There’s been a recurring theme for me in the past few months. It’s the idea of changing your outlook on life by changing your mindset. Specifically, Carol Dweck’s ideas on fixed vs growth mindset. I’ll give you a quick overview of what she talks about.

The Fixed Mindset

If you’re in a fixed mindset you believe that your talents and abilities are fixed and you can’t change them. You may say “I’m simply not good at drawing”. And because of that belief, you don’t even try. You look up to people who draw incredibly intricate illustrations in awe and say “She’s so talented! I’ll never be as good as her.”

The Growth Mindset

If you’re in a growth mindset, you know that becoming good at drawing takes time and effort. It takes years of practise to make it look so effortless. If it’s something you want to pursue, you know that every little bit of practise will add up to build the skill. Even if you only illustrate one word a day.

Fixed VS Growth Mindset

Here’s an illustration I found with more concrete examples to show you the difference:

I attended a talk by Vashti Whitfield at Creative Mornings last month. The global topic was ‘Intention’ and she brought the point home. You can watch it below. I highly recommend sparing the whole 52 minutes to watch it from start to finish. But I know we’re all time poor these days, so it skips ahead to the juicy 5 minutes about growth mindset:


Vashti’s talk blew me away. She’s a brilliant storyteller. I admire her courage to stand in front of an audience of strangers and talk about the death of her husband. It breaks my heart listening to it and I can’t imagine how hard it was to go through this. She has done her work!

So that’s all well and great, but you may ask…

How Can You Develop a Growth Mindset?

There’s heaps of articles on the internet about how to develop a growth mindset – this one is excellent. These tactics only get you so far though. In her book Dweck describes how many people adapt a ‘false growth mindset’. The actual journey required to change to a true growth mindset is a little more complicated:

Step 1: Embrace your fixed mindset (we all have it!)
Step 2: Become aware of your triggers
Step 3: Create a persona and give it a name (yes, you read that correctly)
Step 4: Educate your persona & take it on a journey with you

It’s not as easy as reading this article or even Dweck’s book and turning your life around. It’s a journey that takes time and effort. Since working on this myself I have seen a huge difference in how I approach challenges.

This is something to work on with a coach – and in becoming one I want to help you on your journey. Are you ready for it?