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Growth Mindset Quotes: 40+ Inspiring (And FAMOUS) Examples

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.

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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.

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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 Top 29 Growth Mindset Quotes

These growth mindset quotes come from TANQ - The Art of Living's growing central library of thoughts, anecdotes, notes, and inspirational quotes.

Here are my top 29 growth mindset quotes of all time...

1. "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!”" - Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn: Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible!”

Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian, recognised as both a film and fashion icon. This quote reminds us that "impossible" is just a label for things we just don't know how to do yet.

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2. "It is hard to fail. But it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt: It is hard to fail. But it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

Theodore Roosevelt overcame was 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.

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3. "I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan: I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.

Michael 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.

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4. "Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit." - Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was an American self-help author. He is best known for his book Think and Grow Rich (1937), which is among the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time.

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5. "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits." - Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was an American self-help author. He is best known for his book Think and Grow Rich (1937), which is among the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time.

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6. "Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them." - Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was an American self-help author. He is best known for his book Think and Grow Rich (1937), which is among the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time.

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7. "When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal." - Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was an American self-help author. He is best known for his book Think and Grow Rich (1937), which is among the 10 best-selling self-help books of all time.

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8. "If you don't give anything don't expect anything. Success is not coming to you. You must come to it." - Marva Collins

Marva Collins: If you don't give anything don't expect anything. Success is not coming to you. You must come to it.

Marva Collins was an American educator best known for founding Westside Preparatory School. This quote is a reminder that the only person responsible for your life is you. If you want to succeed, apply yourself.

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9. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time." - Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison: Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.

Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman established the first industrial research laboratory and whose many inventions (including early versions of the lightbulb) had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. This quote reminds us that the alternative to a growth mindset - if we don't trust the process - is giving up. And giving up is a sure path to missing out on success.

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10. "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill: Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War (and again from 1951 to 1955) as well as being a Nobel Prize-winning writer and historian, a prolific painter, and one of the longest-serving politicians in British history. This quote reminds us that the easiest way to trust the process is to ENJOY it. Instead of "I HAVE to trust the process", think "I get to trust the process" and you'll find it much easier to feel grateful for the journey.

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11. "The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism." - Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale was an American minister and author best known for his writing on positive thinking, especially through his best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking.

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12. "The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster." - David Allen

David Allen is an American productivity consultant best known for the creation of a time management method called "Getting Things Done".

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13. "You have virtually unlimited potential to be, have, or do anything you really want in life if you simply want it badly enough and are willing to work long enough and hard enough to achieve it." - Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is a Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author who has written more than eighty self help books.

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14. "The formula for success is quite simple: Double your rate of failure." - Jeff Olson

Jeff Olson is an American sales trainer, entrepreneur and best-selling author and motivational speaker best known for his book The Slight Edge.

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15. "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth: Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.

Babe Ruth was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. This quote reminds us that the obstacle IS the way. The process of becoming great is filled with failures and mistakes. Those ARE the process. So trust in them and rest assured that every mishap is a stepping stone towards success.

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16. "Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit." - Molière

Molière: Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.

Molière was a French playwright, actor, and poet, widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language and world literature. This quote reminds us that the process is what makes the destination possible. If you rush it (instead of trusting it) you may get "there" faster. But you might miss the best parts in the process.

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17. "If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all." - Michelangelo

Michelangelo: If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.

Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance and is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, Leonardo da Vinci. This quote reminds us that the most talented and successful humans that ever lived ALSO had to trust the process. They had to work at their craft every day. They had to make every mistake they could make. And only then could they approach the doorway to mastery.

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18. "Get it 80 percent right and then correct it later. Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. Don’t expect perfection the first time or even the first few times. Be prepared to fail over and over before you get it right." - Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is a Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author who has written more than eighty self help books.

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19. "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." - Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, former head coach and he has been called the greatest hockey player ever by many sportswriters, players and the NHL itself.

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20. "Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic who is considered to be the greatest German literary figure of the modern era.

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21. "Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life." - William H. McRaven

William H. McRaven (born November 6, 1955) is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral who served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and is the author of several books (see e.g., Make Your Bed).

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22. "We are often so worried about failure that we create vague goals, so that nobody can point the finger when we don’t achieve them. We come up with face-saving excuses, even before we have attempted anything." - Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed is a British former table tennis player, journalist, broadcaster and author best known for competeing in two Olympic Games (1992 and 2000) and his best-selling books (e.g., Black Box Thinking).

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23. "If we drop out when we hit problems, progress is scuppered, no matter how talented we are. If we interpret difficulties as indictments of who we are, rather than as pathways to progress, we will run a mile from failure." - Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed is a British former table tennis player, journalist, broadcaster and author best known for competeing in two Olympic Games (1992 and 2000) and his best-selling books (e.g., Black Box Thinking).

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24. "If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed." - Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius 26 April 121 – 17 March 180) was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180, a Stoic philosopher and the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors.

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25. "The reason that most people don’t possess these extraordinary physical capabilities isn’t because they don’t have the capacity for them, but rather because they’re satisfied to live in the comfortable rut of homeostasis and never do the work that is required to get out of it. They live in the world of “good enough.”" - Anders Ericsson

Anders Ericsson (October, 23, 1947 – June 17, 2020) was a Swedish psychologist and Professor of Psychology known for his research into and books about (e.g., ?Peak) the nature of expertise and human performance.

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26. "If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve." - Anders Ericsson

Anders Ericsson (October, 23, 1947 – June 17, 2020) was a Swedish psychologist and Professor of Psychology known for his research into and books about (e.g., ?Peak) the nature of expertise and human performance.

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27. "Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good." - Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is an English-born Canadian journalist, best-selling author, and public speaker whose writing often deals with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences (see e.g., Outliers)

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28. "A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have." - Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is an American entrepreneur, investor, author, podcaster, and lifestyle guru who became well-known through his "4-Hour" self-help book series beginning with the The 4 Hour Workweek.

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29. "If you are satisfied with the results you are now getting, why change? If you are not satisfied, why not experiment?" - Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer and a developer of courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills.

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Growth Mindset Quotes 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.

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Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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