A growth mindset means believing your abilities, intelligence, and performance can be developed and improved through hard work, persistence, and dedication. The benefits of a growth mindset include highlighting the importance of learning and bettering ourselves, and much more.

What is a Growth Mindset?

Learn about the growth mindset, read its definition, see why it’s essential, how to help children build it and how you can incorporate motivational quotes and activities into your lessons.

Growth mindset definition

A mindset is a self-perception that people hold about themselves. For example, having a growth mindset means that you believe basic abilities can be developed through hard work, dedication, and persistence, which can improve intelligence and performance.

Children must learn how to develop a growth mindset. You can help support them to do this by making learning more effective and efficient and unlocking their self-belief to lead to higher achievement ultimately.

The opposite of a growth mindset is called a fixed mindset. It means that people believe their essential qualities like talent and intelligence are fixed traits, and hard work won’t change this.

Why is Having a Growth Mindset Essential?

Whatever mindset you have can significantly impact your lifelong achievements and self-perception.

Someone with a growth mindset will bounce back after setbacks, be resilient, and love learning. On the other hand, someone with a fixed mindset may give up when problems arise or not try because they don’t believe they have the ability.

Developing a growth mindset is essential to almost everyone, especially children because it will help them become more persistent in their work and hobbies. In addition, when children have a growth mindset rather than giving up, they are more likely to try something new.

Children with a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset may struggle more to reach their full potential because they struggle to adapt when life gets tough. For example, these children are likelier to make comments like “I’ll never be able to spell” after a bad test result.

In the language we use around children, it’s better to give children constructive feedback rather than “you’re very good at this” or “you can’t do that very well.”

The Benefits of a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset has many benefits for people of all ages, particularly for students. In school, kids will constantly be presented with new challenges and opportunities to expand their skill set, and they must have the right mindset to navigate this.

Here are some of the top benefits of a growth mindset:

  • It reduces stress

School can be a super stressful time for kids throughout primary and secondary. They are constantly being presented with new challenges that they have to face head-on. Later in their education, kids will also meet many tests and exams, which can be a significant stressor. Teaching kids a growth mindset can help equip them with the skills they need to handle stressful situations.

Students who take on a growth mindset can take on challenges like exams and major deadlines calmly and collectedly; this is because they can view failures not as the end of the world but as a temporary obstacle that they can work around and, ultimately, an opportunity to learn and grow. As a result, it takes much of the pressure of exams and situations that would otherwise feel like life or death.

Overall, reduced stress is one of the main benefits of a growth mindset because it simultaneously improves children’s mental health and increases their chances of academic success.

  • It helps kids cope with change

Change is one of life’s inevitable, particularly prevalent in school. Students will face an ever-changing environment, curriculum, peer group, and more. Unfortunately, this change can be distressing for kids if they don’t have the tools to cope.

Having a growth mindset teaches kids that change is not an inherently negative thing but, instead, should be something to welcome. Once kids have this mindset, they will begin to view change as an opportunity to grow and advance instead of something that should be feared. Moreover, adaptability comes with having a growth mindset that allows kids to cope better with change.

  • It improves children’s self-esteem

Having good self-esteem is essential at every stage of life. However, a considerable benefit of having a growth mindset is that it can massively improve your self-esteem. Why is this?

If you have a growth mindset, your view of yourself will likely be pretty realistic regarding your abilities and talents because you constantly look for ways to improve on your weaker areas and build on your stronger ones. This is because you are continually being forced to confront your weaknesses, not in a defeatist way, but in a way that encourages you to view weakness as a stepping stone to strength. This, in turn, helps you develop good self-esteem as it gives you the confidence to know that you can achieve big things if you put your mind to it.

  • It helps kids to learn new skills

A growth mindset is about learning new skills and expanding your mind; this is something that kids will go through every day in school as they are presented with new topics and workloads.

One of the benefits of a growth mindset for kids is that it will teach them to see the value in learning new skills, meaning that they will, in turn, face all of their academic challenges head-ons. It also means that kids are much less likely to get discouraged when they don’t know something or can’t master a new skill immediately. Instead, they will continue working and striving forward to achieve their goals.

  • It teaches kids to seek out and welcome feedback

Last but not least, on this list of benefits of a growth mindset is that it teaches kids how to handle feedback. One of the vital steps in growing is seeking out the areas that require work. To do this, you have to get feedback.

A growth mindset will teach kids the importance of getting feedback on their performance in school. It will also set them on a path of constantly improving themselves, benefiting them in all areas of their lives. Another benefit of this mindset is that it makes kids more open-minded. Receiving feedback from someone else, be it a teacher or another pupil, requires kids to look for value in someone else’s perspective and opinion. So again, it is a skill that will follow them into the real world.

Growth Mindset Quotes

Using positive language is vital to instilling a growth mindset. As we mentioned above, self-talk is so essential. It’s an effective way to re-frame thinking and enable children to believe they can achieve anything they want. Here are some positive growth mindset quotes that you might want to use with your children at home or in school:

  • “We learn from our mistakes.”
  • “When the work gets hard, you start learning.”
  • “It’s okay not to know, but it’s not okay to not try.”
  • “There is a difference between not knowing and not knowing yet.”
  • “You are so hard-working!”
  • “Strive for progress, not perfection.”
  • “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
  • “I love how you didn’t give up, even when the work was difficult.”

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

A growth mindset means thinking that skills and abilities can be improved and changed throughout a lifetime with dedication and hard work. However, a fixed mindset is all about the opposite. When we talk about having a fixed mindset, someone believes that their abilities and essential qualities are fixed and cannot be improved.

In simple terms, the difference between a growth and fixed mindset means that someone thinks they can get better at something, while others are determined to believe that they cannot.

It’s essential to encourage children in school to develop a growth mindset and be open and hard-working even when things don’t work out on the first or second attempt. They need to learn that practice makes perfect and that there’s no failure in trying.

Having more of a fixed mindset can result in giving up too early or not even trying things. It can also raise negativity and a passive attitude when tackling more complicated or trickier tasks and challenges. As a result, children with a fixed mindset start with a sort of disadvantage compared to those with a growth mindset; this is because the former will always focus on how hard something is and why it won’t succeed, whereas the latter will focus on the possibility of achieving something.

Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset examples & resources for children

If you’re planning to reinforce the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset in your class, let us help you out. First, check out our example sentences highlighting the difference between growth and fixed mindsets. Then go on exploring teacher-made materials to support children in understanding how the two differ from each other.

You may encounter common phrases that someone with a fixed mindset may say versus what they could say to develop a growth mindset.

  • ‘I’m not good at this.’ vs. ‘I can’t do this yet.’
  • ‘I give up.’ vs. ‘I’ll use some of the strategies I’ve learned.’
  • ‘I made a mistake.’ vs. ‘This was my first attempt at learning.’
  • ‘I can’t do this.’ vs. ‘This is going to take time and effort to master.’
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