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Growth Mindset: how to look at problems in a positive way

How to create a growth mindset

Click on the video icon This video from the University of New South Wales outlines some things you can do to create a growth mindset

Consider the following fixed mindset statements and apply the 'change mindset process' to provide alternative growth mindset statements for each. The process is:  

  • hear the fixed mindset voice 
  • realise that you have a choice  
  • listen to the alternative growth mindset voice 
  • act on the mindset voice
Fixed mindset statements  Alternative growth mindset statements 

I can't write essays 

I have an opportunity to learn more about how to write a good essay. 

Other things to consider

The other students understand this better 
Am I missing something? If I speak to the other students, I can find out what I need to know. 
The lecturer gave me too low a mark 
I need to get feedback from the lecturer so I can work harder and improve my mark

Other things to consider

This is the best I can do 

I know that I can work harder and do better than this
It wasn't my fault that I missed the deadline 
I need to take responsibility for missing the deadline and make sure it does not happen again

Other things to consider

There is too much work to do to pass 
It's time to make a study plan and put more time into my studies so that I pass

Other things to consider
I never sleep well the night before an exam 

I'm going to speak to my tutor to discuss strategies to help me relax under pressure. 


Other things to consider:

I'm aiming for the pass mark of 40% 
40% is well below what I know I can achieve if I work hard enough
I ignore feedback when I get coursework back 
Feedback can really help me to look for areas to improve my future coursework

Other things to consider

There is no point going to the exam, I will just wait and do the re-sit 

I might pick up some tips from attending the exam or do better than I expect and pass

Other things to consider

Attending the revision tutorial would be a waste of time 
The revision tutorial will give me some extra guidance to help me focus my study
I lose an hour a day travelling to university 
I can catch up with some rest or read my notes when I am travelling to university

Other things to consider

It's hard to get in on time for the 9am lecture 
The discipline of getting to 9am lectures is giving me good experience for future employment
I hate group work. Other people hold me back 
Group work gives me a chance to develop leadership skills

Other things to consider
Only my core modules are interesting 
The non-core modules are broadening my knowledge of other subject disciplines

Adapted from: Eales, A. (2020) Supporting students to develop transition skills during times of uncertainty. Available at: (Accessed: 12 May 2020).