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Do You Have a Growth Mindset? How to find out in 5 minutes or less

Ever wondered why some people are successful and some aren’t? Some people live a dream life and some people struggle to get by. Do we have to be young? College educated? Have money to make money?

No. There is plenty of real-life evidence that you don’t have to be young or have a college education or have a trust fund to be successful life live on your own terms. There are countless examples of people who have experienced success. Google it, that alone is inspiring. A few of my favorites:

  • In 1956 Colonel Sanders hit the road with a pressure cooker, a bag of seasoning and a business plan to franchise his recipe. It took him four years, often sleeping in the back of his car, to get 200 franchises across the country. Legend has it he knocked on 1008 doors before he got is first yes after the 1009 knock. That is one-thousand and nine. What kind of person has that kind of fortitude? That kind of belief in a pressure cooker and a mixture of 12 seasonings?

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected by 12 publishers before JK Rowling got a yes from Bloomsbury. Now she, and her books, are a household name and have shaped an entire generation of children, and a few adults.

  • In high school Michael Jordan couldn’t make the varsity basketball team. He was 5’11’’ his sophomore year, taller than most at that age. Ouch.

  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." He went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim on the grounds that it would only attract riffraff.

  • The first time Jerry Seinfeld walked on-stage at a comedy club as a professional comic, he looked out at the audience, froze, and forgot the English language. He stumbled through "a minute-and a half" of material and was jeered offstage. He returned the following night and closed his set to wild applause.


Fascinating stories. What on earth did this diverse group of people have in common?

Was it just raw determination, ambition and willpower? Some of that, for sure.

Luck? It doesn’t really sound like they were very lucky.

Knowing what they want. Yes.

Passion? For sure.

And a growth mindset. Absolutely. They each had a mindset and a pattern of beliefs that gave them that kind of fortitude and the ability to take action toward their goals. An understanding that failing wasn’t some end-of-the-world thing, but rather something to learn from, adjust, practice and carry on.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." ~ Confucius

Those with a growth mindset believe people are capable of changing who they are, and that people who study, work hard, and practice new skills will develop new talents and abilities.

What Is Your Mindset?

What kind of mindset do you have? Do you have a fixed mindset or growth mindset? To find out, start by reading the following statements and decide which ones you agree with most:

  1. People have a certain amount of intelligence, and there isn't any way to change it.

  2. No matter who you are, there isn't much you can do to improve your basic abilities and personality.

  3. People are capable of changing who they are.

  4. You can learn new things and improve your intelligence.

  5. People either have particular talents, or they don't. You can't just acquire talent for things like music, writing, art, or athletics.

  6. Studying, working hard, and practicing new skills are all ways to develop new talents and abilities.

If you tend to agree with statements 1, 2, and 5, then you probably have a more fixed mindset. If you agree with statements 3, and 4, 6, however, then you probably tend to have a growth mindset. [The source of this quick quiz is].

People with growth mindsets have cultivated a desire to continue learning, they will work hard, tackle new challenges and continue to grow as a person. When they fail, they tend to view it as a learning experience, not the end of the world as they know it.

Now we know what our friends the Colonel, JK Rowlings, Michael, Walt and Jerry had in common. A growth mindset.

Your challenge for today is to take this quiz and determine whether you have a fixed or a growth mindset. Every mind can be improved to serve you better and that is what this blog is all about, moving yourself forward from where you are to where you want to be. Checking out my earlier post on Two Quality Mind Hacks. You will find practical steps to get you started right away.

Today has your name written all over it!

Join my community and introduce yourself, I would love to meet you there!

Linda Short of Elle Short Coaching is a certified health and life coach. I help people struggling with where they are to create their own life story and take action toward their life vision. So that they can get unstuck, find joy in each and every day, and live their best life.

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