35 Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes for Parents, Students, Business & Relationships

35 Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes for Parents, Students, Business & Relationships

Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, is widely considered the gold standard for understanding how the brain works, and how human beings can learn to fulfill our potential.  I discovered Dweck while on vacation, and the growth mindset concept has resonated with me so profoundly, that I created a free growth mindset scavenger hunt to introduce the concept to kids.   Instead of summarizing the book, let's go right to the source.  Here are my favorite 31 Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes sorted by parenting, business, school, relationships and general.

General

1.  “When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger. The more that you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow. Then, things that you once found very hard or even impossible—like speaking a foreign language or doing algebra—seem to become easy. The result is a stronger, smarter brain.
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

2.  “Think about your hero. Do you think of this person as someone with extraordinary abilities who achieved with little effort? Now go find out the truth. Find out the tremendous effort that went into their accomplishment—and admire them more.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

3.  “no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

4.  “A few modern philosophers … assert that an individual’s intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism.… With practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

5.  “The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

6.  “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 Mindset Quotes

7.  “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 Mindset Quotes

8.  “Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

9.  “I was intensely curious because Cézanne is one of my favorite artists and the man who set the stage for much of modern art. Here’s what I found: Some of the paintings were pretty bad. They were overwrought scenes, some violent, with amateurishly painted people. Although there were some paintings that foreshadowed the later Cézanne, many did not. Was the early Cézanne not talented? Or did it just take time for Cézanne to become Cézanne?”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

10.  “As Morgan McCall, in his book High Flyers, points out, “Unfortunately, people often like the things that work against their growth.… People like to use their strengths … to achieve quick, dramatic results, even if … they aren’t developing the new skills they will need later on. People like to believe they are as good as everyone says … and not take their weaknesses as seriously as they might. People don’t like to hear bad news or get criticism.… There is tremendous risk … in leaving what one does well to attempt to master something new.” And the fixed mindset makes it seem all that much riskier.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

11.  “Michael Jordan embraced his failures. In fact, in one of his favorite ads for Nike, he says: “I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot, and missed.” You can be sure that each time, he went back and practiced the shot a hundred times.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

12.  “For Jordan, success stems from the mind. “The mental toughness and the heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have. I’ve always said that and I’ve always believed that.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

13.  “After seven experiments with hundreds of children, we had some of the clearest findings I’ve ever seen: Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and it harms their performance. How can that be? Don’t children love to be praised? Yes, children love praise. And they especially love to be praised for their intelligence and talent. It really does give them a boost, a special glow—but only for the moment. The minute they hit a snag, their confidence goes out the window and their motivation hits rock bottom. If success means they’re smart, then failure means they’re dumb. That’s the fixed mindset.
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

14.  “Parents think they can hand children permanent confidence—like a gift—by praising their brains and talent. It doesn’t work, and in fact has the opposite effect. It makes children doubt themselves as soon as anything is hard or anything goes wrong. 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 Mindset Quotes

15.  “It’s the parents who respond to their children’s setbacks with interest and treat them as opportunities for learning who are transmitting a growth mindset to their children.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

16.  “What did you learn today?” “What mistake did you make that taught you something?” “What did you try hard at today?” You go around the table with each question, excitedly discussing your own and one another’s effort, strategies, setbacks, and learning.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

17.  “I’ve met with many coaches and they ask me: “What happened to the coachable athletes? Where did they go?” Many of the coaches lament that when they give their athletes corrective feedback, the athletes grumble that their confidence is being undermined. Sometimes the athletes phone home and complain to their parents. They seem to want coaches who will simply tell them how talented they are and leave it at that. The coaches say that in the old days after a little league game or a kiddie soccer game, parents used to review and analyze the game on the way home and give helpful (process) tips. Now on the ride home, they say, parents heap blame on the coaches and referees for the child’s poor performance or the team’s loss. They don’t want to harm the child’s confidence by putting the blame on the child.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

learn it all way

18.  “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 Mindset Quotes

School

19.  “Like my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Wilson, these teachers preached and practiced the fixed mindset. In their classrooms, the students who started the year in the high-ability group ended the year there, and those who started the year in the low-ability group ended the year there. But some teachers preached and practiced a growth mindset. They focused on the idea that all children could develop their skills, and in their classrooms a weird thing happened. It didn’t matter whether students started the year in the high- or the low-ability group. Both groups ended the year way up high. It’s a powerful experience to see these findings.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

