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Living with a Growth Mindset

Have you noticed that some people rebound and thrive following failure or challenges where others seem devastated by even the smallest setbacks?

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you are right.

Henry Ford

The concept of Growth Mindset was coined in 2006 by Prof Carol Dweck.

Her book  Mindset – The New Psychology for Success highlighted the power of  mindset when it came to failure, intelligence and learning and the impact on resilience and success.

Individuals (and businesses for that matter) who believe their talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others have a growth mindset. When you have a growth mindset you understand, and are enthused by the belief that your talents and abilities can  be developed through effort, persistence, continuous learning and failure.


Having a fixed mindset on the other hand is having the belief that your basic abilities, intelligence and talents are fixed and static.

Individuals who a have a growth mindset thrive on challenge and see failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a opportunity for growth and for personal development.

People with a growth mindset are passionate about learning, constantly seeking out input, information and assistance that they can turn into constructive results. What a powerful tool.

When entire companies embrace a growth mindset, employees are more empowered committed and open to collaboration and innovation. This has direct result on retention, engagement, productivity and profitability.

Unfortunately many of our organisational and educational hierarchies do not encourage and actually impede the development of a growth mindset Phrases such as “Failure is not an option” and “Second is First Last” are examples of how a Fixed Mindset has been cultivated and it can negatively impact all areas of an individuals life with the constant prioritisation to prove or hide over openness and development.

“I’ve seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves in [a learning setting], in their careers, and in their relationships. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?”

Prof Carol Deck

So what can we do to develop a Growth Mindset personally and in our teams and businesses.

  • Acknowledge and embrace imperfections in ourselves and others.
  • Reframe Problems as challenges and opportunities
  • View challenges as opportunities.
  • Reframe Failing as Learning
  • Take risks and allow others the opportunity to try and fail
  • Prioritise learning over approval
  • Emphasis the Journey not the destination or the duration
  • Celebrate growth
  • Develop and understand purpose and your values
  • Reward actions and effort not traits and outcomes
  • Reframe words such as talent and genius to behaviours and attitudes rather than aptitudes.
  • Generate space for reflection and mindfulness
  • Reframe criticism to informative feedback
  • Cultivate resilience and grit
  • Embrace social learning and learn from others mistakes
  • Constantly seek out new goals to accomplish and things to master
  • Take extreme ownership over your attitude and effort.
  • Treat Growth Mindset as a skill that needs to be developed, worked on and continuously improved through training and practice.

If you would like more information on developing awareness and skills in Growth Mindset for your business please reach out on  Our approach is to listen and understand your issues and develop a customised program that can help your team and business thrive. 

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