In Emotional Intelligence

8 Growth Mindsets

8 growth mindsets

Are you taking a real, hard look at your thoughts at least once per day? You should. What you think about, comes about. In short, your growth mindset or just mindset creates your reality. Let’s break it down.

What makes up reality?

The ones that really matter are your actions that lead to results. Example: You worked hard to get that promotion, and you’re enjoying the manager seat. Working hard is your action, and being a manager is your result.

What affects your actions?

Your thoughts and emotions. You think, “I need to work hard and prove to the Directors that I’m capable,” and you feel compelled to take extra responsibilities.

And your mindset makes up your thoughts.

It’s no surprise that mindset creates your reality. And a great mindset creates great lives.

You’re about to discover 8 mindsets that have contributed to all successes in human civilization. Read on with this question in mind, “What are the mindsets that will help me best?” Trust your gut feeling here.

Growth Mindset

growth mindset and growth thinkers are life long learners

It is an attitude that success is based on hard work and learning, not talents. Your intelligence is not fixed, it can grow over time.

Why is it important: Growth thinkers are life-long learners. They frame setbacks as opportunities to grow.

Growth thinkers have perseverance and passion for long terms, aka grit. Angela Duckworth said in her TED talk, “Grit is sticking with your future. Not just for the weeks, not just for the months. But for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like a marathon, not a sprint.

They are the people who grow stronger over challenges upon challenges. They are the last to quit.

How do growth thinkers behave?

  • Learn from challenges and grow from it.
  • Know their “why” clearly.
  • Emphasize on progress over perfection.
  • Focus on effort, not results.
  • Use the word “yet” a lot.

Realistic Optimism

realistic optimism growth mindset

The mindset that you will succeed and you need to make it happen – through things like effort, careful planning, managing risks, grit, and all the tough work. People who believe they deserve success, and equally confident that success doesn’t come easily, put in more effort, plan how to deal with issues before they arise and persist longer in the face of obstacles. [1]

Why is it important? Realistic optimism forces you to take action and persevere amid turbulence. You won’t easily get beaten by storms and tsunami because you’re optimistic about the situation and realistic enough to plan and execute strategies.

Realistic optimists don’t visualize success. They imagine the success and the steps needed to achieve success. This means they are more prepared to fight against incoming issues and resolve in the shortest time.

How do realistic optimists behave?

  • They embrace, “This too shall pass,” and take actions to overcome challenges.
  • They tend to choose accuracy over self-enhancement.
  • Every time they face an issue or a challenge or a problem, they won’t say “I have no choice, and this is the only thing I can do.” They will be creative, they will have a plan A, plan B and plan C. [2]

There Is Enough For Everyone

there is enough for everyone growth mindset

Stephen Covey, the author of “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People,” wrote

Abundance mentality is a concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and success to share with others.

This mentality means everyone has plenty and plenty more that goes around; we can all achieve more together. We can all win. No one had to lose.

Why is it important? It annihilates jealousy and envy. You’re truly happy for someone’s victory. Anxiety and fear fade away because you believe there are enough recognitions, wins, credits to spare for everybody.

An abundant mindset opens up possibilities. Naveen Jain, a billionaire and author of “Moonshots” says,

“To solve a big problem, you must work together with as many people as possible.” A business on its own cannot solve world hunger, but companies, non-profit organizations, and governments can do it if they collaborate.

How do leaders with an abundance mindset behave?

  • They focus on possibilities. Even if no one has done it before, they don’t care. They aren’t tied down by existing limitations.
  • They are visionary and focus on what they want to do – regardless of whether it’s currently possible.
  • Says, “What I need is _______” instead of “I need this, but I can’t afford it.”
  • They focus on what is working and what is possible without being constrained by limiting beliefs.
  • If something isn’t working, they’ll find a different way. Abundance-thinking leaders believe there is always a way that works, and they’ll keep experimenting to find it.

Patience Is Virtue

patience is a virtue growth mindset

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” – David G. Allen

Patience is not tolerance. Patience is acceptance from the heart, whereas tolerance is acceptance from the behaviors. In short, you can appear as tolerating with someone, but inside, you’re enduring that person’s behavior.

Why is it important? Job satisfaction, meaningful relationships, peace of mind, building self-esteem, etc. takes time and has their own ways to manifest. You’ll live with less anxiety and frustration because you believe you’re living in your own time zone and space. Which means, you give yourself time and are open to different ways that life unfolds.

You won’t be troubled by the traffic, arguments, political dramas, silly people or life itself. You’ll be able to maintain calmness amid disappointments. [3]

How do patient people behave and think?

They see their goal as the summit, and they’re at the base camp. Their outlook on life is that there are a thousand trails to the summit, and each of them is different. Regardless of any trails they take, they’ll keep climbing.

Act In Spite of Fear

act in spite of fear growth mindset

The ability to act in spite of fears is to jump anyway knowing that you may fall. And you believe you’ll be able to get back up every time you fall. To you, forward is the only way.

