The Theory of Growth Mindset

March 2020

“Failure is simply another word for opportunity.” One of our students said this to me recently and I’m amazed at how much the statement struck me and stayed with me. I’ve said this in so many words to many people and students over the years, but I have to admit that, at times, I ‘fail’ to follow my own advice. Sometimes, we need someone to very simply reframe a situation for us so we can redirect our thinking to a more truthful, and hopefully positive way of thinking. Most importantly, do we learn from our mistakes and failures? That is the moment when failure actually becomes an opportunity.

In the attached article, Girls’ School Principal Shares Personal Failures With Pupils,” you’ll read about a head of school who admitted to some of his failures during “failure week,” which his school invented to help dissuade students from their perfectionistic ways. At Holy Angels, we recently addressed a type of failure during one of our recent advisory meetings. Students had the opportunity to discuss the concept of failure when it is couched in terms of rejection and disappointment (from colleges, friends, etc). How we deal with not meeting the expectations that are placed on us by others, as well as those we place on ourselves, determines our resilience and ability to face challenges in the future, however significant or insignificant the hurdles may seem. It’s all a matter of our mindset.

Growth Mindset & AHA

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