Growth mindset: the key to success

By Kjell Sipkema

Are you struggling to pursue your goals? Don’t worry: discouragements and setbacks only make you stronger. We believe that using a growth mindset is essential to be successful. The growth mindset: the key to success. Do you want to know how? Then read on!


The idea that problems are interesting and challenging is called a growth mindset. People with this approach assume that you can develop capacities and that you can achieve everything you want with blood, sweat and tears. The opposite of this is the fixed mindset, where someone assumes that properties are innate. People with that mindset see failure as a sign that a project or end goal is not for them. They quickly throw in the towel. This is why the growth mindset is the key to success.

The lives of people who think with a growth mindset consists of trial and error: they try over and over again. They see failure as a sign that more should be practiced. They like to compare themselves to others who are more successful, so they have someone to look up to and thus improve their own results. People with a growth mindset therefore regularly ask for feedback and see setbacks as opportunities to grow. Their lives are all about learning; they will someday get there.


There is one rule to follow to achieve that goal: believe in your ability to solve problems. This is a skill you’ll learn gradually. The fear of failure holds can hold you back. A shame, because the key to success lies in the focus on the process, rather than on performance and results. You can use our three easy steps to get yourself started if you feel like you’re failing:

1. Realize
2. Appoint
3. Get started


The first step is to be aware of your thoughts. Do you find yourself getting anxious and insecure because something doesn’t quite work out as you hoped? Then stop what you are doing and say to yourself, “I am afraid I will fail.”


Then you name the subject. What exactly are you afraid of failing and why? Write this down in as much detail as possible.
For example, “I’m afraid I won’t be bringing in new clients this month because I’ve received five rejects so far.”


Finally, you decide whether you can change the situation. Is the answer no? Then let it go. Is the answer yes? Then immediately make an action plan – no matter how much time and effort it takes – and get started. If possible, request feedback on your prior approach from someone close to you, such as your manager. By including a (more experienced) person in your process, you feel more confident and you make progress faster.


In this process, you probably have many opposing thoughts. This is because most people have a combination of the growth and fixed mindset. Companies mainly look for people where the growth mindset is predominant. This means that as employees they are persistent to get a problem solved. The trick is to think as much as possible that you are capable of anything, if you make enough effort. In addition to our step-by-step plan to remove the feeling of failure, you can teach yourself a growth mindset as follows:

- Try as many new things as possible;
- Do not take feedback personally;
- Reward yourself for the effort made.

By trying new things, you’ll learn the art of learning. Your brain can be compared to a muscle: it can grow with enough training. The more things you try, the faster you solve problems and the easier new challenges will go. You need constructive criticism to improve your work, so it’s important that you don’t see this as a personal attack. It can help enormously to reward yourself regularly for progress and not only if something has actually worked out. Learning a growth mindset takes a lot of discipline and time: bite into it!

Vibe Group