Having a Growth Mindset

Some people believe that they are unable to learn new skills because that’s just “how they were wired” or they feel that they are incapable. People with that kind of thinking have a fixed mindset, meaning they don’t believe in the potential for acquiring new skills and information.

Research proves, however, that EVERYONE is capable of learning new things if their perspective changes from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

So what does it mean to have a growth mindset?

It’s the exact opposite of the fixed mindset mentioned above. Someone with a growth mindset believes that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.


Negative Self-Talk: Words to Avoid

Telling yourself and others that they are “smart” or “dumb”, “intelligent” or “unintelligent” are examples of a fixed-mindset. These adjectives insinuate that the person cannot change those traits.



Check out this inspiring and informative Ted Talk by Carol Dweck, the researcher behind the notion of growth mindset!

  1. In your own words, why did the grade “not yet” get assigned instead of “fail?
  2. What was the difference between the two groups of students presented with a challenging question?
  3. Should intelligence and talent be praised?
  4. What should be acknowledged in the learning process?
  5. Describe a time when you were praised for your effort and/or process instead of just the outcome.
  6. What happens in your brain when you are challenged?
  7. What caused the exceptional progress in the three schools mentioned?
  8. How can you incorporate a growth mindset into your own life?
  9. What are some things you can start saying to yourself when presented with a challenge?
  10. What goals do you have for this school year?


We’re all guilty of negative self-talk…how many of the expressions below have you said to yourself? Try changing your outlook by rephrasing your statements…you’ll be amazed at the difference!