How To Develop A Growth Mindset – And How It Helps In Health & Community Service Diplomas

Back in 2006, Stanford researcher Carol Dweck changed the way people view intelligence and capability for personal growth by laying out her theory of two mindsets:

  • Fixed mindset people believe their intelligence and abilities are set in stone – they were ‘born this way’ and can’t change
  • Growth mindset people see learning and intelligence as something that can improve with a bit of effort

You’ll see growth mindset all over self-help blogs nowadays, but it was Dweck who coined the idea.

There’s a big lesson here for Health & Community Services professionals (including soon-to-be professionals thinking about a Diploma). Being able to identify fixed and growth mindset traits is endlessly practical when your career is based on helping people achieve their potential and grow from personal challenges.

Why growth mindset matters

Fixed mindsets shy away from challenge. They believe intelligence and ability are fixed, and view failure as final.

On the flip side, growth mindsets look at challenge as the thing that makes them more capable. Effort is rewarded with new skills, knowledge, or achievements. All this results in a more fulfilled life.

The good news is mindset is a continuum, not a constant. With a perspective shift and good habits, anyone can develop growth mindset traits.

Challenge is part of the day-to-day in Health & Community Services. From youth work, to mental health, AOD support, counselling, and community work, everyone you encounter is another opportunity to develop an enriching growth mindset.

But where do you start?

Mindset Growth

10 Practical Ways To Develop Growth Mindset (In Yourself and Others)


1.    Actively seek challenges

Push yourself by looking for learning opportunities.

2.    Embrace flaws and imperfections

Nobody is perfect; don’t hide your flaws, use them as development opportunities.

3.    Start small with areas of existing strength

Get used to the feeling of challenging yourself and build bigger.

4.    Ask questions and be curious

Curiosity is learning fuel: channel your inner child and wonder about your world.

5.    Be deliberate with words and thoughts

Pay attention to discouraging words and thoughts, then be intentional in flipping the script.

6.    Consider criticism closely

In every critique there is a growth opportunity – if you can tune out the negative.

7.    Praise effort

In yourself, and in others. Effort is what helps us increase our capacity.

8.    ‘Not yet’, not ‘failure’

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

9.    Effort over outcome

Learn to love the process and you’ll soon be relishing growth opportunities.

10.  Redefine ‘genius’

Genius requires hard work (not just raw talent) so it’s always within reach.

To learn more about how you could be helping people reframe their thinking for genuine self-improvement, discover the Health & Community Services courses on offer with TrainSmart Australia.

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