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  • Writer's pictureRyan Jeearry

Mindset: Developing a Growth Mindset

"I failed my way to success." - Thomas Edison

Only a person with a growth mindset is able to achieve this.


What is a mindset?

Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you view yourself and the world. It impacts how you think, feel, and act in any given situation.

Types of mindset

Dr Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychologist and author of the book ‘Mindset’, identified the following two mindsets: fixed and growth. Having a fixed mindset means believing that your qualities are carved in stone and that you cannot change. The focus is on talent as opposed to effort.



On the other hand, growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies and help from others. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset.


Here are some examples of the fixed and growth mindset:


Fixed mindset

  • You are either good at it or you are not

  • Backing down and avoiding challenges for fear of failure

  • Get defensive and ignore useful feedback

Growth mindset

  • You are in control of your abilities

  • Focused on the process of getting better

  • See mistakes as learning opportunities and ways to improve

Upon reflection, which mindset can you relate to the most?


Mindset origination

Our mindset is so deeply rooted on a set of beliefs which originated from our childhood. Every single experience that we encountered as a child is more significant than we realise.


More specifically, Dweck’s research concluded that ‘praising’ and ‘labelling’ have a significant impact on our mindset. Praising a child’s intelligence actually harms their motivation and performance in the long-run, because as soon as something becomes challenging, the child tends to lose confidence and starts to have self-doubt.


On the other hand, focusing on the process yields better results long-term. Children who are taught to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes and seek new strategies, tend to develop an “I can do it no matter what” attitude.


Why does our mindset matter?

I strongly believe that our mindset is the key to our well-being. Why? Because our thoughts impact our feelings, which then drives our actions. Given our thoughts are formed through our mindset (our perception of ourselves and the world around us), if we can improve our mindset spectrum, i.e. from fixed to growth, or negative to positive, we will then be in a better position to experience more positive feelings, actions and results.


Developing a growth mindset?

It’s never too late to work on our mindset. Although it can be uncomfortable to challenge our thoughts and beliefs, it is necessary to go through this stage. Here are some ways to develop a growth mindset:

  • Ask yourself thought-provoking questions. Are you bad at something, really? Do you have evidence to disprove that?

  • Use the word “yet” - “I’m not good enough” becomes “I’m not good enough, yet.” This allows your subconscious mind to find ways to be better.

  • Progress-oriented vs results-oriented - Whilst goals give you a destination in mind, it is the bumps and roundabouts along the way that truly promotes growth and enriches our experiences.

  • Notice the language you use - We are often critical on ourselves. Whether a thought is true or not, we should replace negative thoughts with more empowering beliefs. You may not know it, but you are 100% in control of your thoughts.

  • Embrace challenges - Seek discomfort. Be excited to fail (First Attempt In Learning). Fail your way to success.

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