The science behind the mindset

When it comes to your abilities like making things or building personal connections, what is it that you believe about yourself? Do you believe that you were born with certain talents or do you believe that you create and control your abilities and how far they can be advanced?

Well, it turns out that there is a very big difference; and depending on what you believe to be true, your capacity for growth can either flourish or hit a mental ceiling. This is called Fixed and Growth Mindset.

According to Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University who coined the term, from a very young age our environment encourages us to have a fixed mindset, labelling us in levels of intelligence and comparing us to each other with test scores and ability based praise (eg: “You’re so smart”). Unfortunately, the fixed mindset sets us up for failure, or more accurately, lack of trying, in the future.

So, what’s the difference between these two mindsets and how do they impact us as adults?

A fixed mindset is believing that when you fail at something, it means you have hit the limit of your abilities – You are either good at something or you’re not, and nothing can change that. A growth mindset is believing that if you fail at something, it is an opportunity to grow and try again – you can learn to do anything you want if you try hard enough. We explore this concept deeply inside our Bounce Job Coach Certification course. 



If we are set to a fixed mindset, we are more likely to avoid challenges, give up quickly, accept failure and limit ourselves in every area of our lives that we feel to be “not really our thing”. A growth mindset is the exact opposite of this, we are excited by challenges, the more difficult the better and will push ourselves to learn more, do more and excel further in our chosen fields.

These mindsets are not just theory, research on Brain Plasticity has shown that the brain can strengthen existing neural networks and even grow new connections through regular and repetitive mental exercise. Our minds are literally able to grow (or at least become denser) depending on the actions we take, the strategies we use and the positive habits we build. 

But if we don’t exercise it, it cannot grow. So, from a scientific standpoint we really can do anything we put our mind to, our physical capability is already there we just have to mentally believe this to be true.

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”

Developing a growth mindset is a matter of dedication practice – funnily enough, learning about and deciding to adjust your mindset is a form of growth mindset in itself.

Developing your mindset is very much about self-awareness, self-regulation and choice. You need to be aware of your internal voice and determine which mindset it is supporting. If you are mentally sabotaging yourself, you need to recognise it, choose to look at the situation from a better angle and follow through on whatever action needs to be taken with a positive mental outlook – no matter the outcome. Remember, failure is an opportunity to grow, not a limit to your abilities.

Want to learn more about mindsets and motivation?

Our must-have training course Bounce Job Coach Certification includes clever strategies and tools focus on building growth mindsets in your job seekers. 

Become a certified Job Coach by joining the
Way Finders Academy.  

The Way Finders Academy

If you want to learn more and develop your communication and coaching skills to the next level, you need to join the Way Finders Academy. This a FREE membership space designed specifically for anyone working in employment services. When you become a member of the Academy, you have access to world-class soft skills training created for employment consultants, career counsellors and case managers. The Academy is where you become a certified Bounce Job Coach.

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