Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset and Positive Thinking

What is your learning potential? Have you ever given a thought to how much you can accomplish? If you have, you’re not alone. Most people will… Trista - August 21, 2020

What is your learning potential? Have you ever given a thought to how much you can accomplish? If you have, you’re not alone. Most people will question the highest potential several times in their lives. It’s also common that you have no idea what you can accomplish over a few years. One reason for this is that most people have a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset.

A fixed mindset is the little voice in your head that tells you it’s best to stay at your job because you’re comfortable and can pay all your bills. Even though you dream about owning your business or going back to school to obtain a degree, the little voice tells you to stay where you are because this is who you are. It’s the voice that tells you, “other people achieve those dreams.” The trick is to change this mindset into a growth mindset, which tells you the sky’s the limit. But, how can you do this when you feel “stuck” in a fixed mindset? This article will guide you into developing your growth mindset.

Someone with a fixed mindset will say, “I’m eight good at it, or I’m not” while someone with a growth mindset says, “I can learn anything I want to.” Image via Shutterstock

What Is a Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset is like a little voice in your head that says, “I can accomplish anything I set my mind to, even when I’m struggling. All I need to do is find the best path to help me learn.” You want to challenge yourself and learn and grow from your mistakes. You know that your attitude and effort is everything when it comes to your performance.

Growth mindset. Image via Shutterstock

It’s important to realize that having a growth mindset doesn’t mean you won’t have the negative moments to question your abilities or feel disappointed when you fail. It means that you understand it happens, and you accept the role you played. You don’t let it hold you back. Instead, you look at what you can change to succeed and move on.

A growth mindset gives you a foundation to stretch a variety of perks throughout your life. Image via Shutterstock

Why Should You Develop a Growth Mindset?

One of the main reasons is because it will help improve all aspects of your life. You’ll believe in yourself, which leads you to perform better at work and school. It can shape you into becoming a better person and friend because you look at the world differently. You start to see the positive, even when most people see the negative. You become a better problem solver because you can think clearer.

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People who choose to build their growth mindset are excited to take on new challenges because they see them as learning opportunities. Even if they fail, they know they can grow through the problem. You’ll start to feel better because you’re taking care of your emotional, mental and physical health. Your energy level will increase.

Instead of worrying about your imperfections and trying to make them perfect, focus on acknowledging and embracing them. Shutterstock

Embrace and Acknowledge Imperfection

You’ve heard the phrase “no one is perfect” several times in your life. You’ve probably repeated this phrase to yourself when you’ve felt down because of bad performance at work or school. You might even need to remind yourself of this when someone lets you down.

No one is perfect. Image via Shutterstock

Everyone has flaws. Sometimes they’re painful to acknowledge, but it’s essential to do so because you can help yourself grow. Another reason is that your imperfections are what make you unique – it gives you individuality from the rest of the world. This truth is something that should always be embraced. When you hide from your weaknesses, you’ll never learn to overcome them.

Your constant effort helps illuminate your road to success. Image via Shutterstock

Create a New Belief

One of the biggest reasons you stay in a fixed mindset is telling yourself, “I can’t” before you say, “I can.” You need to make the conscious effort to transform your thoughts from one side to the other. It’s up to you to develop your growth mindset by believing that you can reach your goals.

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You can start building your new mindset by learning as much as you can about your skills and abilities. From there, you’ll begin to learn what you’re capable of, but the key is to continue learning. Don’t become comfortable with what you can do now. Keep building on your dreams and goals.

Smiling and looking people in the eye is a great way to gain and show people your confidence. Image via Shutterstock

Strengthen Your Self-Confidence

The confidence you have within yourself is the key to success. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re going to struggle to tell yourself, “I can do this.” You’ll also find yourself focusing more on your mistakes than how you can learn from them.

Self-Confidence. Image via Shutterstock

There are many strategies to help improve your confidence. First, you can focus on what you’re grateful for from the people around you to the skills you possess. Second, you need to set practical and realistic goals. Another way is to be proud of yourself, primarily when you accomplish tasks or a milestone.

When you’re putting in the effort, you need to praise your effort over your abilities, so be proud of the work you did today. Image via Shutterstock

Stay Focused on Your Effort

One of the best ways to help develop your growth mindset is to stay focused on your effort. This notion doesn’t mean you’ll work every waking moment, but you’ll always try to put 100% into your projects. If you’re having a bad day and you need a break, take it. Go for a walk or spend time doing something fun like watching a few YouTube videos or talking with a co-worker. If you’re at home, take time to watch an episode of your favorite TV show or movie.

Stay Focused. Image via Shutterstock

But, once your break is over, head back to your project. Limit your distractions by putting your phone on silent in a desk drawer or stepping away from anything that tends to take your attention away from your task.

