Do you believe that your thoughts create your experiences? If it’s true that certain mindsets can make you feel a specific way, and then the way you feel influences the daily decisions you make, you can see that the relationship between thoughts and reality is well worth considering.
And yet, with an entire spectrum of mindsets to choose from—from helpful to not so much!—you may wonder which ones you’re spending the most time operating within.
In this guide, we’ll talk about 29 different mindset types and illustrate which ones are more likely to have a positive impact than others.
- Growth Mindset
- Learning Mindset
- Fixed Mindset
- Positive Mindset
- Negative Mindset
- Abundance Mindset
- Scarcity Mindset
- Greed Mindset
- Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Business Mindset
- Leader Mindset
- Follower Mindset
- Creative Mindset
- Gratitude Mindset
- Confident Mindset
- Social Mindset
- Professional Mindset
- Powerful Mindset
- Productivity Mindset
- Unproductive or Lazy Mindset
- Fear Mindset
- Long-Term Mindset
- Short-Term Mindset
- Self-Efficacy Mindset
- Angry Mindset
- Dreamer Mindset
- Envy Mindset
- Relevance Mindset
- Belonging Mindset
Types of Mindsets
Basically, “mindset” refers to the way that you think and the things you believe. This will spill out into the decisions you make, the way you react to circumstances, the relationships you engage in, and more.
Mindsets can change over time; they are not static, and they’re influenced by your choices and experiences. They’re also not exclusionary; you may identify with more than one mindset at a time.
Learning about the different mindset types available to you can be helpful. As you read each one, think about whether or not you identify with it or whether you’d like to invite that type of mindset into your life.
1. Growth Mindset
Both growth and fixed mindsets (which you’ll learn about shortly!) are the product of Dr. Carol Dweck’s research into why some students displayed more resilience and willingness to keep trying and working through challenges than others.
Growth mindset is when you believe that you can further develop yourself and learn from your experiences; the abilities you were born with are simply a starting point. People with this type of mindset are more likely to find meaning in the struggles they face and use the lessons they learn to improve and evolve for the future.
2. Learning Mindset
Learning mindset is another way to frame a growth-oriented mindset; people who are oriented toward perpetual learning are likely also those with growth mindsets.
We love this way of approaching life—viewing yourself as a lifelong learner means you’ll be encouraged and excited when it comes to learning new things, instead of beating yourself up about the fact you’re not already an expert.
3. Fixed Mindset
In contrast to the mindsets above, people with fixed mindsets believe that their intellect and other abilities are set at birth, which leaves little room for growth and forward momentum in the face of obstacles.
Those with this type of mindset are more likely to feel that talent alone is what leads to success; thus, there is no reason to work toward goals if you aren’t inherently talented. They may feel that taking any steps to improve themselves is a pointless endeavor.
4. Positive Mindset
Positive mindset, also referred to as “positive mental attitude” or “positive thinking,” is when you try to look for the good in any situation, no matter how dire things appear at first glance. (Note: This is different than spiritual bypassing, which tends to avoid or refuse to acknowledge complex negative emotions.)
Positive thinking is associated with improved physical and mental health. There are many ways to achieve a more positive mindset, including meditation, mantras, and gratitude journaling to reflect on the good things in your life.
5. Negative Mindset
You can probably tell that this is one you want to stay away from, right? Folks with negative mindsets often focus on the negative aspects of a situation or negative traits within another person or themselves.
This way of thinking doesn’t leave a lot of room for positive growth. If you’re inclined to think things are hopeless or that almost everything is bad, you’re more likely to close yourself off to new experiences and fail to see the point in trying things.
6. Abundance Mindset
Do you feel like there are plenty of good things in the world to go around? An abundance mindset is definitely one worth adopting, as you’ll start to see the glass as half-full, even in trying times.
For example, if you interview for a job and it doesn’t work out, if you have abundance mindset, you’ll reason with yourself that plenty of other opportunities are out there. This can help give you the strength to keep pushing forward and believing that things are going to work out for the best.
7. Scarcity Mindset
Scarcity mindset is the opposite of abundance mindset. People with scarcity mindsets think that resources like love and money are finite. This may make them more likely to accept or remain in situations that aren’t healthy because they don’t see any viable alternatives.
People with scarcity mindset may also have a harder time than others accepting or dealing with changes and see things through a mostly negative lens.
8. Greed Mindset
This one is closely related to scarcity mindset. People with greed mindsets never feel like they have enough, and they’ll stop at nothing to get more of what they’re motivated by, whether that’s money, power, fame, or something else.
Greed mindset is never a good thing. Being solely concerned with one’s self and lacking empathy for others isn’t healthy for any one person—or for the collective.
