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Key Takeaways:

  • A growth mindset sees intelligence and talents as something that can be improved.
  • There are certain characteristics that make up a growth mindset.
  • With practice, effort, and patience, we can develop a growth mindset.

There is plenty of talk about developing a growth mindset, but what do the characteristics of a growth mindset actually look like? There are some qualities that define both growth and fixed mindsets. Knowing the difference between the two can help you develop a state of mind that is flexible and resilient rather than stagnant or declining. Here, we’ll talk about the 5 characteristics of a growth mindset so that you know whether you’re on the right track.

What is a Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset is a frame of mind that believes that abilities, intelligence, talents, and other such attributes can be developed through learning and effort. A growth mindset also emphasizes that challenges and failures are part of the learning process, to which we can adapt and thrive as a result.

A growth mindset allows for learning, motivation, performance, and resilience. People with a growth mindset are more likely to exert more effort, embrace change and challenges, and use feedback as an opportunity to learn.

5 Characteristics of a Growth Mindset

So how can we know if we have a growth mindset? While the answer might seem obvious, it isn’t always clear-cut. There is no such thing as having a pure growth mindset because we adopt different mindsets depending on the circumstances we are in. For instance, you may take more risks when it comes to your work, but you might also value your daily routine and be more averse to change in that aspect of your life. Though the difference between the two mindsets may not be as definitive, there are some characteristics of a growth mindset that may suggest whether you lean towards this type of thinking or the other.

Here are 5 top growth mindset characteristics:

1. Accepts flaws and mistakes as opportunities for improvement

People who want to be successful must learn to embrace flaws and mistakes. Those who have a growth mindset see these setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve. They analyze what led to the mistake and look forward. People with fixed mindsets tend to view flaws and mistakes as obstacles that they cannot move past. Only people who have growth mindsets can accept their errors and continue learning.

2. Recognizes setbacks as part of the learning process

A fixed mindset is ashamed of failure and unmotivated to achieve set goals. The fear of starting all over again has relegated some people to downfall. Because you failed once or twice didn’t mean you cannot be successful. Someone with a growth mindset is not afraid to start the process all over again. He is not bothered by the stress. He knows rest hasn’t come until he achieves success.

3. Sees intelligence as something that can be developed

There is hardly such a thing as an overnight success, and the same is true for developing intelligence. We are all on a journey to reach our goals and dreams, and to achieve them, we must achieve mastery through effort. People that have a fixed mindset will not believe that you can become more intelligent over time with the right strategies and effort. Those with a growth mindset understand that the more practice and work people put in, the more likely they are to develop their intelligence.

4. Embraces challenges and even probable failure

Challenges are part of what we are made of. They support and test our growth. Individuals that have a growth mindset welcome challenges and see them as chances to prove their abilities. People who avoid difficulties may not reach the goals and successes they want. According to a well-known saying, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." The purpose of challenges is to measure our progress, not to scare us.

5. Open to feedback

Another one of the growth mindset traits that people may find useful in their development is being open to feedback. A person with a fixed mindset perceives the achievement of others as posing a danger to their own success. However, feedback on our efforts should be recognized as constructive criticism. A growth-oriented person is more receptive to such valuable feedback. Positive feedback helps us focus on our shortcomings and how we can further improve. An individual with a fixed mindset will likely not listen and simply accept things as they are. No matter how perfect you think your work may be, it is always important to consider other people's perspectives.

The Bottom Line

Knowing these growth mindset qualities can help us grow from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset is a continuous process that can be developed. The goal is to identify where and when we adopt a fixed mindset and how we can improve ourselves, where applicable. By using tools such as growth mindset posters and asking the right questions, we can definitely become more flexible, resilient, and motivated to deal with difficulties that life throws at us.