• shiv kumar

A growing mind is a success workshop - part 2

Updated: Nov 25

The first part of this blog ( ended with my claim that you have displayed the growth mindset many times already in your life. If you’re wondering about the veracity of my claim about your life, let’s go back to the time when you were a baby who was about to move from the crawling to the walking stage. You must have fallen over many times in this attempt, but it never stopped you from trying, did it?

Now think of some of the other milestones in your life – learning to drive, learning a new subject or language, grasping a new concept, etc.

Every one of these tasks seemed difficult when you first started it, right? But that didn’t put you off. When you started learning to ride a bicycle and fell off, you just got up and tried again. That is what a growth mindset is all about - realizing that when you try something new, you’re likely to fail and that is okay!


Research into the learning process has shown that there are four distinct stages of learning that could be represented by measuring competence versus consciousness.

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Bear with me folks…this may sound all too academic but it’s actually very real and interesting. Think of yourself relative to some of your skills and picture yourself in these stages.

Stage 1: Unconsciously Incompetent

In this stage, you don’t know that you don’t know! You’re unaware of your lack of knowledge. Some might say “ignorance is bliss” but hey, when you hit a snag or roadblock in life and wish you knew something, it’s not very blissful, is it?

Stage 2: Consciously Incompetent

This is when you know that don’t know. You become aware of your incompetence and seeds are sown for your learning journey.

Stage 3: Consciously Competent

In this stage, you’re aware of your skills. You tend to be conscious and careful while using the skill or knowledge.

Stage 4: Unconsciously Competent

This is the final stage when you’re 'in the zone'. You are considered competent or skillful, and doing the task has become second nature. As I like to say, you can do the task “with your eyes closed and hands tied behind your back”.

This is the best stage of the learning process, but the key here is to be aware of not falling into the comfort zone trap. It can lead to boredom and monotony but more importantly, it can lead to mistakes due to overconfidence. Global health and safety statistics show that a large percentage of workplace accidents involve experienced and skilled workers!


I don’t know about you, but I have been in the fixed mindset camp in the past. I believe it’s just human to sometimes find yourself in that position. Nothing to feel bad about or be ashamed of.

However, I’m now a firm believer in the power of the growth mindset. My personal experiences as well as those of many that I’ve interacted with have convinced me of the benefits of having a growth mindset.

The quotes below from a couple of the greatest minds that ever lived are testament to the benefits of learning from failure:

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer” ~ Albert Einstein

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” ~ Confucius

I’m now going to give you a magic word that could be your mindset superpower.

The word is “YET”.

Every time you’re faced with a situation where you think “I don’t know this”, just add “yet” and change the thought into “I don’t know this yet”. What that does is it removes the sense of finality about your lack of knowledge and instead opens up a possibility.

You can then weigh up your decision regarding learning that skill. That way you'll have clarity on your future course of action.

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