Sometimes you look at a challenge and feel that there is no way you can succeed, but with courage and determination, you will soon learn that anything is possible. Shutterstock

Face Your Challenges With Courage

No matter who you are or what stage you are in life, you will have challenges. You might not feel that your neighbor has struggles, but they do – just like you. You are not alone. Sometimes you handle the roadblocks with ease because you know that you can succeed. Then, there are times where you look at what’s ahead, and you become frightened. Your anxiety might rise as you think of ways you could avoid it.

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Face your challenges bravely by considering them an opportunity to learn and grow. You can see them as a way to develop a new skill or learn something different about your ability. Push aside your fear and see the challenge and an adventure.

By improving your self-awareness, you can start to comprehend your strengths and weaknesses more. Image via Shutterstock

Improve Your Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is when you’re conscious of your choices, emotions, desires, and character. You look at why you take specific actions and what causes you to feel or think a particular way. It’s important because it helps you become more aware of yourself so you can focus on your strengths and develop your weaknesses.

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There are many ways that you can bring more self-awareness into your life. For example, you could meditate for a few minutes several times a week or every day. Writing down your goals, plans, and priorities is another way to help you understand what’s more important. Finally, you can talk to your friends and family about their thoughts or ask your co-workers about constructing feedback on your work.

The only person you truly need to impress in your life is yourself, so stop seeking others’ approval and focus on yourself. Image via Shutterstock

Don’t Seek Approval From Other People

There is a difference between asking and accepting constructive criticism from people to help you improve yourself and seeking approval. You want to understand that you don’t need other people to tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. Instead, you need to start trusting yourself. Look at the person you want to become and focus on taking steps to achieve your goals.

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When you focus on what other people say about you, it can prevent your growth mindset. You need to not only become self-aware but also work on your self-acceptance. Look at it this way; you are the only person who will consistently be there for you throughout your whole life. You are the only person that you need to impress.

No matter how high the hill seems, continue climbing as it’s your persistence that will help you get to the top. Image via Shutterstock

Be Persistent With Your Purpose

It’s hard to move on from failures, mainly if you worked hard on a project or something didn’t go in your favor. You might also feel that you disappointed someone whom you admire. While it’s normal to have these feelings when faced with failure, you don’t want to hang on to them. You need to let them go so you can continue to grow. If you hold on, you can fall into a loop where you continue to repeat specific actions repeatedly without going anywhere.

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To keep moving, you need to put one foot in front of the other and be persistent about getting back up and trying again. You need to keep moving forward with purpose. You might do this by releasing your negative thoughts in a journal or through meditation. You might also take a deep breath and tell yourself, “better luck next time.” Find your method of execution so you can see what you need to change and continue moving.

Fill the pages of your book with the knowledge of everything you can learn around you. Image via Shutterstock

Learn With Curiosity

You want to become a curious learner when you’re focusing on a growth mindset. In a sense, you need to act as a child does. Don’t just ask the question “why?” but live in wonderment of the world around you. This concept will help you discover the beauty in life. All you need to do is decide that you will continuously focus on growing and learning.

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Look at the people and the world around you and ask how it can help you grow. Become curious about how everything works and even why it’s there. Don’t feel that any question that pops into your mind is a waste of time or silly. Do what you can to try to find an answer.

Be happy with yourself and what you have to offer so you can start to show your authentic self to the world. Image via Shutterstock

Be You

You probably hear people talk about all the time that they’re going to focus on being themselves. It’s a way that people describe they’re making changes and trying to better their life, usually for their emotional and mental health. But, there is a difference between saying those words and taking the actions to be authentic.

Be yourself, Image via Shutterstock

You don’t need to become your authentic self right away. It will take time to learn about who you are and why you are here. The key to remember is that when you try to be someone you’re not, you’re disrespecting yourself. It diminishes the skills that you have to offer the world.

By placing high standards on yourself, you’ll continue to reach your goals and surpass them. Image via Shutterstock

Have High But Realistic Standards

Having high standards for yourself will help keep you motivated to get better. It gives you more weight to get the work done that you want to achieve. The key is to do it in a way that will keep you focused and not make you go down the path of feeling guilty for not keeping up with your own demands.

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You need to think about something that you’re passionate about and then focus on developing realistic goals. Establish milestones for these goals so you can work one step at a time. By setting higher standards for yourself, you will find that you strive to hit them, and once you reach them, you continue the system.

When you love what you do, you will want to continue to thrive in the field, which will lead you to a healthier growth mindset. Image via Shutterstock

Make Sure that You Love What You Do

You have probably had a job that you couldn’t stand. You might have enjoyed it at the beginning or found certain features that you liked, such as co-workers, but this doesn’t mean that you were happy with it. When you feel this way about your career, it can create a ripple effect into other parts of your life, making you feel like you’re not doing enough, something isn’t right, or simply unhappy. It makes you feel stuck, and to build your growth mindset, you need to feel like you can continue to move forward.

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One way to build your growth mindset is to get into a career that you love. Focus on one that you will want to go to every day because of all the ideas that you have or the belief that you belong.

