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What Is a Growth Mindset?
The one thing all books on learning agree on is the value of adopting a growth mindset.
What is a growth mindset? A growth mindset rejects the claim that abilities are innate and largely fixed. Instead, as Carol Dweck explains in her eponymous book, a growth mindset is the belief that all abilities are trainable. That nothing is fixed. That we can change everything from intelligence to creativity to athleticism (and even our characters) through persistent and adaptive effort.
Why is such a simple idea so important? Because, as Matthew Syed reminds us, “the path to excellence could not be more difficult. It is steep, gruelling, and arduous. It is inordinately lengthy. And, most importantly of all, it forces voyagers to stumble and fall on every single stretch of the journey.” All of us may travel this path. But doing so demands more than just expecting failure. It demands we embrace it. Excellence demands nothing less than a growth mindset.
You’ll find many growth mindset quotes to remind you of this truth. The 21 below are among my favourite. I chose them because they remind me to get started, embrace failure, persevere and never stop taking action. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Good luck and remember, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth.
My 21 Top Growth Mindset Quotes
1. Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!”
40+ Growth Mindset Quotes for Kids & Adults (Einstein, Churchill etc…) Click To TweetAudrey Hepburn was an actress, model, dancer and humanitarian who forged her resilience as a child of the Second World War. This quote reminds us that “impossible” is just a label for things we just don’t know how to do yet.
2. It is hard to fail. But it is worse never to…
"It is hard to fail. But it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt Click To TweetTheodore Roosevelt overcame a sickly childhood to embrace a famously active lifestyle and the 26th presidency of the United States. This growth mindset quote is one of many (including one of my favourite passages of all time) that captures his proactive approach to adversity.
3. I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t…
"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan Click To TweetMichael Jordan is the NBA’s “greatest basketball player of all time”. A master of learning from every mistake, his growth-oriented attitude to failure was immortalised in the legendary “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career” Nike commercial.
4. If you don’t give anything don’t expect anything. Success is not…
"If you don't give anything don't expect anything. Success is not coming to you. You must come to it." - Marva Collins Click To TweetMarva Collins was an educator who dedicated her life to fighting inequality, the talent myth and the inadequacies of public schooling. This quote is a reminder that the only person responsible for your life is you. If you want it, go and get it.
5. Work hard now. Don’t wait. If you work hard enough you’ll…
"Work hard now. Don't wait. If you work hard enough you'll be given what you deserve." - Shaquille O'Neal Click To TweetShaquille O’Neal is an NBA great – famous as much for his relentless growth mindset on the court as off of it. This quote reminds us to buckle down, trust the process and remember – the best time to start isn’t later, it’s now.
6. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the…
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbour. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain Click To TweetMark Twain was a writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer once hailed as “the father of American literature”. This growth mindset quote reminds us that, in the face of death, the only real failure in life is regret.
7. Don’t be too squeamish or timid about your actions. All life…
"Don't be too squeamish or timid about your actions. All life is an experiment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Click To TweetRalph Waldo Emerson was an essayist, lecturer, philosopher, poet and champion of individualism. The quote is a great reminder to approach life with the playfulness and detachment of a (mad) scientist. Because…
8. There’s no such thing as failure. Only results.
"There's no such thing as failure. Only results." - Tony Robbins Click To TweetTony Robbins is an author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and life coach famous for his “can-do” attitude and philosophies. This growth mindset quote reminds us that the value in every failure is the lesson that brings us one step nearer success.
9. I like criticism. It makes you strong.
"I like criticism. It makes you strong." - LeBron James Click To TweetLeBron James is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. This growth mindset quote reminds us that criticism isn’t a weapon, it’s a gift. When given to wound, it trains resilience. When given to help, there’s nothing more valuable to growth.
10. Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time….
"Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. But it is the ability to resist or use failure that often leads to greater success." - JK Rowling Click To TweetJK Rowling is best known for Harry Potter – the series famously rejected by 12 publishers before becoming an international sensation. This quote on mindset reminds us not only that failure is a pivotal ingredient in success, but that learning to embrace it is a skill – one all of us can master.
11. It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay…
"It's not that I'm so smart. It's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein Click To TweetAlbert Einstein overturned centuries of conventional wisdom to co-found modern theoretical physics. This growth mindset quote, among many, exemplifies the mindset that transformed him into one of the greatest thinkers of modern history.
12. Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying,…
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." - Pelé Click To TweetPelé is a retired soccer player regarded by many as “the greatest footballer of all time”. This quote on mindset reminds us that excellence in any endeavour means having the passion and patience to collect thousands of compounding marginal gains.
