Growth Mindset – Transforming Our Beliefs About Learning And Intelligence


A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. It contrasts with a fixed mindset, which assumes that talents and intelligence are innate and unchangeable. Embracing a growth mindset fosters resilience, perseverance, and a love for learning.


A growth mindset can be applied in educational settings, workplaces, personal development, and leadership. It encourages individuals to embrace challenges, view setbacks as opportunities for growth, and continuously strive for improvement. By cultivating a growth mindset, people can unlock their full potential and achieve greater success.


Individuals with a growth mindset believe that their abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort, good teaching, and persistence. They embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. In contrast, individuals with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities and intelligence are static traits that cannot be significantly changed. They tend to avoid challenges, give up easily when faced with obstacles, and view failure as a reflection of their inherent limitations. Adopting a growth mindset has numerous benefits, including:
  • Increased motivation and resilience: Individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to persist in the face of challenges and setbacks, as they believe that their efforts can lead to improvement and success.
  • Improved learning and performance: By embracing challenges and viewing mistakes as opportunities for growth, individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to learn and improve their skills over time.
  • Enhanced creativity and innovation: A growth mindset fosters a willingness to take risks, explore new ideas, and think outside the box, which can lead to greater creativity and innovation.
  • Better relationships and collaboration: Individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to value feedback and constructive criticism, as they see it as an opportunity for growth. This can lead to better communication and collaboration with others.
To cultivate a growth mindset, individuals can adopt strategies such as:
  • Embracing challenges and viewing them as opportunities for growth
  • Persisting in the face of setbacks and learning from mistakes
  • Seeking feedback and using it to improve
  • Celebrating effort and progress, rather than solely focusing on outcomes
  • Surrounding themselves with a supportive environment that encourages growth and learning

Sample Activity

To facilitate the understanding and application of a growth mindset, consider the following activity:
  1. Ask participants to reflect on a time when they faced a setback from a difficult challenge. Encourage them to journal a few reflections about their experiences and how they responded.
  2. Introduce the idea of a growth mindset. Discuss the differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, and how each mindset might have influenced their responses to the challenge.
  3. Provide examples of growth mindset statements (e.g., "I can learn from this experience," "Mistakes help me improve," "I'll keep trying different strategies") and fixed mindset statements (e.g., "I'm not good at this," "I'll never be able to do it," "It's just too hard").
  4. Encourage participants to consider how they may have their initial responses to the challenge using a growth mindset perspective.
  5. Facilitate a discussion on how the shift in mindset would have transformed their growth.


The concepts of fixed and a growth mindset were introduced by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006).

Target Audience:

  • Everyone
  • Students
  • Educators
  • Facilitators
  • Coaches

Got feedback or input? Please share!