November 21


8 benefits of developing a Growth Mindset

By Harry Heijligers

November 21, 2017

Growth Mindset

This article is one in a series of Growth Mindset Hacks. Today ​we will explore the 8 benefits of developing a growth mindset.

Developing a growth mindset can be the best thing you can do for yourself in your life. It will benefit you in numerous ways. In this article, I will show you the 8 most beneficial ones for you. So, please read on if you’d like to know how a growth mindset can change your life:


It’s not your intelligence, stupid

In a study of Carol Dweck, one group of students got fairly challenging problems from a nonverbal IQ test. The students were praised for their performance, like “Wow, you got 70% right. That’s a really good score. You must be smart at this.” Another group of students got the same test but were praised slightly different: “Wow, you got 70% right. That’s a really good score. You must have worked really hard.” So, the first group of students was praised for their intelligence, and this pushed these students right into the Fixed Mindset. This was shown later on when these students were given a choice: they rejected challenging new tasks, although they could learn from it. The second group of students, however, was praised for the effort they had made. This pushed them into the Growth Mindset. Most of these Growth Mindset students (90%) wanted to take on new challenges from which they could learn.

It’s not that the Growth Mindset group of students were less intelligent than the Fixed Mindset group of students. It is also not that they were able to put in more effort than the other group. No. It’s all a matter of focus. The Growth Mindset group of students were primed to focus on effort rather than intelligence. The Fixed Mindset group of students were primed to focus on their intelligence rather than the effort. So, it’s all a matter of having the right focus. So, you can change your mindset from a Fixed Mindset into a Growth Mindset. You only have to change your focus.

The positive impact of a growth mindset for you, your kids and your team

When both groups of students got an IQ test with a set of harder problems, it turned out that the Fixed Mindset group of students, who were praised for their intelligence, thought that they were not so gifted after all. If success equals intelligence, then failure means deficiency! For the Growth Mindset group of students, the set of harder problems was only a sign that they had to put in more effort.

Do you see the implications for you managing your team?

Or for you parenting your kids?

Or even for you …. ahem … dealing with yourself?

By the way … if you want a culture of open dialogue and honesty in your team, your family or even within yourself, then you better start developing a Growth Mindset. It turned out that most students with a Fixed Mindset were dishonest when asked to reveal their scores. They lied about their scores because they wanted to look more successful. For people with a Fixed Mindset, imperfections are shameful. Dweck: "What’s so alarming is that we took ordinary children and made them into liars, simply by telling them they were smart.”

So, if you want to develop a healthy relationship with your kids, you want to praise them for their efforts, not for their intelligence.

8 benefits of having a Growth Mindset

Here are some other advantages for you when you start to change your Fixed Mindset into a Growth Mindset.

1) With a Growth Mindset, you are more realistic in focusing on doing the hard work. This means that the chances of you doing the hard work are much higher than when you have a Fixed Mindset. That means that you will be more successful if you have a Growth Mindset.

2) With a Growth Mindset, you are much more flexible, and you will be much more adaptive to changed situations. While change is inevitable in life, the person who is the most adaptive will be the most successful. Having a Growth Mindset will make you more successful.

3) Having a Growth Mindset will make you aware of opportunities or possibilities you would never have noticed otherwise. Your subconscious mind uses your mental filter to filter out 99.99% of all the input it gets because your conscious mind can only deal with 7 plus or minus 2 things at the same time. So, if you have a Fixed Mindset then why bother your conscious mind with new opportunities? So, they are filtered out for you by your subconscious mind. But if you would have a Growth Mindset, then these opportunities become suddenly interesting because you can do something with them and apply them to achieving your goals. So, now your subconscious mind will elegantly present you all kinds of opportunities you would otherwise have missed out on.

4) A Growth Mindset makes you more creative in solving problems. Often my wife can’t find her keys in the house, and when I start to look for them, it is often me who find her keys, or cellphone for that matter. Because I have the belief that I will find her keys fast, my subconscious mind is more perceptive for my wife’s keys, and my mental filter will allow the picture of the keys to come through to my conscious awareness as soon as I spot them. It doesn’t matter if you need to find your keys or if you need to find a solution. In both situations, you need to have a belief that you will find it. And for this, you need a Growth Mindset because someone with a Fixed Mindset will tell himself that he will not be able to find a solution.

5) With a Growth Mindset, the chance of you giving up on your efforts to pursue your goals is much less than if you have a Fixed Mindset. If you give up, you’ll never be successful. Instead with a Growth Mindset, you will be much more successful because you pursue your goals until you are successful.

6) You will be much more open to yourself and other people if you have a Growth Mindset. You are willing to admit failures and to celebrate your successes to yourself and others because you know that this is the best way for you to learn and to improve yourself. Because of that, you will learn faster from your experiences when having a Growth Mindset. If you can acquire new skills very fast, then you will be much more successful in achieving your goals and dreams.

7) With a Growth Mindset, you are realistic about all the obstacles you will meet on your path towards your goal. So, you won’t become frustrated, depressed, and lethargic at the very first obstacle. Instead, you will be optimistic about achieving your goal and struggle on. This will make you unstoppable, successful and also happier.

8) If you have a Growth Mindset, you will be much more responsible for your life. Instead of complaining and moaning and groaning of whatever fails in your life or your work, you will be in control of what is happening because you know that you can develop yourself continuously.


A growth mindset is one of the best things you could invest in. It will make you happier and more successful. And you too have the possibility to develop a growth mindset. Like to know more? Read the Growth Mindset Hacks on this page.

And until we meet …

Live fully, be awesome,

Harry Heijligers

P.S. Please take a moment to share the insights on having a growth mindset. Everyone should have the chance to change his mindset for the better, don’t you think?

Thank you!

Smart Leadership Hut Feedback
Over to you

Please leave a comment below by telling us about the way you are developing your Growth Mindset.

Thank you already in advance for sharing your thoughts and insights!

Harry Heijligers

About the author

Harry Heijligers has more than 25 years of experience as a Project Manager and more than 17 years of experience as an NLP Trainer. He has a Dutch blog about NLP here:
If you'd like to know about the Smart Leadership Hut, please check this: Smart Leadership Hut.

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