The GROWTH MINDSET Demystified

The GROWTH MINDSET Demystified

I can’t do it, I can’t learn this, it's too hard, Come on, I’m just a Junior Developer, Webpack is not my thing, Python is hard, I tried it and failed.

Those are the words of a developer drenched and soaked with imposter syndrome.

Over time we keep fighting ourselves, trying to run away from our shadows, trying to find shortcuts, yes I did also, I really did :(

At a point in my life, I just felt some things were not meant for me, I felt maths was too complex for me, JavaScript was not my thing!!

But come, what if I was wrong, what if maths is not complex? what if JavaScript is not hard? what if I just had a FIXED MINDSET?

In this article, I would introduce you to the GROWTH MINDSET, what it means and why you should care.

Let's get started!!


Carol Dweck is the Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Over 30 years ago, Dr Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students’ attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed really devastated by even the smallest setbacks.

After studying this behaviour in a lot of children, Dr Dweck coined the terms FIXED MINDSET and GROWTH MINDSET to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.

According to the Harvard Business Review;

To briefly sum up the findings: Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning._

Now, The Growth Mindset simply means having the mindset that your talents, skills or strength can be developed over time. It revolves around the belief that you can improve intelligence, talents, ability and performance.

The Fixed Mindset on the other end is the opposite, it refers to the belief that a person’s talents are fixed and generated from birth. This revolves around the idea that once you can’t do something from the onset, it isn’t meant for you. Once you can’t solve that arithmetic, you conclude that maths is not your thing, once you can’t figure out that algorithm, you conclude that programming is hard.

Recent advances in neuroscience have shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever knew. Research on brain plasticity has shown how connectivity between neurons can change with experience. With practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones, and builds insulation that speeds transmission of impulses. These neuroscientific discoveries have shown us that we can increase our neural growth by the actions we take, such as using good strategies, consistency, asking questions, practising, and following good nutrition and sleep habits.

Mark Zuckerberg was not born a geek, Sarah Drasner was not born a Developer Avocado, Dan Ambrov was not born a software engineer, they all started from somewhere, learning and improving daily.

This is the Idea we should embrace as developers/designers, It is never easy and accepting this fact is the beginning of you moving forward, but saying “NO I CAN’T” kills it all.


The fact that you are not getting it perfectly now, does not mean you should quit, it only means you should be consistent and improve with practice and good strategies.

The Growth Mindset is not focused on caring about success or achievements, but rather learning. Learning is a process, you just need to keep moving!

When learning especially something new, the main goal should not be finishing but rather learning.

Advantages of The Growth Mindset

The Growth Mindset is a very buzzing topic and research has shown how much increase in success it has birthed after its evolution.

Here are some of the merits;

  • It Improves and builds self-esteem, learning orientation and reduces helplessness
  • It reduces stress and aggression as well as increasing wellbeing and emotional stability
  • It promotes adaptability and coping skills and develops better self-regulation
  • It Strengthens your Confidence and never makes you feel stupid while learning
  • It lowers your risk of Depression

The list continues...

“The growth mindset does allow people to love what they’re doing — and continue to love it in the face of difficulties. … The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.” — Dr Dweck

Now, this is pretty much it, Plants don’t grow and become fruitful once its seed hit the ground, it takes a lot of weeding, watering, manuring and strategies to make it grow.

This is how we operate as humans too, you need to undergo a lot of good strategies and consistency to grow.

How do you build a Growth Mindset?

Truth be told, we all had fixed mindsets at some point in our lives, we probably did not know it was called that, but we can build The GROWTH MINDSET.

What’s the best way to get started with your growth mindset revolution? One way is to identify where you may have a fixed mindset tendency in your life or career so that you can work to become more growth-minded.

We all live upon a continuum ( something that keeps on going, changing slowly over time), and consistent self-assessment helps us become the person we want to be.

Source: Mindsetworks

Here are just a few ways to get over the Fixed Mindset and become Growth Minded:

See Setbacks As Feedbacks

It’s easy to be frustrated by setbacks. Yet they are useful because they provide information in the form of feedback. A setback indicates that something went wrong or rather something is missing and you now have the opportunity to figure out what went wrong and why, learn from it, and prevent it from happening again.

The growth mindset sees setbacks as useful, whereas a fixed mindset sees them as annoying hurdles and cause motivation or effort to drop.

Stop trying to prove yourself always

In a fixed mindset success and achievements is a top priority. You always want to be measured by others, and you always want to be perfect. The very act of ‘succeeding’ requires that you show yourself to be better than others. So if you focus on succeeding and ‘achieving’ things, you’re always in a rush and your focus would be diverted. In a growth mindset, you don’t care about proving yourself to others, you only care about improving, learning and growing.

Put more effort rather than running away

If you’re constantly interested in learning more and improving, then you should put in more time and effort to do so.

Your company matters

You should not hang out with folks with Fixed mindsets, In fact, hang out with those who are more Growth minded than you, this way the check and balance you when you feel lazy.

Challenge yourself

Learning is not an easy trade, you need to challenge yourself, pick up tasks you don’t know and work on getting them done. Spend more time doing stuff you don’t know and get better doing them repeatedly.


Your mindset is the view you adopt of yourself — whether your abilities and characteristics can change, or whether they are set in stone, the decision is all yours.

As developers, designers or whatever tech field you belong too; Learning is something that never ends in your career, whatever you’re running from, whatever you want to learn, brace up, take your stance and decide to be Growth minded, only you can make this decision.

Begin your journey of growth today!!

Thank you for reading, If this helped you in any way, drop some comments and let's hear your views.