Why is it important? Nothing will work if you don’t believe you can make it happen. [4] If you tell yourself “I can” you’ll figure it out somehow. Even if it seems scary, you’ll do it anyway. Courageous people are unstoppable.

Courage, to do the right thing, all the time, is the foundation of all virtues.” – Maya Angelou [5]

How do courageous people act?

  • They speak up even though it might be uncomfortable.
  • They challenge the status quo.
  • They have difficult conversations with their co-workers, managers, spouse, and kids.
  • They are willing to face their own fears.
  • They say “No,” when it’s against their values and principles.

Innovative & Creative Mindset

innovative creative growth mindsets

Creativity: Introduce a new concept

Innovation: Make it work. 

A curious mind sparks innovation and creativity – through questioning the status quo, and experimenting theories.

Why is it important? A 2010 survey of 1500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value found that the attribute they most valued on their leadership team was creativity. [6] And creativity isn’t enough any longer.

Theodore Levitt puts it best, “What is often lacking is not creativity in the idea-creating sense but innovation in the action-producing sense, i.e. putting ideas to work.” [7]

Creativity admits you into the race. Innovation finishes the race.

Whether you’re an artist, musician, writer, clerk, teacher, or truck driver, you can make a long-lasting footprint by suggesting new ideas and make it happen. Sometimes, you don’t even need a new idea, but a better process could halve the total cost. That’s a world of difference.

How do innovative and creative people behave?

  • Never say “That’s the way we’ve always done things.”
  • Spend time on side projects outside of their daily routines.
  • Willing to work with people from different backgrounds, religion, creed, gender, race, age.
  • Develop and pitch ideas that they think will move the company forward.
  • Question the norm

Flow Is The New Productivity

flow is the new productivity growth mindset

“You are in an ecstatic state to such a point that you feel as though you almost don’t exist. I have experienced this time and again. My hand seems devoid of myself, and I have nothing to do with what is happening. I just sit there watching it in a state of awe and wonderment. And [the music] just flows out of itself.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Ted Talk

This way of thinking believes productivity is not being busy but to be in the flow.

Flow is moments of total absorption when we’re 100% focused on the task at hand, and everything else falls away. Action and awareness become one. Time flies. Performance goes through the roof. When you’re in flow, you’re at your optimal best.

Why is it important? Imagine a task that takes 5 hours to complete. In the state of flow, you can complete it in half the time, or even less, and deliver higher quality. Less time on tasks means more time for your side job, family, friends, and hobbies. Your bosses will be amazed by your efficiency. Your co-workers will flock to you and ask, “How did you do it?” You become a master of productivity, who are both happy at work and at home.

When are you in the flow?

  • You feel you’re automatically doing the task. You’re merely an observer of your own hands and work.
  • You feel the time flies. When 2 hours feels like 10 minutes.
  • Your inner critic is silenced. You don’t stop and ask, “Is this correct?”
  • You do it for love, not for money. The task itself is the reward.
  • The task becomes easy. You know exactly what you need to do.

I Am The Author And The Protagonist

i am the author and protagonist mindset

You are the protagonist of your life story and also the author who writes how your story unfolds, what kind of role you’ll be playing, and the scripts. In short, you believe you are responsible for creating your life.

Why is it important? It allows you to take back control of your life. Without it, social media, news, emails, grumpy bosses, society expectations will grab your pen and start writing your story.

You’ll live life without regrets. Do the things that truly make you happy in the long-term such as spending quality time with your family, exercise, travel, walk in nature, meditate, and more. You get to play full out like you, just as you’ve written.

How does life looks like when you’re the only author?

  • You get to do things that radiate long-term happiness.
  • You prioritize things that truly matter to you and ignore what’s not.
  • You get 7+ hours of quality sleep every day.
  • You choose green veggies over fast food.
  • You spend quality time with your loved ones.

Which mindset do you need the most now?


  1. Heidi Grant, May 2, 2011, “Be an Optimist Without Being a Fool,” https://hbr.org/2011/05/be-an-optimist-without-being-a
  2. Sarah Griffiths, Aug 27, 2013, “The glass really IS half full: Realistic optimists are happier and more successful than other personality types,” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2402601/The-glass-really-IS-half-Realistic-optimists-happier-successful-personality-types.html
  3. Leo Carver, “The Importance of Patience in Every Area of Life,” https://chopra.com/articles/the-importance-of-patience-in-every-area-of-life
  4. James Clear, “Believe in Yourself (And Why Nothing Will Work If You Don’t…),” https://jamesclear.com/nothing-will-work-if-you-dont-believe-in-it
  5. Alison Beard, “Maya Angelou on Courage and Creativity,” https://hbr.org/2013/05/maya-angelou-on-courage-and-cr
  6. Roberta B. Ness, MD, MPH, March 2015, “Promoting Innovative Thinking,” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4340012/
  7. Andrew (Drew) C. Marshall, April 10, 2013, “There’s A Critical Difference Between Creativity And Innovation,” https://www.businessinsider.com/difference-between-creativity-and-innovation-2013-4?IR=T

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