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What is grit and growth mindset

If you’ve heard the term “growth mindset” before, you’ve likely wondered how grit and growth mindset relate to one another.

If not, then you’re probably just wondering: what is grit and growth mindset?

Well, if that’s the case, I’m very happy to have you here!

In this article you’ll learn everything about grit and growth mindset and how one can help you for the other.

Here’s a quick summary of the topic: people with a growth mindset know that they can achieve anything in life if they work hard enough for it. This means that they know that intelligence and skills aren’t just given or not. They know that they can improve any skill with enough perseverance, or in other words – grit.

What is grit and growth mindset?

Let’s first take a closer look at grit and growth mindset to really understand what we’re talking about.

What is grit?

According to Wikipedia, “grit is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state (a powerful motivation to achieve an objective).”

People who have grit are very good at working towards their goals. They usually seem very disciplined and seem to know exactly what they want.

At its core, grit means to be passionate about something and keep working on it, regardless of any obstacles you meet on the way.

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What does it mean to have grit?

Okay, so what does it mean to have grit?

Picture someone who seems to achieve everything they want. Whenever they have a goal, they miraculously seem to achieve it. It looks like everything comes easy for them. They don’t even have to try but still succeed.

Found a person?

Okay. Why do you think life works so well for this person?

Yep, you guessed it, the answer is grit!

Highly successful people simply don’t give up!

From the outside it looks like everything comes easy for them. But in reality, they simply refuse to let failure get the better of them.

What is a growth mindset?

Now let’s take a closer look at what growth mindset means.

The terms “growth mindset” and “fixed mindset” have been created by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck. She conducted an experiment where children were praised in a different way after completing a relatively simple math puzzle. One group got told: good job, you’re really good at this. The other part of the group got told: good job, you tried really hard.

This is how it went:

Fixed and growth mindset isn’t something that’s limited to children, though. People who used to have a fixed mindset as a child can still make a shift later on in life.

What it essentially means is that people with a growth mindset believe that they can learn or improve every skill. This is why they love to learn new things and believe that there’s always more knowledge to take in.

They see failure and mistakes as a positive thing because it gives them a chance to improve. Plus, they aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone and experience something they have no previous knowledge about.

All of these traits make people with a growth mindset much more likely to be successful.

You don’t need to be gifted to become an outstanding athlete!

No, all you need is a lot of persistence, a lot of training and a goal in mind!

If you want to learn more about these 2 kinds of mindsets, check out these articles:

What are the 5 characteristics of grit?

Before we’ll talk about how grit and growth mindset relate, I want to talk a little more about grit.

This is such an important personal trait that I don’t want you to a miss any part of it! Being a gritty person will give you a huge head-start to become successful no matter what your goals are.

So, here are the 5 characteristics of grit. To learn more about those characteristics, click here.

1. Endurance and long-term goals

The first characteristic of grit is to have endurance, combined with long-term goals.

In order to achieve goals, you obviously have to set them first. But since success can’t be achieved over night, it’s important to set long-term goals to widen your horizon.

Now, to actually get where you’re aiming at, you need a good chunk of endurance.

Achieving big, long-term goals can be a very long process. It can take years to get there. So, only people with endurance will make it, which is one part of being gritty.

To learn more about goal setting, make sure to check out these 7 tips on how to set goals.

Having long-term goals, like building your dream house, is one part of grit
Having long-term goals, like building your dream house, is one part of grit

2. Resilience

The next characteristic of a gritty person is resilience.

It goes in the same direction as endurance: in order to be successful, you need to stay at it!

So, you can’t just give up when encountering the first obstacle.

Oh no!

Obstacles, mistakes and failure will become your friends because you like to be challenged!

Resilience also means having a positive mindset. It means that you simply focus on the good things and try to see what can be done and changed instead of being frustrated about things that don’t work in you favor.

3. Courage

Stepping out of your comfort zone, failing and trying new things takes a lot of courage!

This is why this is the third characteristic of grit.

It doesn’t only take endurance and resilience to stay on track, it also takes guts!

Gritty people are generally more risk-friendly and prefer to try something that potentially has a high reward, instead of letting it pass.

4. Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness basically means to be diligent and efficient.

Conscientious people usually like structure, are well-organized and have a lot of self-discipline. When they do something, they want to do it right!

5. Striving for excellence

Now, don’t mistake conscientiousness with perfection!

Perfection doesn’t get you anywhere! That literally means that you’re standing in your own way and blocking yourself.

Instead, people with grit strive for excellence.

They generally love competition and want to be the best.

To get there, they focus on what’s really important. In fact, they’ll most likely simply get the 20% done to achieve 80%. Because everything else is mostly just a huge waste of time. But they do it constantly.

People with grit strive for excellence
People with grit strive for excellence

How does grit and growth mindset relate to one another

Alright, now that we’ve discussed grit and growth mindset in detail, let’s look at how the 2 traits actually relate to one another.

A growth mindset means to have grit

As you might have understood by now, people who have grit usually also have a growth mindset and vice versa.

In fact, having a growth mindset can be translated as having grit. Because people with a growth mindset have exactly those 5 characteristics in place: they set long-term goals and work towards them with endurance. They’re resilient and don’t let failure put them off. They’re courageous and never fear to try something new. They’re conscientious and they strive for excellence.

