Joy Drop: Overcoming Challenges With A Growth Mindset

By Kim Strobel

January 27, 2023


Are you feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges? Are you struggling to stay motivated and positive when faced with hardships? Do you feel like giving up easily when faced with difficulties or failure?

If so, then adopting a growth mindset may be the answer! This article will provide an overview of the two mindsets - fixed vs growth, explain why having a growth mindset is beneficial and list strategies for putting it into practice.

If you’re ready to take on life’s challenges with an open mind and a positive attitude, read on!

The Two Mindsets – Fixed vs Growth

Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, first proposed the two mindsets: fixed and growth.

A fixed mindset is one in which individuals believe that their talents, abilities, and intelligence are inherent traits; they cannot be significantly changed through effort or practice.

This type of mindset leads people to avoid taking risks and challenges as they feel threatened by tasks outside of their comfort zone. People with a fixed mindset focus on the outcome or reward rather than the process of learning and improvement, often leading them to give up easily when faced with failure or setbacks.

In contrast, a growth mindset is one in which individuals believe that their talents and abilities can be developed over time with effort and practice. People who have this type of attitude are more open to challenging themselves as well as taking risks without feeling intimidated by difficulties along the way.

They also tend to view failure not as an end but rather an opportunity for learning and development; thus focusing on the process instead of absolute success or rewards from others. Allowing them to become more resilient against any hardships encountered during their journey toward reaching personal goals.

What is a Fixed Mindset?

A fixed mindset is an outlook on life that believes that one’s talents, abilities, and intelligence are predetermined traits.

This means that a person who has a fixed mindset will not believe in the power of effort or practice to help them improve or gain new skills. They see their current ability as something set in stone, unchangeable by any amount of hard work or dedication.

People with this type of attitude are less likely to take on challenges or tasks outside their comfort zone and may become easily intimidated by difficulties that arise during the process. They are likely to give up easily when faced with failure, instead focusing on performance and praise from others as signs of success.

A person with a fixed mindset tends to focus on the outcome rather than the process, which can lead them to become frustrated more quickly if things do not go their way right away.

If they fail at something once, it can be difficult for them to get back up again since they see it as a sign that they aren’t good enough already and won’t ever be able to improve, no matter how much effort they put into it.

What is a Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset is a philosophical approach to life that believes intelligence and abilities are not fixed traits, but can be developed and improved over time with effort and practice.

People with a growth mindset take risks, view challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement, focus on the process of learning rather than on the reward or outcome, learn from their mistakes without giving up easily, develop resilience in the face of setbacks, and have greater psychological flexibility.

It is important to note that having a growth mindset does not guarantee success; however it increases our chances by allowing us to stay motivated while working towards our goals.

How Can Tell Which Mindset I Have?

If you're trying to determine your mindset, the first step is to take a moment and reflect on how you approach challenges and setbacks.

  • Do you tend to give up easily when faced with difficulty or do you persevere despite facing failure?

  • Are new tasks outside of your comfort zone seen as opportunities for growth, or are they viewed as threats?

  • Do you focus more on performance and other people's praise rather than the process of learning and improvement?

These questions can help to identify whether you operate from a fixed or growth mindset.

People with a fixed mindset often find it difficult to take risks and will avoid challenging tasks due to fear of failure. They also prioritize receiving external validation over personal progress.

On the contrary, those who possess a growth mindset are more open to taking risks in pursuit of their goals; viewing failures as an opportunity for learning rather than being discouraged by them. They place greater importance on continual development instead of seeking approval from others.

The Benefits of Having a Growth Mindset

Having a growth mindset allows individuals to be more open to challenges, take risks, and strive for their goals. It encourages resilience in the face of setbacks and helps people to learn from their mistakes rather than viewing them as failures.

A growth mindset also creates psychological flexibility, which leads to increased self-confidence and emotional well-being.

People with a growth mindset focus on the process of learning and improvement instead of just focusing on the outcome or reward. This attitude helps them stay motivated even when faced with difficult tasks or situations that are outside of their comfort zone.

By embracing failure as an opportunity for growth, individuals with a growth mindset can reach greater levels of success than those who have a fixed mindset.

Putting It Into Practice: Strategies for Adopting a Growth Mindset

To practice having a growth mindset and to become better equipped for tackling challenges, there are several useful strategies that can be employed on a daily basis.

To begin, start small by setting realistic goals and tasks that are achievable. This will help you to slowly build your confidence and progress towards your bigger goals.

Focus on monitoring your thoughts; become aware of the negative beliefs that may be holding you back from reaching your potential and reframe these thoughts into something more positive and productive.

Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn rather than something to fear; this will help you build resilience when faced with challenges or setbacks down the line.

Developing self-awareness involves taking time for reflection; take some time each week to reflect on what areas have improved since last week and celebrate even the smallest successes!

Finally, practice gratitude; focus on all of the positive aspects in life instead of dwelling on the negative - this helps keep motivation levels high so that you can keep pushing forward despite any obstacles in your way!  You can download our gratitude prompt and tracker here to get started. 

From Setback to Success: How to Overcome Challenges with a Positive Attitude

When faced with a challenging situation, our first instinct is often to give up. However, adopting a growth mindset can help us stay motivated and work towards success in the face of any setback.

Rather than giving in to defeat, we should view failure as an opportunity for learning and development. Although this may seem daunting at first, there are many strategies that can be employed when trying to develop a positive attitude towards challenges.

First and foremost, it is important not to give up too easily when confronted with difficulties or setbacks. Remaining persistent and pushing through adversity will lead you closer to achieving your goals over time.

Reframing negative thoughts into more constructive ones is also key; rather than allowing yourself to get discouraged by saying, “I can’t do this,” reframe your thoughts into “I can’t do this…yet” – emphasizing the potential for progress if effort is applied consistently over time.

Asking for help from trusted individuals when needed is another great way of overcoming challenges; having an outside perspective on your struggles can provide clarity on how best to proceed in difficult situations.

Taking regular breaks throughout the process of tackling obstacles allows you some space from the challenge so that you don't become overwhelmed - taking short breaks regularly helps keep motivation levels high even during times of difficulty!

Finally, discovering what motivates you and using it as fuel for powering through tough tasks will help ensure steady progress towards success despite any number of roadblocks encountered along the way!

The Power of … Yet: Reframing Negative Thoughts and Beliefs

The power of “yet” is a powerful tool for reframing negative thoughts and beliefs.

Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, use the power of “yet” to remind yourself that anything is possible if you put in the work and effort.

Refusing to give up and believing in your ability to succeed is key when it comes to achieving your goals.

Making a plan by breaking down your goal into smaller steps with manageable timelines will also help you reach success.

Don’t forget to celebrate every small step forward, no matter how insignificant it may seem - these moments are important reminders that progress has been made!

By using the power of “yet”, you can keep pushing forward despite any setbacks or challenges that come your way.


Adopting a growth mindset can be challenging, but it is essential to achieving success in life.

Having a fixed mindset will not bring you the long-term success and satisfaction that comes from rising to meet challenges with a positive attitude.

By recognizing the benefits of having a growth mindset and finding strategies for putting it into practice, you can overcome any obstacle in your way and find success.

Teaching companies and their employees to adopt a growth mindset is a worthy cause and is critical for company success.

If you'd like to book a keynote or company training on this topic, please contact me here.

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