A Growth Mindset for Success

Our mindset can be a key driver of our success and ultimately our happiness. In this article, we’ll start with a growth mindset definition & context around the mindset field of study. Then we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of having a growth mindset. Finally, we’ll look at how we can actually cultivate one.

Growth Mindset Meaning

What do we mean by mindset anyway? I like this fairly general definition of it being a “habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations”.

It infers that there are patterns within our individual responses and these are often built up over time as a result of our past experiences.

Growth Mindset Definition for Success

Carole Dweck, a world-renowned psychologist from Stamford university is known for her work in this field. She distinguishes between a fixed mindset, where people believe their basic qualities and abilities are fixed, versus a growth mindset, where one believes that these can be developed through dedication and hard work.

Those with a fixed mindset may fear failure because it challenges their basic abilities, while growth mindset individuals are less afraid because they realise performance can be improved and that learning comes from failure.

7 ways to develop growth mindset for success woman looking positive

How Does Growth Mindset Relate to Success?

Although much of the research looks at intellect and learning, having a growth mindset can actually play an important role in many or all aspects of our lives. Those with a fixed mindset may be reluctant to try different things and adapt to new situations, versus those with a growth mindset maybe open to trying a host of possibilities and opportunities.

Alex Vermeer has done a great job of summarizing Dweck’s Mindset book within his article 15 Benefits of the Growth Mindset:

1.      Enjoy Life, Even When You’re Not Good At It
2.      Improve Your Self-Insight and Self-Esteem
3.      Improve Your Relationships
4.      Never Feel Stupid When Learning
5.      Never Stress About Being Perfect
6.      Strengthen Your Confidence
7.      Lower Your Risk of Depression
8.      Be Better at Taking Responsibility For Your Life
9.      See Single Events As Just That
10.   Increase Your Resilience to Labels and Stereotypes
11.   See Setbacks As Useful
12.   Ditch the Stress From Constantly Trying to Prove Yourself
13.   Enjoy Putting In Time and Effort, Rather Than Fearing Them
14.   Improve Your Company
15.   Avoid Feelings of Superiority

growth mindset head with sticky notes on it in bright colors

Quick reality check – having a growth mindset doesn’t necessarily make life easy or guarantee success, however, it can give you a much richer and more fulfilling life, while improving your abilities and chances of success. That sounds like it’s worth a punt, in my eyes.


What are 7 ways you can develop a growth mindset?

Scientists have made big progress in their understanding of the human brain in recent years and can demonstrate that as we learn new things, our brains create new ‘neural pathways’ to embed that new learning. The great news is that age is not a factor in this process – so older people are as capable as younger people when it comes to learning new skills.

Here are some great ideas how to develop-a-growth-mindset including a few favourites of mine:



  • Take ownership over your attitude
  • Acknowledge and embrace imperfections
  • Use the word “yet” – i.e. I’ve done learned / achieved this yet
  • View challenges as opportunities
  • Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning.”
  • Learn from other people’s mistakes as well as your own
  • Make a new goal for every goal accomplished

Coaching can also assist you to develop a positive mindset, helping to improve the ways in which we see and experience life.

growth drawing in markers with upward arrow



Having a growth mindset can bring benefits to various aspects of our lives. Developing a growth mindset can be useful to us at any age and life stage.

How will you cultivate your own growth mindset?


Thanks for reading. Check out other Blue Diamond articles to help you take control of your work and life.