9. Entrepreneurial Mindset
Our community is full of entrepreneurs, so we’re big fans of this mindset!
Think about it: In order to be successful, entrepreneurs must operate in a world of uncertainty, have confidence in themselves and their decisions, and constantly progress. As a result, entrepreneurs are likely to take action and create targeted plans when they come up with ideas or goals they want to achieve.
10. Business Mindset
A business mindset holds much in common with an entrepreneurial one; a lot of the same thinking patterns and behaviors that cause you to succeed in the business world will help you as an entrepreneur. However, a business mindset can apply whether you work for yourself or not.
People with business mindsets want to be better at what they do, and they put in the time to develop themselves accordingly. They use their time wisely, learn new skills that will help them in their careers, and are open to taking (the right) risks because they know it will help them grow.
11. Leader Mindset
Taking the business mindset a little further, leadership mindset is when you hone in on the skills and experiences that will help you become a leader or level up as one.
People with leadership mindset might seek to develop qualities like humility, transparency, and direct communication. They may spend time learning how to see the “big picture” and how decisions will impact people or processes in an organization or situation.
12. Follower Mindset
We live in a world that puts people on pedestals, so it’s only natural some of us would adopt a follower mindset. And it may make sense in certain situations to be a follower, as we aren’t all experts at everything!
However, if you’re a follower in most areas of your life and you know you want to step into the spotlight more, think about ways you can push yourself to that leadership mindset we just discussed.
13. Creative Mindset
This one’s another favorite here at Skillshare! The creative mindset emphasizes that we’re all creative beings, no matter our medium of choice or skill level. You are a creator in your life in the way you choose to live it, and you can opt to bring creativity to how you express yourself and spend your time.
We believe all people are naturally creative. If you give yourself the time and space to let creativity flourish, you may be pleasantly surprised at the ideas and inspiration that come up as a result.
Learn More About Creative Mindset
Mindset for Artists: How to Nurture Your Creativity
14. Gratitude Mindset
Staying grateful is such an accessible way to remain grounded in the face of hard times and allow yourself to celebrate the good ones.
You can practice gratitude in a variety of ways. Try keeping a gratitude journal, in which you sit down once a day and write down all of the good, standout moments that happened to you. Or perhaps pause when you feel joy or when your attention is drawn to something positive. Take a deep breath, and really relish that moment.
Get creative here: There is no wrong way to be grateful!
15. Confident Mindset
Would you like to believe in yourself more? Working on your confidence can help.
Every person will have a different journey to becoming more confident. Start by thinking about areas in which you feel not as sure about yourself, and then identify steps you can take to grow more assured of your abilities.
For example, if you’re not as confident in your social skills, make it a goal to initiate a conversation with one new person a week until you start to feel more comfortable doing so. You’ll likely receive positive reinforcement along the way that will make it even easier to continue.
16. Social Mindset
Speaking of being more social, social mindset is a people-centered approach in which you think about people and their well-being ahead of other priorities.
Let’s say you are a sales leader, and your team isn’t hitting their quarterly quotas. Approaching this from a social mindset would cause you to evaluate what could be contributing to this situation. Are the goals reasonable for your employees? Are there other factors that are negatively impacting your team—and if so, how can you mitigate them? This is a very different mindset than immediately moving to disciplinary action because your team isn’t hitting the target.
17. Professional Mindset
The idea of a professional mindset stems from the strategies that people employed within traditionally esteemed occupations use (think: doctors, lawyers, CEOs). Anyone who ascends that sort of rigid career ladder likely had to adopt a plan along the way to keep themselves on track.
We’d like to think a professional mindset can be broadened to apply to any line of work. What makes someone in your field successful? What skills do you need to get where you want to go? Ironing these details out is at the core of having a professional mindset.
18. Powerful Mindset
A powerful, or strong, mindset will take you a long way. This type of mindset incorporates many of the elements we’ve already discussed—for example, people with powerful mindsets believe they can grow and change (remember growth and learning mindsets?).
Powerful people understand where they aim to be in life and do whatever is in their control to get there. Being powerful can also mean rising above your negative feelings. All feelings are valid and natural, but we get to choose how we react and the actions we take because of those feelings.
19. Productivity Mindset
These days, there are lots of resources on how to better manage your time. While productivity can mean that, it can also involve other things: considering your strengths and building your day around them, thinking about the way your energy flows throughout the day, and scheduling time for rest.
Being productive just for the sake of it will only burn you out. As you think about productivity mindset, ask yourself how you can honor yourself first. From there, develop a framework that allows you to accomplish what you want to while still respecting your needs.
