Growth-Mindset: "Anything is learnable"

Overview - What Will You Get in This Post?

  • What is a “growth-mindset”

  • Why it matters

  • How you can apply it to your life (with action steps)

What’s the idea?

The first mindset of this part of the series is what Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset, named “growth-mindset”. It’s a belief we have about ourselves and an attitude we hold towards the learning process:

Do we think that our intelligence is innate, or is it a matter of putting in the effort and practicing until we gain the knowledge or skill?

The first option is what they call a “fixed-mindset” attitude, where we believe we were born with a certain amount of mojo, and that’s it. Our intelligence, talent and abilities are fixed, and we don’t believe we can change them. We use language like “I’m smart at this”, and attribute our success to an ingrained level of skill.

The second option is a “growth-mindset” attitude, where we believe that talent is merely a starting point, and with effort and dedication we can learn and improve at anything. Our intelligence and capabilities are malleable, and we believe we can increase them through our efforts.

In Dweck’s own words, “The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”

It’s about making incremental progress, and not getting worked up when we’re struggling or making mistakes.

When we have a growth mindset, we understand that effort is part of the process, and mistakes are inevitable when learning something new.

We understand that struggle is not optional, but required - it’s actually how we get better (as we will see later in the super learning series).

We understand that learning can take time, and don’t expect to “get it right” at our first try.

We embrace the power of perseverance as we keep going, keep trying until we learn what we need to learn.

For example, if we are studying some material for a class and we’re struggling to learn it, we know that with dedication we’ll eventually get good at it (i.e., growth-mindset), rather than thinking we’re just not “smart enough” (i.e., fixed-mindset).

Why does it matter?

As you probably noticed, it’s quite important to embrace a growth mindset if we want to optimize our studying. It can be the difference between dedicating yourself and then succeeding, or struggling and then giving up.

And it just comes down to a belief we hold about learning and intelligence.

Choose wisely.

How to apply it? (action steps)

Now, to take what you just learned and apply a little bit to your life, grab a piece of paper and write the answers to these questions.

Mindsets are trickier to apply, but these will help to develop more of a growth-mindset orientation.

  1. Rate yourself from 0-10 in the spectrum of growth-mindset (0 being totally fixed-minded and 10 being totally growth-minded).

  2. How can you change your attitude and self-talk to reflect a more growth-mindset outlook next time you are studying? (List the top 3 things you will do).

For example, they can be things like:

  • Reminding yourself of this idea.

  • Changing your self-talk to “I can get good at this if I study enough.” Or “I’m not good at this - yet.”

  • Embracing the belief that “anything is learnable”.

  • Etc etc

That’s it for today.

Next, we will go deeper into Grit and explore its impact in your study process.

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Also, check the Youtube video we did ( and the one-page infographic we did for Instagram (@brasaatusf)

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