Spark #

Failure = Growth

People in a growth mindset don't just seek challenge, they thrive on it. The bigger the challenge, the more they stretch.

Spark #
Failure = Growth
What We're Talking About

The principle we're discussing

This spark will explore how your mindset helps determine whether or not you try something a second time.

In a fixed mindset, setbacks and failures steer you away from effort. With a growth mindset, those same setbacks and failures push you to put in even more effort.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset behaviors

It’s sort of like trying to fix a car that broke down in the middle of the road. You’ve already spent time and effort trying to figure out what’s wrong, but if you can’t solve the problem and you’re on a dead-end road with nowhere to be, you might just leave the car and walk somewhere that can tow it to a shop, or call a tow truck.

But if you’re in the middle of a busy road where other cars are depending on you to move, your effort changes. When you can’t figure out the problem, you might use all the strength you can muster (and all the support you can get from strangers) to move your car out of the way so you’re not holding up traffic. 

In a growth mindset, a setback just leads to doing more. In a fixed mindset, a setback means you stop.

Why it Matters

Why this principle is important and matters to you

In life and at work, failure happens more than we expect. No one, not even those with a growth mindset, loves failure. But those with a growth mindset do know what to do with failure. And that’s huge.

When you’re working on a project at work, failing is hard. Whether you’ve been working on your own or with a team, it’s difficult to say to (or hear from) your colleagues that the project failed. With a fixed mindset, you put that project in the “doesn’t work” column and move on to the next one. But with a growth mindset, a failed project gets taken apart and reworked. You’re able to adjust how you did things to tackle what you’re working on differently, ultimately working yourself towards success.

And guess what? Even if that project is never successful, you’ll have better team-building skills, along with the satisfaction of knowing you tried everything to get it right. And frankly, that’s just as good as getting it 100% “correct.”

How You Can Use It

This provides practical ways to apply learnings from this Spark

Think about the last time you failed or weren’t immediately great at something. When that failure happened, what did you do? If you kept going, what made you work through the things that were tough for you? If you gave up, what stopped you? 

Take a moment to think about how you might handle “failures” differently, knowing what you now know about yourself and the growth mindset.


An opportunity to reflect on yourself and/or your team and how you can apply these insights

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