Nurturing a Growth Mind Set

A growth mind set is when we understand that our abilities can be developed
(Dweck, 2014).

People with a growth mind set believe that our abilities can be developed and enhanced through dedication and hard work.  Without a growth mind set, we may not be open to new ways of thinking & doing, remaining “stuck in our ways”.  On the other hand, a growth mindset can help us become unstuck and move forward, whether that be at work, in our relationships, or in other aspects of our lives.

A person with a “fixed mindset” assumes that we can’t change in any meaningful way while a person with a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure as developmental opportunities.


 A Growth Mind Set

A Fixed Mind Set

  • Makes mistakes and says “I was wrong” however learns from the experience, is comfortable asking for help.
  • Makes mistakes and says “It wasn’t my fault” and may see asking for help as a weakness.
  • Acknowledges and embraces own imperfections believing that hiding from one’s weaknesses means you will never overcome them.
  • Avoids personal reflection time and is afraid to admit any personal imperfections.


  • Goes through a problem proactively looking for solutions.  Accepts that he/she does not always have the answers and is open to the ideas and opinions of others.
  • Goes around a problem and avoids it.  May not be open to the ideas of others if they differ from his/her ideas.
  • Thinks “I am good however I believe have more to give”.  Allows the time and space to reflect – what worked well and what could do differently the next time.
  • Thinks “Well, I am not as bad as a lot of other people” and keeps doing the same thing and in many cases expecting a different result.
  • Says “There ought to be a better way of doing it and I am curious to find it”.  View challenges as opportunities, is open to trying something new.
  • Says “Why change it?  That is the way it has always been done”.


Ideas to Develop a Growth Mindset

  1. Cultivate a sense of purpose in yourself.  Start keeping a celebration log- recording the good things that happened to you each day.  Start off with a minimum of two entries!  Also consider practicing positive affirmations.
  2. Celebrate growth and your progress with others.  In turn, acknowledge and celebrate the success and achievements of others.
  3. Welcome feedback and take constructive criticism in a positive mode. Disassociate improvement from failure- stop assuming that “room for improvement” translates into failure.  Recognise and welcome improvement as an enhancement opportunity.