Why Do Some People Succeed?

Why Do Some People Succeed?

This article is based on Harvard Business Review The Right Mindset For Success

Why do some people achieve success, while other very talented people do not?

According to Carol Dwerk, a Stanford Professor, and author of

‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’, you and I need a ‘Growth Mindset’.

What is a Growth Mindset?  How and why does a growth mindset equal success?

The Two Mindsets

There are two kinds of mindsets.  A fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is a belief that intelligence, certain characteristics, talent, and abilities

are fixed assets,  We each have a certain amount, that is what we were given and that is that.

Growth Mindset

Others believe in a Growth Mindset.  A growth mindset is one in which your talents and abilities can

be developed and therefore grow over time.  This growth can be achieved with study, mentorship, and

experience.  With a growth mindset, things such as your looks, your innate abilities, and your

intelligence are not the issue. 


A fixed mindset is a TRAP and one that is easy to fall into.  What is surprising is that it can

affect anyone.  In other words, people that have done well in school, that have gotten goods grades

and excelled are just as vulnerable as people that just squeak by. 

Both kinds of people can shut themselves off to growth.

The talented gifted people may feel that they have already ‘arrived’, so there is no need for growth.

The people that just get by may feel that this lack of success is their destiny, so there is no need

for growth.

There are also those people who are simply afraid.  Afraid of change, afraid of mistakes, afraid

of failure.  Fear holds so many back and stifles growth.

The Untrapped

Of course, there are those people that do amazing things.  Why?

Studies have shown that they have a growth mindset.  That growth is constant 

and persistent.  Even when they arrive, they are the kind of people that continue to

grow.  Learning and improving have become part of who they are.

What’s In It For You?

Developing a growth mindset changes your attitude and changes your perception.

Challenges are no longer seen as threats, they are opportunities.  Obstacles and

difficulties are no longer dreaded, they present opportunities for learning and growth.

Instead of your having a negative, protective or defensive attitude, a growth mindset

helps you to focus on the process and helps you to seek out, find, and implement the

steps that are going to result in your successes which will add up to your overall success.

With a growth mindset, even failures have value.  They become learning and growth experiences.

Failures no longer hinder your success, they now become springboards.

How To Engage Your Own Growth Mindset

#1;  Put the utmost value on your learning, dedication, passion and growth. 

#2: What you already know has value, but what you are about to learn is what matters.

#3:  Be more willing to take risks, to step out of your comfort zone.

#4:  Dive in.  Engage with a wholehearted approach

#5:  Enjoy.  You will discover that a growth mindset allows you to better enjoy your journey

to success.  Allow that joy to manifest.  This new found pleasure will add to your growth mindset.


Studies have shown that focusing on our talent or praising one’s talent such as your child or an employee

can lead to a fixed mindset.  Studies also show that praise and focus on grit, determination and

effort, help ourselves and others to grow and to better overcome obstacles.


Being more willing and more open to taking risks means that you are going to be more willing

to step out of your comfort zone.  The good news is that the more often that you venture out of your comfort zone, the easier it becomes. 

In other words, you are going to become more and more comfortable in areas that were previously uncomfortable. 

You will be regularly facing new situations and new challenges  You are going to be in new uncharted territory

and thus you will become a novice over and over again, which can bring confusion and struggle.

Your growth mindset will help you to understand that periods of confusion and struggle

are normal.  You will be able to overcome confusion with learning, thus changing confusion to clarity.  Struggle will simply build your strength. 

You will not only be comfortable, you will be able to embrace negatives since you

can see their benefits and positive value.


Research has proven that a growth mindset is essential for your success.  Consider

that your mindset is like a flower.  A fixed mindset prevents your blooming, whereas a

growth mindset stimulates your blooming. 

Do not let your mindset hold you back.

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