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Carol Dweck Quotes About A Growth Mindset

Want to empower your growth mindset? Do it with the help of these Carol Dweck quotes.

Allow these Carol Dweck quotes about her theory on the growth mindset to allow you to foster and empower your own.

Let us know which quote you found most helpful in the comment section below.

Did you know that your mindset is the blueprint for your success in life?

Without the right mindset, nothing is possible.

But with the right mindset?

Everything is possible.

What is a Growth Mindset?

Dweck defines a growth mindset as: “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.

This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

How can you develop your own growth mindset?

Changing our mindset is difficult, and we hope that this collection of growth mindset quotes inspires you to develop yours!

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quote category page has even more inspirational and educational quotes.

Carol Dweck quotes about students, children, and growth

1. A growth mindset is belief you can develop abilities.  – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: A growth mindset doesn’t mean that you think you will suddenly become the best at everything you try. It means that you are willing to try and develop your current abilities to be even better and discover new abilities that you didn’t know were there. It is about recognizing that there are untapped parts of you just waiting to come out!

2. Becoming is better than being. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Becoming is all about the journey and the path you take to reach a given destination. Being implies that you have reached what you set out to, and most of us get content and stay there. However, there is more excitement in the learning and growing that happens on the way to being.

3. Teaching is a wonderful way to learn. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Think about a time you were trying to teach someone something. Either in your personal life or at work. Chances are you learned something that day. It might have been something about yourself, or maybe the other person had an idea that they shared about the task. We see things from other people’s perspectives when we are trying to teach them something new.

4. What can I learn from this? What will I do next time I’m in this situation? – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: These are great questions to ask yourself whenever you make a mistake. Don’t beat yourself up, but make that mistake count. Chances are you won’t make the same one repeatedly and will grow a little at a time with every mistake you make. Embrace it and keep trying!

5. Wow, that’s a really good score. You must have worked really hard. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Sure, when we don’t do as well as we want to at something, it’s easy to start speaking negatively to ourselves. However, your ‘score’ is usually a reflection of how hard you worked and not how smart or talented you are. Did you try your best? Were you able to learn from whatever mistakes you made? If you answered yes, then keep going and try again. If you know you could have worked harder, then don’t be angry at yourself for what you can’t change. Instead, work harder next time.

6. A company that cannot self-correct cannot thrive. – Carol Dweck

7. Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: By picturing the new connections forming and being rewarded for meeting a challenge or learning something, you can create a neural pathway. Keep doing that, and the changes it makes in your thought process and reactions will surprise you.

8. You have to work hardest for the things you love most.  – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Sometimes, working hard for the things you love the most is easy to recognize. For instance, maybe you work hard, so your family is taken care of. Other times, you might be working hard for something, and the payoff is off in the future, and you don’t really love the work you are putting in now. Remember your ‘why,’ and chances are you will realize that the reason behind the goal is something you love.

9. This is hard. This is fun. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Just because something is hard does not mean it can’t be fun! Climbing a mountain would be difficult, but lots of people enjoy that! Running a marathon is hard, but that doesn’t stop people. Try looking at the hard things a little differently and see if you can find the fun in them! 

10. You’re in charge of your mind. You can help it grow by using it in the right way.  – Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck Quotes

11. Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training. – Carol Dweck

12. So what should we say when children complete a task—say, math problems—quickly and perfectly? Should we deny them the praise they have earned? Yes. When this happens, I say, “Whoops. I guess that was too easy. I apologize for wasting your time. Let’s do something you can really learn from! – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: What a great way to look at things. We get so caught up in our achievements that we don’t realize when something is “too easy,” we should look for a challenge. That is where growth happens.

13. 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

Everyday Application: It just makes us feel better about our current state if we think of the super-successful people as ‘other worldly’ or gifted with some kind of magic that skipped the rest of us. However, that just is not true. They had a different set of experiences than we did. They made different choices than we might have had we been given the same opportunities. However, the fact these are people just like the rest of us is what should make us feel better. It means anything is possible!

14. Vowing, even intense vowing, is often useless. The next day comes, and the next day goes. What works is making a vivid, concrete plan. – Carol Dweck

15. What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today? – Carol Dweck

16. If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Life is always going to teach you something. It will almost always involve you making a mistake, facing a challenge, or having to learn a skill. If we can develop an appreciation for living life on those terms as youngsters, then we will have much happier adult lives.

17. Choosing a partner is choosing a set of problems. There are no problem-free candidates. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: There are no perfect people, which means every one of us comes with a set of quirks, problems, and baggage. You can not expect your partner to be perfect, but you can expect that they treat you how you want to be treated (set boundaries). Also, pick the quirks or problems that don’t bother you as much! For example, if arrogance is something that drives you crazy, but neatness is not a deal breaker, then do not pick the arrogant neat freak! 

18. The whole point of marriage is to encourage your partner’s development and have them encourage yours. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: We should always encourage our partners to reach for their dreams, just like how they should encourage us. Now, this does translate into more than just pretty words! If your partner is finishing up school, for example, encouraging them might mean you worry about dinner while they do homework. If they have a project coming up and need some time to prepare, then you might need to do some other things to help. In a marriage, dream chasing often works in shifts, but having someone willing to help is amazing! 

19. Your failures and misfortunes don’t threaten other people. . . It’s your assets and your successes that are problems for people who derive their self-esteem from being superior. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Are the people around you happy for you when you are winning? It is much better to have people who are genuinely happy for you in your corner than it is to have people who commiserate with you when times are tough. Likewise, if you are jealous of your friend’s or family’s successes, examine why that is! Is your sense of self-worth based on your having to be better?

20. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are when you could get better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek the tried and true instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: The answer is that it feels better and is easier to stay in your comfort zone. Most people don’t like to be “stretched,” especially if they are feeling like they are doing ok. That is complacency, though, and not growth. Growth is always a worthwhile goal.

Carol Dweck quotes about effort, winning and losing, and improvement

21. Effort is one of those things that gives meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you, and you are willing to work for it. – Carol Dweck

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22. Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort?” If so, he says, “You may be outscored but you will never lose. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Redefining winning and losing will help you live a much happier life. If you go after something and do your best, then you did everything you could. Now, I do mean your actual best and not the socially acceptable ‘best.’ Even if you didn’t get the result you wanted, you should be happy with your best. Chances are you learned something and accomplished something. If you didn’t get the outcome you wanted, then you can try again!

23. When people already know they’re deficient, they have nothing to lose by trying. – Carol Dweck

24. I believe ability can get you to the top,” says coach John Wooden, “but it takes character to keep you there.… It’s so easy to … begin thinking you can just ‘turn it on’ automatically, without proper preparation. It takes real character to keep working as hard or even harder once you’re there. When you read about an athlete or team that wins over and over and over, remind yourself, ‘More than ability, they have character.’ – Carol Dweck

25. I don’t mind losing as long as I see improvement or I feel I’ve done as well as I possibly could. – Carol Dweck

More uplifting Carol Dweck quotes

26. No matter what your current ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.  – Carol Dweck

27. Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.  – Carol Dweck

28. Test scores and measures of achievement tell you where a student is, but they don’t tell you where a student could end up. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Measures, like test scores, give us data. Sure, data can be helpful when trying to make predications. However, it is important to remember that people are much more than raw data. We can become anything we want, and test score data doesn’t tell you how resilient or capable a person will be.

29. Failure is information-we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, I’m a problem solver, and I’ll try something else.’  – Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck quotes about working hard, success, and failure

30. The other thing exceptional people seem to have is a special talent for converting life’s setbacks into future successes.  – Carol Dweck

31. More and more research is suggesting that, far from being simply encoded in the genes, much of personality is a flexible and dynamic thing that changes over the lifespan and is shaped by experience. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: Personality is a complex concept because it can’t be observed, measured, or tested directly. Theorists and psychologists have different opinions. However, experiences can certainly impact behavior (which is observable), and possibly personality. Learn more about your personality and read this article!

32. Believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.  – Carol Dweck

33. Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.  – Carol Dweck
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of mindset quotes that will help take you where you want to go in life.

34. When people with the fixed mindset opt for success over growth, what are they really trying to prove? That they’re special. Even superior.  – Carol Dweck

35. Important achievements require a clear focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies. Plus allies in learning. – Carol Dweck

Everyday Application: What you focus on is likely what you will achieve or find. How hard you work is almost always a direct correlation to how successful you are. You need a bottomless trunk of strategies because you will find out pretty quickly that some won’t work! That’s ok! Gather up your support group and just keep going! 

36. Those with the growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They’re informative. They’re a wakeup call.  – Carol Dweck

37. The students with growth mindset completely took charge of their learning and motivation. – Carol Dweck

38. Character, heart, the mind of a champion. It’s what makes great athletes and it’s what comes from the growth mindset with its focus on self-development, self-motivation, and responsibility. – Carol Dweck

39. Only people with a growth mindset paid close attention to information that could stretch their knowledge. Only for them was learning a priority. – Carol Dweck

40. Your horse is only as fast as your brain. Every time you learn something, your horse will move ahead. – Carol Dweck

Inspirational and Motivational Carol Dweck quotes

41. “Unproductive effort is never a good thing.” — Carol S. Dweck

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42. “You can’t just declare that you have a growth mindset. Growth mindset is hard.” — Carol S. Dweck

Everyday Application: It is difficult to push yourself past your comfort zone, really examine your weaknesses and attempt to improve them, and seek knowledge. A growth mindset means you have to reflect and be honest with yourself. You are going to have to do things that scare you and make you uncomfortable.

43. “You don’t know what your abilities are until you make a full commitment to developing them.” — Carol S. Dweck

44. “The wrong kind of praise creates self-defeating behavior. The right kind motivates students to learn.” — Carol S. Dweck

45. “The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things.” — Carol S. Dweck

46. “This knowledge that you might have to really reorganize and redefine yourself and build new skills is really important.” — Carol S. Dweck

47. “With a fixed mindset, you’re so worried about how smart or talented you are, you don’t take on challenges. You don’t try new things.” — Carol S. Dweck

48. “The mindset ideas were developed as a counter to the self-esteem movement of blanketing everyone with praise, whether deserved or not.” — Carol S. Dweck

49. “In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.” — Carol S. Dweck

50. “Everyone is a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets. You could have a predominant growth mindset in an area, but there can still be things that trigger you into a fixed mindset trait.” — Carol S. Dweck

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Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve

Which Carol Dweck quotes about having a Growth Mindset were your favorite?

Having a Growth Mindset can change the way you live your life.

Are you building on the little things while working toward the big picture?

Have you dedicated your focus to becoming the best version of yourself?

Resilience and perseverance are key parts of a Growth Mindset, but they are also essential life skills.

What are you doing today that helps you get into a Growth Mindset?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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  1. claudette parazoo

    September 14, 2019 at 8:51 PM


    thanks…all 40 CAROL DWECK mindset quotes are inspiring. I am 85 years old and have a mindset for continuous learning. the computer is a great incentive for learning about all the wonders of the world.

  2. Alejandra

    June 14, 2019 at 2:33 AM

    Honestly, love them all! Did I win? Did I loose…. one of my favorite ones.

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