Growth Mindset – What you think, you will become

Published: Tuesday March 22 2022 by Katie Thornton

We are proud to be officially recognised by Great Place to Work. As an employer that goes above and beyond to champion employee wellbeing. We equally place great importance on empowering our staff to enable them to grow both personally and professionally by supporting them to overcome challenges wherever possible.

This is one of the reasons why justteachers and all of our employees recently attended a number of ‘grow your mindset workshops’. These workshops identified the many benefits of adopting a growth mindset in terms of health and well-being, helped us to understand the difference between learning and performance zones and enabled us to gather ideas and tips to use for growth within our business.

What is Growth Mindset?

Growth Mindset is a term coined by Stanford University Professor, Carol Dweck. She has spent years researching and talking about her fascination with how some equally talented people make progress and others do not.

Research spanning over 30 years shows us the brain is malleable and that neural activity plays a huge part in our ability to learn. Learning is all about building stronger neural pathways. This can only be done through practice and effort.

This fascinating neuroscience discovery then led to the link between mindsets and achievement. The understanding of “If you believe you can, you will.” In short, what Carol Dweck describes in her research are the terms 'Fixed and Growth Mindset’ and she evidenced that we often land somewhere between the two ends of the fixed-to-growth mindset spectrum.

In a Growth Mindset, people believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.  When people have the belief that their basic qualities can be developed, failure can still hurt, but they know those failures don't define them. The Growth Mindset attitude and focus creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for accomplishment.

With a Fixed Mindset, people believe that we are born with our abilities and these cannot be altered. They see feedback as a criticism, feel threatened by people's success and stay in their comfort zones. When people default to their fixed mindset, they become trapped by their limited beliefs and in many cases this then begins to affect their mental health, especially in later life.

Can Growth Mindset help improve Mental Health?

Research recently carried out by Schleider, Abel and Weisz, all highly regarded University professors from the USA, conducted studies involving over 6500 students. They found that those with a fixed mindset were 58% more likely to show symptoms of anxiety, aggression and depression than their growth mindset peers.

Schleider and Weisz conducted further research into whether Growth Mindset intervention could improve symptoms of mental illness, giving students the tools they needed to cope with these emotions. They found from their work, that those who had developed more of a Growth Mindset had improved ability to cope with anxiety and stress than those that did not. Even after a period of nine months, those students who had received mindset intervention had shown improvements in the reduction of depression and anxiety.

This link is not just in the world of education, but also in the wider community and business sector. The research further showed that the more fixed a person's attitude, belief and focus was, the greater the symptoms of mental illness.

For more information on mental health visit  Mind, Samaritans, Every Mind Matters, Time to Change or Young Minds.

Can Growth Mindset help improve academic performance?

More work was carried out looking at the link between mindsets, academic performance and self-esteem. Those who believed they could not improve their academic ability (fixed mindset), experienced more emotions that would decrease self-esteem. And the links continue with a further study that showed developing a Growth Mindset reduced the amounts of aggression shown by students and also reduced the amount of exclusions.

Now even the government have taken Growth Mindset seriously. With scientific research on the link with Growth Mindset and improved mental health, the Conservative government are supporting schools and businesses with investment in mental health and also ensuring the PSHE curriculum became statutory from September 2020.

Grow Your Mindset

Grow Your Mindset are an award-winning company launched by Gemma Sanchez & Liz Cronshaw in September 2018. Their aim is simple: To positively impact on as many individuals they can, to ensure they can become the best version of themselves.

With a background in corporate business and primary education, Gemma & Liz created a successful training programme, underpinned by the research and findings of both Carol Dweck and James Anderson, to support and guide as many children as possible through their work in schools.

Grow Your Mindset has since gone on to develop a range of programmes and training for schools, businesses and organisations, no matter how big or small, where they are in world or how far they are on their journey.

Their workshops, training and bespoke programmes cover a huge range of areas including language use, zones of learning, resilience training, metacognition, collaborative learning, team building, mental health and employee engagement.

We, along with many other businesses, are also seeing the benefits of working with Grow You Mindset and promoting and developing the mindsets on themselves and their employees, not only to increase productivity in the workplace, but to invest in their people to allow them to thrive.

Contact Liz and Gemma for more information on how growth mindset can benefit you, your school or your business.