Growing is one of the best things about life. Someone once said – “If we don’t change, we don’t
grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
Growing and changing ourselves to acquire new skills and talent is our fundamental need. It is what
separates winners from losers.
Michael Jordan, the famous basketball athlete, never stopped practicing and polishing his skills for
endless hours even when he was at the peak of his career. He said “The mental toughness and the
heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have.”
Michael, like any other winner, had a growth mindset. He always believed that he can harness the
required skills and talents to play a better game by putting in more efforts. He believed that he could
grow into a better version of himself. And, he did.
Growth Mindset v/s Fixed Mindset
Like we just discussed, people with a growth mindset are willing to add more skills and knowledge to
their existing bucket. They are ready to take efforts, meet challenges, break boundaries and know
that failure means try again; with the sole objective to improve and grow as an individual and at the
On the flip side, people with a fixed mindset believe that they are born with limited abilities and
skills which cannot be changed. They live in the illusion of limited intelligence and do not take any
efforts to upgrade their talent. They hate feedbacks, fear challenges, and give up easily.
|I hate challenges. It makes me feel inadequate.
|Failures means I need to learn and do it better the next time.
|I am not good at it so I will not try doing it.
|Challenges excite me. Bring them on!
|This is the limit of my abilities.
|I can learn and improve as much as I want.
|Failures mean end of the road.
|Criticism and feedbacks help me to improve.
|Feedbacks don’t make me feel good.
|I like to try new things.
|When I don’t succeed, I give up.
|The success of other people is inspirational.
Growth mindset is what we, as individuals, and leaders, should harness to bring an improvement in
ourselves and our organizations. It is the only way to look beyond the horizon and make way for
innovation and growth.
Steps to nurture a growth mindset
Nurturing a growth mindset is based on your willingness to change. Small everyday changes in your
habits and behaviour can lead to a big change in your mindset and push you on the trajectory of
growth and success. Here are a few ways in which you can begin-
Change your inner story
What have you been telling yourself – I cannot do this or I can learn to do this if I want? The
story that you tell yourself makes a huge difference. A good way to begin is by replacing all
the negative words like ‘cannot’, ‘impossible’, ‘hate’ to assertive words like ‘can’ and I can
try’. When you believe that you can change and upgrade your abilities, you actually start
working towards it and building a growth mindset.
Visualize your goals
Do you want to get promoted within this year? Start visualizing it. The new office, your new
responsibilities, how is it making you feel? Visualization is a very powerful tool in motivating
you to work towards your goals and shift your mindset.
Take criticism positively
When someone criticizes you, check if there is something that they can see but you cannot.
See what needs to change. How can you do it better next time? Take out some time from
your daily routine to learn a new skill. Accept feedback as a stepping stone to your growth.
Never give up
There will be challenges. Difficulties might try to surpass you. Things will not always work
out as planned. You fill stumble, fall, fail. And each time this happens, put more efforts, try
harder, and be open to upgrade your skills and knowledge. Do not fear failure. Never give
How to create a growth mindset within an organization?
Just like individuals, the organizations can also have a growth mindset or fixed mindset.
Organizations with fixed mindset will always stagnate and fall behind while those with a growth
mindset will lead the race.
You can change the culture and mindset of your organization to one of growth by investing in your
employees and giving them the necessary support and resources to innovate, push themselves
harder and attain their full potential. Even if that means giving them extra leverage or being more
flexible to accommodate an unusual idea. Let your employees take risk, let them know that they
have your back even if they fail, as long as they are willing to learn from their failures. Appreciate
them for their achievements- big or small. Most importantly, invest in the right people, who are not
measured by their impressive degrees or experience but by their capabilities and willingness to
change, learn, improve and adapt.