Train Your Brain for a Growth Mindset

Anyone in business or entrepreneurship faces challenges and obstacles on a daily basis. The ability to view setbacks as opportunities for growth, rather than insurmountable obstacles, can transform our approach to challenges. Fortunately, research indicates that we can train our brains to adapt, learn, and maintain an optimistic outlook. By priming our brains for a growth mindset, we enable ourselves and our organizations to thrive in the face of adversity, turning potential setbacks into stepping stones for success.

The Science Behind Growth Mindset

A growth mindset, as introduced by psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck, refers to the belief that our abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work.  Embracing a growth mindset is crucial in the business world as it fosters resilience, enhances innovation, and encourages the pursuit of mastery and personal growth. Dweck explains, “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”

This approach contrasts starkly with a fixed mindset, which views our abilities as static and unchangeable. In fact, our brains are designed to change and learn throughout our lives—a phenomenon made possible due to neuroplasticity. defines neuroplasticity as “the brain’s capacity to continue growing and evolving in response to life experiences.” This concept underpins the growth mindset, illustrating that with persistent effort, anyone can enhance their capabilities at any stage of life.

To nurture a growth mindset, we must engage in deliberate practices that reinforce brain plasticity. Setting specific goals, actively seeking feedback, and utilizing it constructively are crucial steps in this process. Neuroscience suggests that deliberate attention to challenging tasks can rewire our brains to handle future similar challenges better, enhancing our capacity for growth and adaptation over time.

Building a Habit of Growth Mindset 

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, explains the importance of shifting your focus from results to practice in order to build a growth mindset. “When you let the results define you … you become the victim of a fixed mindset. But when you dedicate yourself to showing up each day and focusing on the habits that form a better identity, that’s when you learn and develop. That’s what a growth mindset looks like in the real world.”

Here are some practical strategies we can implement on a daily basis to turn growth mindset into a habit:

  • Embrace Challenges: Actively seek out new challenges and view them as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than threats to be avoided.
  • Persist in the Face of Setbacks: When faced with obstacles, don't give up. Use setbacks as a learning experience to improve and strengthen your resolve.
  • Effort is the Pathway to Mastery: Recognize that effort leads to success and mastery over time. Value hard work and see it as a necessary part of the process towards achieving your goals.
  • Learn from Criticism: Listen to constructive feedback without defensiveness. Analyze and use it as a tool for self-improvement and personal growth.
  • Be Inspired by Others’ Successes: Instead of feeling threatened by others' achievements, let them inspire you. Learn from their successes and see them as opportunities to expand your own abilities.
  • Cultivate Curiosity: Always stay curious and eager to learn. Ask questions, seek answers, and explore new topics and areas of interest.
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself during the learning process. Acknowledge that not mastering everything immediately is part of learning.
  • Use the Power of “Yet”: When faced with something you can’t do, add the word “yet” to the end of your statement to remind yourself that learning is a journey, and skills are developed over time.
  • Focus on Learning Over Approval: Shift your focus from seeking approval to learning new things. Prioritize personal growth over the desire to be seen as competent.
  • Reframe Challenges as Opportunities: Whenever you face a difficult situation, see it as an opportunity to learn something valuable.

Benefits of a Growth Mindset in Business

According to research published in Frontiers in Psychology, leaders who foster a growth mindset within their teams create environments where problem-solving and creative thinking are paramount. This mindset not only encourages innovation but also heightens employee engagement and adaptability, which are crucial in today’s ever-evolving market landscapes.

In practice, a growth mindset leads to improved business outcomes by encouraging a culture where challenges are seen as opportunities to learn and grow. This approach allows businesses to navigate through setbacks more effectively, turning potential failures into lessons that pave the way for future success. By continually adapting and learning, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and foster a proactive rather than reactive business strategy.

Implementing Growth Mindset in Teams

Creating a growth mindset culture within an organization requires leaders to exemplify and promote learning and adaptability. Dweck describes the adoption of a growth mindset as a change from “a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework,” recognizing that growth takes “time, effort, and mutual support.” Praising and rewarding efforts, celebrating learning achievements, and viewing failures as vital learning opportunities are essential practices that promote a growth-oriented culture.

To instill this mindset across an organization, it is crucial to provide resources for professional development and create an open environment for dialogue and feedback. This approach helps individuals feel supported in their growth journey and ensures that the organization benefits from a collective increase in knowledge and skills, driving overall business success forward.


Adopting a growth mindset is transformative, enabling both individuals and organizations to excel and adapt in challenging environments. By understanding and leveraging the principles of neuroplasticity and maintaining a commitment to continuous personal and professional development, businesses can achieve remarkable growth and resilience. As Dweck aptly notes, embracing challenges and learning from them is the hallmark of a growth mindset and the key to long-term success.





Frontiers in Psychology

Psychology Today

Dr. Livingston enjoys taking care of patients from the mild to the wild. He is the doctor for you, if you have been to other places and told there was nothing that could be done for your or told “It’s all in your head”. He accepts all types of cases including workers compensation, auto accident and personal injury cases. He believes chiropractic can help everyone add life to their years and get them back to doing what they love.

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