those who do well in life, and those who don’t.

Positivity and negativity are all part of our mindset. Those with the right mindset are positive and act more positively as a result of having a positive mindset.

In contrast, those with a poor mindset will be more negative and act negatively.

Having the right mindset helps people overcome setbacks and obstacles, and make lemonade when life gives them lemons. But a lack of it, on the other hand, keeps people stuck.

I hope that clarified what mindset is. But to reiterate, our mindset is our operating system and determines the way we think.

So now you know what mindset is, let’s explore the main point of today’s talk – what growth mindset means.


Also read: How to Increase Your Self-Empowerment – 10 Tips


What growth mindset is (and isn’t)

Mindset, as you know by now, is basically the way you think.

A growth mindset, then, is a type of mindset – it’s mindset that is focused on growing, and improving, as a person.

Remember earlier when I talked about the right and the wrong mindset? Well, a growth mindset is the former. This is what is essentially being referred to when you hear talk about the right mindset or a good mindset or a positive mindset. They are all basically the same thing – a way of thinking that helps you move forward.

So if I had to define growth mindset, here is how I would define it:

Growth mindset is a belief system, a way of thinking that helps you move forward, and make good decisions.

Having a growth mindset is about adopting a way of thinking that enables you to deal with challenges and setbacks and move forward no matter how big the obstacle might be, rather than being stuck because of those challenges and obstacles.

Having a growth mindset means you can think and act better. It makes you more positive. It enables you to move forward and achieve the things you want to achieve.

It is growth mindset that differentiates people who do well in life, and those who are perpetually stuck. Unfortunately, too many people fall in the latter category, too many people are stuck, which is why living with regrets is such a common thing. It is really disappointing but thankfully does not have to be the norm.

This is why growth mindset is important
This is why having a growth mindset is important

Also read: Happiness Habits – 9 Ways to Be a Happier, Healthier and Stronger Person


Improving your mindset

Here is the good news – the way we think is not set in stone. Think of our mindset like a software. You might have a buggy software, but it can be improved by installing a new update. Thanks to the way our brain works and neuroplasticity, we are capable of changing our programming, which is to say we can change the way we think. So if someone has a negative mindset, it does not have to be the case that they have to live with it for the rest of their life – they can change it.

Someone with a negative mindset CAN upgrade their mindset to install a better mindset – a positive, growth mindset.

How we think is crucial for our success and happiness, because that defines how we feel about anything and everything. It also determines how we act (or react).

So it is absolutely essential to adopt a growth mindset. Without having a growth mindset, it will be a massive struggle (if not impossible) to move forward in life. Let’s face it, if someone falls apart every time there is a setback or obstacle, how can they ever move forward?

Closing thoughts

Life is not a bed of roses. I wish it were, I wish it was simple and the road was smooth, but that’s just wishful thinking. There will be ups and downs, and everyone will experience challenges – it doesn’t matter who you are or what stage of life you are in, you will experience them. But that’s not a bad thing, as the struggles help us to get better and stronger and grow as a person. In the meantime, having a growth mindset enables us to deal with those challenges when they come.

So work on improving your mindset, for that is possibly the single most important thing you can do to completely change the course of your life.

Think about it like this – when you are going on a long road trip, there will be speed bumps and obstacles. It’s inevitable and unavoidable. Now, if you stop and give up at the first obstacle, you will never reach your destination. That’s unfortunately what happens when you have the wrong mindset. In contrast, having a growth mindset will help you to keep going, that is what will help you overcome those obstacles, and is ultimately what will help reach your goals, and have the life you want, not to mention make your mark and do all the amazing things you want to and are destined to do.

So examine your mindset. Where does it need work?

Share your thoughts on what growth mindset is, and isn’t, in the comments section below. 

This article has been republished with the author’s permission. You can see the original version here. An audio version is also available.

One tiny request

Now before you go, one tiny request – if you found this guide useful, please share it with others. That is the best way for us to reach others, and help. So, share. Pay it forward!

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