People with a growth mindset or with grit simply refuse to give up!

So, as you can see, one can be translated into the other.

A growth mindset represents the bigger picture

The only slight difference is that a growth mindset basically represents the bigger picture.

Because other than having those 5 characteristics, it also means that you understand that intelligence can be improved.

So, it’s not just working hard to get to your goal. But working hard can also result in improved understanding of complex thinking structure and ideas.

A person with a growth mindset is always looking toward the positive and for opportunities. It’s a way of living, where grit is just one personal trait.

Grit and resilience are the key to success

The main part of a growth mindset is striving for success. And that’s only possible with a good dose of grit and resilience.

In order to become successful, you’ll need to keep working. Every.single.day.

You won’t give up and you’ll keep learning.

These are the 2 key factors to achieve almost anything you want!

Grit, resilience and a growth mindset are the key to success
Grit, resilience and a growth mindset are the key to success

How to develop grit and a growth mindset

Now you probably think: cool, grit and growth mindset sound awesome. But how do I actually develop either of them?

That’s what we’re looking at now.

Shift your way of thinking

As you can imagine, you need to start by shifting your way of thinking. Having a growth mindset won’t happen over-night. Especially not if you were convinced that abilities are just given for some but not for others.

Starting from today, you need to get that thought out of your head!

I know, it isn’t easy, I still fall back from time to time as well.

But whenever you think you’re not good at something, rather think “I’m not good at it, yet. But I can become better by practicing”.

You’ll soon realize that this is actually true. This will give you more confidence to proceed with implementing this mindset.

As mentioned before, I highly recommend reading these 2 articles to procees:

See failure and mistakes as a chance to learn

Next is a very important point: you’ll need to start seeing failure and mistakes as a chance to learn.

Because that’s what they really are.

Have you ever made a really stupid mistake and thought to yourself “how could I?”

Well, you likely never did anything near as stupid after that anymore, right?

That’s because mistakes give your brain such a strong signal that it’s actually hard to not learn from it.

You obviously need to be willing to learn to start with. Otherwise, you’ll easily just make the same mistake over and over again.

But if you’re eager to improve, mistakes are awesome. They’re really the fastest way to improve!

what is grit and growth mindset
Don’t despair over mistakes, they’re the fastest way to learn and grow

Develop the right habits

Another important step is to develop the right habits.

I’m in love with habits! They can make your life so much easier.

One of the greatest things about them is that habits can replace self-discipline and motivation.

This means that you won’t need to use a whole lot of willpower to get to work. You can simply set up habits and after a while, working towards a goal is just an automated process.

I’ve already written a number of posts on habits. So, if you’re not sure where to start, this is where you can go:

Step out of your comfort zone

Another very important aspect of developing grit and a growth mindset is the ability and the willingness to step out of your comfort zone.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, after all!

And that’s not just an empty saying.

Do you really feel like living your best life when you’re watching TV or Netflix the whole evening every night of the week?

I can’t imagine it!

What makes people feel good is when they achieve something. When they feel like they’ve gotten closer to their goal and accomplished something important.

These things don’t happen in your comfort zone. These things require you to take a leap into the unknown and keep grinding until you’ve achieved what you wanted!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Practice positive self-talk

Now you might think something like “I’m not made to achieve great things. Even if I tried I wouldn’t be able to accomplish big goals anyway.”

That’s called negative self-talk and it’s one of the most harmful things you can do to yourself!

Therefore, in order to get a growth mindset and become more gritty, it’s very important to practice positive self-talk.

Motivate yourself and keep telling yourself that you might not be good at something, yet. But you’re on track. And that’s what counts!

Get inspired

All of these things can be extremely hard to stick to.

This is why I highly recommend going to get some role models and people that inspire you. Whenever you feel down, look at what they achieved.

Make sure these are “normal” people that started from scratch, just like you.

So, when you’re feeling bad, look at what they achieved. You can do that too!

Following people who have achieved what I want to achieve is always extremely inspiring for me.

Attention: people with a fixed mindset will find successful people intimidating. If that’s what you’re feeling, then make sure to work on the other steps first. Only come back to this part when you can actually get inspired by successful people.

One of my role models is Vanessa Lau. She started from scratch and built a 6-figure business in a year!

Never give up!

And last but not least: never give up!

That’s exactly what gritty people are all about, they just keep at it.

And you can do that too!

If you follow all the other steps, this will come automatically. So, don’t worry too much about it.

But just keep it in the back of your mind.

All successful people have one thing in common: they didn’t give up! They worked through the lows because they knew, that they can achieve anything they want, with enough endurance, persistence and perseverance!

Let’s wrap this up

Alright, so here’s what we learned today.

Grit and growth mindset are actually closely related. People with a growth mindset are naturally more gritty. Because grit’s 5 characteristics – endurance & long-term goals, resilience, courage, conscientiousness and striving for excellence – are also personal traits every person with a growth mindset has.

In order to develop grit and a growth mindset, you’ll need to shift your way of thinking. It’s very important to look out for opportunities to learn, instead of telling yourself you can’t do something. To do that, you need to start seeing failure and mistakes as a chance to learn and grow.

Other than that, having the right habits and inspiration are other key components.

But most importantly, never give up!

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