Growth Mindset

Module 5

Growth Mindset.mp4

SheEO Founder, Vicki Saunders

This module focuses on developing a growth mindset, the ability to interpret your experiences from a lens of learning and growth vs a fixed mindset, and get free of the lens of negatively judging yourself.


This module is even better done with a group of people - so gather a few of your friends to complete!

    1. Watch the video above and meet SheEO Founder, Vicki Saunders!
    2. Use the link in your Module 4 follow-up email to complete to access the Growth Mindset Quiz
    3. Once submitted, you'll receive an email from with your results and Takeaway Activity
    4. Reflect on your quiz results. Which part of a growth mindset do you need to work on? All of it? Feedback? Being inspired by others? Use the steps to help reframe one thing that you have a fixed mindset on. For instance, “I’ve always secretly wanted to learn the clarinet but I am afraid to sound terrible.
    5. Debrief with some friends or colleagues. What’s hard for you all? How can you support one another to use a growth mindset? Then together talk about your key takeaways from the whole year. What was the most important thing you discovered about yourself? About being a SheEO? What do you want to continue to work on?
    6. Refer back to this page for deeper explanations, takeaway activities and resources

Please note: you must complete Module 4 in order to receive a link to the Growth Mindset Quiz

You've completed the Growth Mindset Quiz, What Next?

Look at how many even and odd Trues you have.

Do you have more odds than evens? That means you have more of a Fixed Mindset. If you have more evens than odds, then you have more of a Growth Mindset.


Whether they’re aware of it or not, all people keep a running account of what’s happening to them, what it means, and what they should do. In other words, our minds are constantly monitoring and interpreting.

Fixed Mindset

The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is focused on judging:

  • "This means I’m a loser.”
  • “This means I’m a better person than they are.”
  • “This means I’m a bad student.”
  • “This means I should give up.”

Growth Mindset

People with a growth mindset are also constantly monitoring what’s going on, but their internal monologue is not about judging themselves and others in this way....they’re attuned to its implications for learning and constructive action:

  • "What can I learn from this?"
  • "How can I improve?"
  • "How can I help others do this better?"

A Growth Mindset has been shown to create greater and greater levels of achievement and success throughout a person’s life, while a Fixed Mindset tends to lead to a person plateauing early. Don’t worry, though if you have more of a Fixed Mindset right now. You can grow, learn and change!

Takeaway Activity

Step 1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

As you approach a challenge, that voice might say to you:

    • “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”
    • “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure”
    • “People will laugh at you for thinking you had talent.”

As you hit a setback, the voice might say:

    • “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”
    • “You see, I told you it was a risk. Now you’ve gone and shown the world how limited you are.”
    • “It’s not too late to back out.”

As you face criticism, you might hear yourself say, “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.” You might feel yourself getting angry at the person who is giving you feedback. “Who do they think they are? I’ll put them in their place.” The other person might be giving you specific, constructive feedback, but you might be hearing them say “I’m really disappointed in you. I thought you were capable but now I see you’re not.”

Step 2. Recognize that you have a choice.

How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking.

Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities.

It’s up to you.

Step 3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

As you approach a challenge:

    • THE FIXED MINDSET says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”
    • THE GROWTH MINDSET answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”


    • FIXED MINDSET: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure.”
    • GROWTH MINDSET: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”

As you hit a setback:

    • FIXED MINDSET: “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”
    • GROWTH MINDSET: “Even talented people have to put in tons of effort to succeed.”

As you face criticism:

    • FIXED MINDSET: “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.”
    • GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is – and learn whatever I can.”

Step 4. Take the growth mindset action.

Over time, which voice you pay attention to becomes pretty much your choice. Whether you...

• take on the challenge wholeheartedly,

• learn from your setbacks and try again,

• hear the criticism and act on it.

Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on the growth mindset. See how you can make it work for you.

To Go Deeper

Developing a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck

Should you tell your kids they are smart or talented? Professor Carol Dweck answers this question and more, as she talks about her groundbreaking work on developing mindsets. She emphasizes the power of "yet" in helping students succeed in and out of the classroom.

Here's why your attitude is more important than your intelligence

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success