No doubt you’ve heard of the term “growth mindset”. But what does it have to do with business results?

Stanford University researcher Dr Carol Dweck first introduced the terms growth mindset and fixed mindset in 1988, with her ground-breaking book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Dweck’s theory emphasises the power of our most basic beliefs and how they can impact all areas of our lives.

As a personal leadership coach, I see every day how critical the right mindset is to business and personal success.

Fixed mindset

According to Dweck’s theory, if you have a fixed mindset, you believe your abilities, intelligence and talents are fixed traits and, therefore, cannot be improved. You also think that “natural” talent leads to success, and effort is not required.

Growth mindset

On the other hand, if you have a growth mindset, you believe you can develop your abilities and intelligence through learning and experience. You know that with persistence, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. You don’t see intelligence as a fixed trait; rather, if you put in the right sort of effort and practise, it can grow.

Embrace challenges to overcome them

Dweck says that people with a growth mindset have a genuine desire to learn. They know they can develop their intelligence, so they are more likely to embrace challenges. They persist when the going gets tough, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from feedback and, as a result, reach higher levels of achievement.

In the world of business, we face challenges all the time. It’s how we deal with them that matters. If we understand we can learn and improve our abilities, we better position ourselves to overcome future challenges and reach our goals.

Not only that, we embrace challenges – and even failures – as opportunities to learn and grow.

How do you react to challenges in your business? How does this affect your ability to deal with them?

The power of “not yet”

In her video “Developing a growth mindset,” Dweck talks about the power of “not yet”. This really resonated with me.

How often have you not quite hit the mark with something – perhaps it was a goal you set for yourself – and you’ve said, “Well, I failed at that. I can’t do it. That’s that.”

Try turning this around. Instead of saying, “I can’t do it,” tell yourself, “I can’t do it yet.” In this small way, you remind yourself you’re still learning. Yes, you’ll make mistakes. But you can learn from them and grow.

You see, we are all on a learning curve in business and life. We can never truly fail at anything if we learn from our experiences!

Learning is a continual process


If you have a fixed mindset, you may feel like a failure when things don’t go according to plan. You may even see constructive feedback as a personal attack. It’s difficult to grow a successful business when you feel this way. 

But when you have a growth mindset, you see failure as a chance to learn. You use constructive feedback to improve and see your learning journey as one of continual growth.

Your business journey is the same. Your business, your leadership and your confidence will improve and grow all the time – as long as you have the right mindset.

So, what’s your mindset? Fixed or growth? What would you like it to be?

If you need help working on your mindset and confidence, contact me – I’d love to help you.

I’m Emma, and I’m a business and executive coach who believes wholeheartedly in the potential of women. My coaching philosophy is simple- taking action leads to results- and I love working with women in business and in corporate roles to take their passion and drive and transform their professional and personal lives.

Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic, every day.

Em x