My Journey from Fixed to Growth Mindset: Embracing the Real Chances

by Brusha Tolise

In life, we often meet challenges that can either become roadblocks or stepping stones. I recently embarked on a journey of self-discovery, stumbling upon the transformative concepts of a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Little did I know that understanding these mindsets would bring positive changes in my life. 


It all began when I noticed a pattern of self-limiting thoughts and a fear of failure that held me back from taking risks. I was so accustomed to doing things that I already had knowledge of doing.  I attended multiple workshops at Dreams Are Possible, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women, and those who identify as women obtain better jobs and improve their family income. I learned about fixed mindset. This mindset, characterized by the belief that abilities and intelligence are innate and unchangeable, explained my reluctance to embrace challenges and learn from failures.  

How many can say, “I need to sit back and do a self-assessment"? When I completed mine, I realized how hard it was to make a change because I have been this way for so long.  

In Dreams Are Possible, I also met the antidote to the fixed mindset - the growth mindset. Embracing a growth mindset meant understanding that abilities can be developed through dedication, hard work, and learning. This realization was a game-changer, as it opened up a world of possibilities for improvement and resilience in the face of setbacks. 

I at once realized that a person could have a fixed and growth mindset at the same time. I realized I was more fixed than growth and that was an obstacle I quickly overcame. Having a fear of driving all my life has put me at a roadblock that I felt I would never overcome. Learning about the growth mindset helped me move past and conquer the roadblock after 15 years. I not only learned how to drive, but I also got my license at the age of 29 and got my very first car. 

Not only did knowing the concept of a fixed and growth mindset help me overcome the fear of driving, but I at once was able to look at the rest of my life to see where I can make changes and stop being stuck in the ways I was comfortable with. I put the growth mindset to my job and was able to work more efficiently as a team by accepting challenges and more work projects. 

I continue to overcome obstacles. Being able to accept constructive criticism as a tool of improvement to refine my skills but also embrace a path of continuous development.  

The Impact on My Life: Real Chances 

  • Embracing Challenges: With a newfound understanding, I began to welcome challenges instead of avoiding them. Rather than fearing failure, I saw it as an opportunity to learn and grow. This shift in my perspective transformed setbacks from stumbling blocks into stepping stones toward success, I know I truly have been given a Real Chance at life, seeing that positive people and loved ones around me were more than patient with me to grow. 
  • Learning from Criticism: Constructive criticism no longer felt like a personal attack. Instead, I saw it as valuable feedback. This shift allowed me to view criticism as a tool, helping me become a better version of myself because I am given Real Chances
  • Cultivating Resilience: The growth mindset instilled a sense of resilience within me that I tend to overlook. Instead of giving up or staying at a standpoint, I learned to persevere, adapt, and bounce back stronger. Every challenge became a chance to prove to myself that I could overcome it because I was given a Real Chance and I believe in myself now more than ever. 
  • Continuous Learning: Embracing a growth mindset fueled a desire for continuous learning which I always have had the desire to learn. I started seeking out new opportunities, getting new skills, and expanding my knowledge. The joy of learning became a driving force in my personal and professional life because I was given Real Chances after experiencing incarceration. 

In the journey from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, I discovered the power of belief in one's ability to learn and adapt. This shift in mindset has not only positively affected my personal development but has also influenced the way I approach challenges and setbacks all around the board. Embracing a growth mindset has become a beacon of optimism, guiding me toward a future filled with endless possibilities. I was able to finally see what Real Chances are because there are organizations that believe in me like Labyrinth Made Goods and Dreams Are Possible. 

If you find yourself facing self-limiting beliefs, consider exploring the concept of a growth mindset. You might just unlock the potential for positive change in your life as well.