13. An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes…
"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr Click To TweetNiels Bohr was a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist who transformed our understanding of atomic theory and quantum physics. His secret? Realising that excellence isn’t about learning all the right ways to do something. It’s about learning to avoid all the wrong ones.
14. Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Dr. Samuel Johnson Click To TweetDr. Samuel Johnson was a scholar whose Dictionary of the English Language was an astounding work with far-reaching far reaching effects on Modern English. This growth mindset quote reminds us that humanity’s greatest achievements weren’t built in minutes or days, but in years, decades and centuries.
15. Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished…
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all." - Dale Carnegie Click To TweetDale Carnegie was a writer and self-improvement guru whose How To Win Friends And Influence People is among the best selling books of all time. This quote reminds us that the path to success isn’t linear and that whatever you’re looking for might be just around the next corner.
16. Success is the ability to go from one failure to another…
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill Click To TweetWinston Churchill was a politician and writer whose courage, leadership and persistence was pivotal to Allied victory in the Second World War. This quote reminds us that a growth mindset isn’t just about What we do about failure, but also How we go about doing it.
17. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way…
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time." - Thomas Edison Click To TweetThomas Edison was a businessman and quite possibly America’s greatest inventor. His secret? Dogged persistence. “I haven’t failed.” he once observed in his pursuit of the lightbulb, “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
18. Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on…
"Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning." - Carol Dweck Click To TweetCarol Dweck is a psychology professor who has done more than anyone to popularise the importance of mindset. This quote perfectly captures the traits of a growth mindset and the attitude needed to chase excellence in any field.
19. Look for the good in every situation. Seek the valuable lesson…
"Look for the good in every situation. Seek the valuable lesson in every setback. Look for the solution to every problem. Think and talk continually about your goals." - Brian Tracy Click To TweetBrian Tracy is one of today’s most powerful motivational speakers and self-development authors. (Still curious? Check out this summary of his excellent book, Eat That Frog!) This quote perfectly captures Brian’s growth-oriented philosophy and the qualities of an ever-improving optimist.
20. Either find a way or make one!
"Either find a way or make one!" - Hannibal Click To TweetHannibal was a Carthaginian general who is considered as one of the greatest military strategists in history. Though his conquests threatened the very foundations of modern Europe, his brilliance and persistence are unquestionable.
21. Every endeavour pursued with passion produces a successful outcome regardless of…
"Every endeavour pursued with passion produces a successful outcome regardless of the result." - Nick Bollettieri Click To TweetNick Bollettieri is the legendary coach of many of modern tennis’s greatest players. His secret? Let go of outcomes, enjoy the process, see your mistakes as valuable miss-takes and take action where others would flounder – a textbook example of growth mindset to finish.
BONUS: Even MORE Growth Mindset Quotes
Feeling inspired yet? If the growth mindset quotes above weren’t enough, here are some more quotes on perseverance, resilience, and persistence that will train your mindset to keep growing.
22. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Winston Churchill Click To TweetAll these quotes about the growth mindset are really about changing one small but major thing: your attitude. British War-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill was right to note that your attitude has a huge impact on how you face life. Having the right one makes it easier to grow and adapt.
23. The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as…
"The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better." - Enid Blyton Click To TweetEnglish Children’s Book Author Enid Blyton‘s advice on how to face obstacles is clear. The best persistence quotes remind you to use obstacles to your advantage, not as excuses that hinder your growth.
24. Always do what you are afraid of doing.
"Always do what you are afraid of doing." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Click To TweetRalph Waldo Emerson was an essayist, lecturer, philosopher, poet and champion of individualism. This quote is about pushing boundaries. Real growth means overcoming things that we once feared.
25. A truly strong person does not need the approval of others…
"A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep." - Vernon Howard Click To TweetVernon Howard was an American spiritual teacher, author, and philosopher. This quote explains that there is strength in realizing that other people’s opinions of you are irrelevant.
26. Believe you can and you are halfway there.
"Believe you can and you are halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt Click To TweetTheodore Roosevelt overcame a sickly childhood to embrace a famously active lifestyle and the 26th presidency of the United States. This quote emphasizes the power of believing in yourself. Adopt a positive mindset and set out to accomplish your goals.
27. Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes…
"Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." - Joshua J. Marine Click To TweetJoshua J. Marine was an American soldier who sacrificed his life fighting in Afghanistan. Without doubt one of the best growth mindset quotes of all time, this quote reminds us that challenges make life interesting and meaningful.