20.  “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 Mindset Quotes

21.  “With the threat of failure looming, students with the growth mindset set instead mobilized their resources for learning. They told us that they, too, sometimes felt overwhelmed, but their response was to dig in and do what it takes. They were like George Danzig. Who? George Danzig was a graduate student in math at Berkeley. One day, as usual, he rushed in late to his math class and quickly copied the two homework problems from the blackboard. When he later went to do them, he found them very difficult, and it took him several days of hard work to crack them open and solve them. They turned out not to be homework problems at all. They were two famous math problems that had never been solved.
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

22.  “Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…. I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

23.  “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 Mindset Quotes

24.  “What on earth would make someone a nonlearner? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward. What could put an end to this exuberant learning? The fixed mindset. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart. I have studied thousands of people from preschoolers on, and it’s breathtaking how many reject an opportunity to learn.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

25.  “Mia, what is the most important thing for a soccer player to have?” With no hesitation, she answered, “Mental toughness.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

26.  “A successful student is one whose primary goal is to expand their knowledge and their ways of thinking and investigating the world. They do not see grades as an end in themselves but as means to continue to grow.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

People fail and have setbacks as part of their jobs

Business

27.  “In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome. They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

28.  “The fixed- and growth-mindset groups started with the same ability, but as time went on the growth-mindset groups clearly outperformed the fixed-mindset ones. And this difference became ever larger the longer the groups worked. Once again, those with the growth mindset profited from their mistakes and feedback far more than the fixed-mindset people. But what was even more interesting was how the groups functioned. The members of the growth-mindset groups were much more likely to state their honest opinions and openly express their disagreements as they communicated about their management decisions. Everyone was part of the learning process. For the fixed-mindset groups—with their concern about who was smart or dumb or their anxiety about disapproval for their ideas—that open, productive discussion did not happen. Instead, it was more like groupthink.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

29.  “CEOs face this choice all the time. Should they confront their shortcomings or should they create a world where they have none? Lee Iacocca chose the latter. He surrounded himself with worshipers, exiled the critics—and quickly lost touch with where his field was going. Lee Iacocca had become a nonlearner.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

30.  “Instead, they are constantly trying to improve. They surround themselves with the most able people they can find, they look squarely at their own mistakes and deficiencies, and they ask frankly what skills they and the company will need in the future.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

31.  “Many growth-minded people didn’t even plan to go to the top. They got there as a result of doing what they love. It’s ironic: The top is where the fixed-mindset people hunger to be, but it’s where many growth-minded people arrive as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

32.  “Andrew Carnegie once said, “I wish to have as my epitaph: ‘Here lies a man who was wise enough to bring into his service men who knew more than he.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

33.  “NASA thought so. When they were soliciting applications for astronauts, they rejected people with pure histories of success and instead selected people who had had significant failures and bounced back from them.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

Relationships

34.  “A no-effort relationship is a doomed relationship, not a great relationship. It takes work to communicate accurately and it takes work to expose and resolve conflicting hopes and beliefs. It doesn’t mean there is no “they lived happily ever after,” but it’s more like “they worked happily ever after.”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

35.  “Picture your ideal love relationship. Does it involve perfect compatibility—no disagreements, no compromises, no hard work? Please think again. In every relationship, issues arise. Try to see them from a growth mindset: Problems can be a vehicle for developing greater understanding and intimacy. Allow your partner to air his or her differences, listen carefully, and discuss them in a patient and caring manner. You may be surprised”
Carol Dweck Mindset Quotes

If these growth mindset quotes inspired you to learn more about this growth mindset concept, check out 27 Examples of a Growth vs a Fixed Mindset in Kids.
Or better yet, sign up for the free & fun, 7 day growth mindset scavenger hunt for kids.  You’ll be amazed at the transformation in your child in just seven days!

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