From Friday 19th January, everyday for 40 days, I will be sharing something each day that has either (1) changed my way of thinking or perspective, (2) helped me get through a challenging period of transition, change or growth, or (3) changed my life for the better. I've called it '40 Days of Growth'. I'd love it if you followed along with me on this journey - contributing what has also helped you to learn, grow and change. And, if I can support you on your own learning journey, please do let me know 😃

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Apologies, this blog post is a little late as my big toe had a run in with a falling table (ouch!!), meaning I ended up in hospital on Sunday and was not able to do a post that night or the two days after. #lifehappens


Day 10 of 40 DAYS OF GROWTH


i.e. The power of believing you can improve


The 'GROWTH vs FIXED MINDSET' concept applies in numerous areas of life and is definitely worthwhile knowing about - whether you're working, studying or have kids. Carol Dweck is a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and most known for her work on the mindset psychological trait. Her work is awesome. Dweck's concept of 'Growth vs Fixed mindsets' has been one of the key ideas that has helped to change my thinking and perspective on situations as well as helping me to stay open to experiences, especially in the work environment, as they happen.


What are the GROWTH and FIXED mindsets?

In a nutshell...

GROWTH MINDSET = thrives on challenge and sees failure and experiences as opportunities for growth. Essentially, this mindset believes that your abilities can be developed.

Fixed mindset = assumes that our character, intelligence and abilities are fixed.


Why are these concepts important?

Four good reasons for you:


"Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness." - Maria Popova, Brain Pickings. 

This concept is one that teachers work really hard to pass on to their students. My cousin who's a passionate primary school teacher said that one of her favourite moments was when a student came up to her at the end of year assembly and gave her a massive hug because her teaching him the difference between "I can't do it" versus "I can't do it YET" helped the student to improve at his maths studies and to give different sports a try. How beautiful is that?!


"...For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. " - Carol Dweck, Mindset

Breathe that research in. How you think about your abilities affects whether you become the person you want to be or not.



Personally, It's been so important that it's one of the things I have written on a piece of paper that I've stuck to the back of my door. Seeing 'what can I learn from this?' every day, especially first thing in the morning, helps to ensure I start the day with a good perspective, allowing me to look at things with a growth mindset.

Seeing 'what can I learn from this?' every day, especially first thing in the morning, helps to ensure I start the day with a good perspective, allowing me to look at things with a growth mindset - Jen Y Insights


At the heart of what makes the “growth mindset” so winsome, Dweck found, is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. - Maria Popova

This idea is massive.

Question: Do you approach things for external validation (needing to be perfect and have your experiences validated) or do you approach your everyday experiences because you love learning and improving?


What makes this idea different to the 'positive thinking' movement?

Short answer: Dweck's work is rooted in rigorous RESEARCH on how the mind - especially the developing mind - works, identifying not only the core drivers of those mindsets but also how they can be reprogrammed.


Some key links to learn about the different mindsets:


Questions for you:

What mindset (growth or fixed) best describes your current mindset? Note that you may have a growth mindset about some circumstances and then have a fixed mindset about others.

How can you start looking at your experiences with more of a growth mindset? (e.g. "I can't do this YET")

Does this idea resonate with you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below :)



Jen Y