28. We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes…
"We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don't like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary." - Carol Dweck Click To TweetCarol Dweck is a psychology professor who has done more than anyone to popularise the importance of mindset. This quote talks about our tendency to put our idols on pedestals and forget that we’re all are capable of great things.
29. Dreams don’t work unless you do.
"Dreams don't work unless you do." - John C. Maxwell Click To TweetJohn C. Maxwell is a pastor, author, and inspirational speaker with a passion for leadership. This quote reminds us that dreams remain in our heads until we do something about them. A growth mindset is active. It’s not something you just think about.
30. All things are difficult before they are easy.
"All things are difficult before they are easy." - Thomas Fuller Click To TweetThomas Fuller was a prolific author, churchman, and historian. This quote exemplifies the value of “practice makes perfect”. Keep at it even if it is difficult. With enough experience, what once felt impossible will come naturally.
"Important achievements require a clear focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies. Plus allies in learning." - Carol Dweck Click To TweetCarol Dweck is a psychology professor who has done more than anyone to popularise the importance of mindset. This quote points out that to achieve more you need to get more: more focus, more effort, more planning and more allies.
32. Just because you haven’t found your talent yet doesn’t mean you…
"Just because you haven't found your talent yet doesn't mean you don't have one." - Kermit the Frog Click To TweetKermit the Frog is a beloved Muppet and is known for quite a number of wise quotes. This one about talent explains that just because you haven’t found something you’re good at, it doesn’t mean you’re not good at something. Everyone is special, and you just have to find your own place in the sun.
33. It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.
"It's hard to beat a person that never gives up." - Babe Ruth Click To TweetBabe Ruth was an American professional baseball player whose record breaking career spanned over 22 seasons. This quote states that a person with perseverance is unbeatable. You’re only beaten when you stop trying.
34. If you find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn’t…
"If you find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn't lead anywhere." - Frank Clark Click To TweetFrank Clark was an American lawyer and politician whose career in public service spanned over 50 years. This growth mindset quote explains that taking the path of least resistance is not ideal. Challenges create opportunities for growth.
35. The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude…
"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem." - Captain Jack Sparrow Click To TweetCaptain Jack Sparrow is the beloved protagonist of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series. He is known for his quick wit and daring attitude. This quote highlights the fact that sometimes, the real issue is not the problem itself but how you approach it. The obstacle IS the way!
36. If you quit once it becomes a habit. Don’t quit.
"If you quit once it becomes a habit. Don't quit." - Michael Jordan Click To TweetMichael Jordan is the NBA’s “greatest basketball player of all time”. This quote exemplifies his work ethic. Quitting is not a habit you want to acquire.
37. Success is not an accident. Success is a choice.
"Success is not an accident. Success is a choice." - Stephen Curry Click To TweetStephen Curry is an NBA All-Star who many have called the greatest shooter in NBA history. This quote explains that you don’t succeed accidentally. You chose to do the work and take the steps necessary to succeed.
38. If people knew how hard I had to work to gain…
"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all." - Michelangelo Click To TweetMichelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet whose work helped define the Renaissance. This quote clarifies that mastery and hard work go hand in hand. You become immortalized in history because you do the work, every day, and you keep at it until you master it.
39. There is no elevator to success. You have to take the…
"There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs." - Zig Ziglar Click To TweetZig Ziglar was a prolific self help author, salesman, and motivational speaker. This quote explains that there are no shortcuts to success. Do your work and take the stairs to reach the top.
40. To live a creative life we must lose our fear of…
"To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong." - Joseph Chilton Pearce Click To TweetJoseph Chilton Pearce was an American author best known for his work on child development. This quote explains that the fear of being wrong is often a detriment to real growth. Let go and allow yourself to be wrong if you learn from it.
41. I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to…
"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott Click To TweetLouisa May Alcott was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women. This quote explains that storms are not something to be afraid of. They are opportunities for learning and growth.
Growth Mindset Quote FAQs
What Is a Growth Mindset Motto?
A growth mindset motto is a little phrase that you might keep written down or repeat like an aphorism to remind you to avoid a fixed mindset. It could be something like "It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up" (Babe Ruth) or "There's no such thing as failure, only results" (Tony Robbins) or any of the other great quotes on this list of top growth mindset quotes.
What Are Some Growth Mindset Quotes?
Examples of growth mindset quotes include, "It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up" (Babe Ruth), "There's no such thing as failure, only results" (Tony Robbins) or "Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance" (Samuel Johnson). For more, check out this list of the best growth mindset quotes of all time.
Want More Inspirational Quotes?
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