20. Unproductive or Lazy Mindset
This mindset is exactly what you think it is. People in this mode of thinking have a hard time accessing their motivation to work toward goals. They feel more comfortable leaving things as they are and not taking any chances or “rocking the boat.”
Getting to the root of why someone is stuck in this mindset is important. For one person, it may be that they struggle to focus and would benefit from removing distractions. For another, it may actually mean they’re exhausted and do need to take a break from constantly pushing forward.
Every situation is different, but if you find yourself feeling like you’re unproductive more than not and that’s frustrating you, it’s worth evaluating why.
21. Fear Mindset
When you’re stuck in a fear-based mindset, you may shy away from doing things you aren’t 100% certain you’ll be good at or able to navigate. You might constantly envision the worst-case scenario and feel unable to trust that anything better can happen.
This way of thinking is also sometimes called “scarcity mindset.”
Most of us struggle with fear, and we know this one’s a tough one to get out from under. Maybe the trick is that we don’t really get over it—perhaps we just learn to live with fear, and keep going in spite of it.
22. Long-Term Mindset
Do you think about the future when you’re creating new goals or making decisions? Having a long-term mindset means you contemplate how your daily choices will add up over time and where they’ll eventually lead you.
Having this future-oriented lens can be really helpful not only in pointing you toward success but also in reminding you that you might not always see rapid results. Building a life that you love takes time, and it isn’t always an Instagrammable process. Thinking of the long run can help you keep perspective when you’re worried things aren’t happening fast enough.
23. Short-Term Mindset
On the flip side, short-term mindset is more focused on the here-and-now. This mindset isn’t necessarily bad—there is certainly value in being able to see what needs to be done today and acting on it quickly to get results.
That said, a short-term mindset is best tempered alongside a long-term one to ensure you aren’t only thinking about today, at the expense of tomorrow. Ideally, you’re seeing a mix of short- and long-term wins because of the decisions you make, and not only one or the other.
24. Self-Efficacy Mindset
This mindset has most in common with confidence mindset. Self-efficacy refers to your belief in your ability to do the things that are needed for a specific task or situation.
Thus, those with high self-efficacy feel confident in their abilities, while those with low self-efficacy doubt themselves.
Having faith in your own ability to succeed has myriad benefits. As we’ve seen with other mindsets, it sets you up to be more resilient when you face challenges and gives you the ability to interface with others in confident, expansive ways.
25. Angry Mindset
Just as with fear, anger is a natural, human emotion. There’s no shame in feeling angry. However, it’s not healthy to operate mostly from a place of anger. When anger is in the driver’s seat, you may lash out at others, say or do things you regret, strain relationships, and suffer internally due to your intense emotions.
The best thing to do is to allow yourself to feel your feelings of anger, acknowledge them, and then try to move forward to either accept your anger or address the cause of it.
26. Dreamer Mindset
With the dreamer mindset, the sky’s the limit! If you can dream or think it, you can achieve it. Dreamers aim high and don’t limit themselves when it comes to brainstorming about a life they love.
That probably sounds amazing, as it should—but don’t let yourself become only a dreamer and not a doer! Without action, all of those great visions won’t be as likely to come to life.
27. Envy Mindset
Jealousy is a tricky emotion that can drive us to do things we aren’t proud of. If you find you’re acting from a place of envy, take a step back. Ask yourself: Why do I feel jealous? If it’s because you feel like someone has something you don’t, can you take steps to have or achieve it? Is there an unmet need popping up for you?
For example, if you feel excluded from a friend group and start to feel jealous as a result, you can examine the core belief that’s driving that emotion and assess whether or not that belief is really true. Maybe you have a fear that you’re not worthy of friendship, and that’s what is driving your negative emotions. Is your belief really true? What can you do to make yourself feel better? When you find the root cause of envy, you can take conscious steps to rectify a situation if it requires doing so.
28. Relevance Mindset
A relevance mindset helps you to understand how things you’re learning or experiences you’re having may be useful in your larger life, or in the future. Seeing things as meaningful and relevant can give you a greater sense of satisfaction and purpose in your life and help you to be more mindful and pay attention throughout your day.
29. Belonging Mindset
Often used in the educational setting, belonging mindset is when people feel like they’re appreciated and respected by others around them. They feel they have something to contribute to the group and that they’re valued.
Feeling like you belong to a group or community can make a positive impact on your mental and emotional health. You’re more likely to feel secure and to push yourself to grow because you feel like you can safely do so.
You Choose What Mindsets to Adopt
One of the most amazing things about life is that you get to play such an active role in determining what matters to you and how you go about living. Though this list is far from comprehensive, we hope reading over these 29 mindsets has given you some ideas of small—or big!—shifts you’d like to make to improve your daily well-being.
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