Ask yourself, “What does being a genius mean to me?” Image via Shutterstock

Redefine the Word Genius

Genius is a word that everyone knows. It’s seen as a powerful way to tell someone that they’re smart. Most people want to be told they’re a genius in their line of work because it gives them validation that they’re on the right path. But, when you focus on someone needing to call you a genius, you’re letting them define the terms, your goals, strengths, and weaknesses. You’re letting go of control that you deserve to have over your own life and giving it to someone else. This notion can lead you down a path where you need to be praised for your work to know that you’re doing a good job.

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It’s time to focus on defining the term based on your strengths and weaknesses. Remember, even people who are well-known geniuses had flaws. To build your growth mindset, you need to know which direction to take yourself so your desires can become a reality.

It doesn’t matter who inspires you; the key is to use them to help you work toward your dreams. Image via Shutterstock

Become Inspired By Other People

Most people have someone who inspires them. You might see it that you adore their work or the person they are. For example, your grandmother inspires you because she worked when most women didn’t have the chance or your grandfather is your hero because he never judged another human being and always treated people with compassion. It’s time to find the people you look up to, but instead of telling yourself, “I want to be like them.” You need to look at how they can inspire you to reach your goals.

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Doing this will help you add fuel to your fire and keep you going. It will help you feel excited about what you are doing. The bottom line: it will keep you moving in the right direction so you can focus on your growth mindset.

While not all criticism is helpful, you want to focus on the information that is and

Find the Gift in Criticism

No matter what you do, there will always be people who criticize you. They might tell you directly what they think of you, or you hear it from someone else. You’ll always have a friend or family member read a Facebook status or your Twitter tweet and tell you what they think about your choices. While it’s not easy to hear the criticism, you need to learn to accept it and then find the gift within it.

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This idea doesn’t mean that every piece of criticism you receive will be useful to you, but it’s always worth reflecting. For example, if you’re working on a project and someone tells you how you can do it differently, look at it and decide if it’s worth pursuing. You never know when you’ll receive helpful tips that will put you a step further ahead.

Celebrating once you’ve finished a project or reached a goal is great, but you also need to focus more on the process as this is where you will learn more about yourself. Shutterstock.

Enjoy the Process and Not Just the Result

Most of the time, you just look at the result, whether it’s a work or personal project you’ve been working on. You often look at the finished product and smile because it makes you feel proud. While this is a significant step to take, and you want to keep doing this, you also need to focus on the process.

You want to think about every step you’ve made from the start of the project to the result. It’s crucial to focus on this more than the outcome because it helps you stay motivated. You won’t feel stuck in the middle and wonder how you will get out of the situation.

Your growth mindset can learn in several ways, and one of them is by noticing the mistakes other people make and developing a new plan that will work. Shutterstock.

Learn From the Mistakes of Others

One of the most significant ways to embrace your growth mindset is to learn from your mistakes. Instead of dwelling over them, you want to find out what you can do to change the outcome the next time you see yourself in a similar situation. You can also take this a step further and learn from the mistakes of other people, such as your family, co-workers, and friends.

This moment teaches you what not to do, but it will also help you become more comfortable with trying something new or changing your career to one that fits you. Another great way to improve your growth mindset develop is to continue trying new things.

Taking time for self-reflection can help you process your thoughts, emotions, and why they connect the way they do. Shutterstock.

Spend Time With Self-Reflection

You know that “me time” is critical when it comes to self-care, which is essential when it comes to a growth mindset. Ensuring that you take time for self-care helps keep your mind clear of clutter so you can focus on what you need to do. But, spending time with yourself isn’t just focusing on doing what you want to do without anyone near you. It’s taking time to focus on self-reflection.

You want to think about your day, thoughts, and actions. You want to look at why certain events happened and what role you played in them, especially if they’re bothering you in a certain way. You can reflect by just thinking or by writing in a journal. Doing this allows you to start learning in a new way.

The amount of work you put into your job will help your mindset develop, not how fast you completed it. Shutterstock.

Speed Is Not What Matters

Do you ever put pressure on yourself because you think you’re “too slow” with a task? Do you think, “If I was only a little faster, I could get more work completed and do a better job?” It’s easy to fall into this trap, especially when you can see other people’s speed. The speed on which you complete a project doesn’t matter, even when you’re faced with a deadline. What matters is what and how you learn and process the information.

Speed is usually a focus when people look at the result and not the process they took. The best way to improve your growth mindset is to give up on the idea of speed and stay fully engaged in the work you’re doing. Plus, this can help you when it comes to enjoying the process as you realize the amount of work you put into the task.


“17 Ways To Develop a Growth Mindset.” Leon Ho, Life Hack. January 2020.

“15 Ways to Build a Growth Mindset.” Tchiki Davis, Psychology Today. April 2019.

“Shift to a Growth Mindset With These 8 Powerful Strategies.” Angelina Zimmerman, Inc. October 2016.

“5 Ways to Become More Self-Aware.” Anthony Tjan, Harvard Business Review. February 2015.