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Achieve More With a Growth Mindset

Achieve More With a Growth Mindset

Take your career to the next level by changing your way of thinking.

The terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset” were coined by Dr. Carol Dweck to describe the underlying beliefs people have regarding intelligence and learning. “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work — brains and talent are just the starting point,” said Dr. Dweck. “This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

Dr. Dweck discovered that a person’s theories about their capabilities and intelligence played a part in their level of effort, motivation, and approach to challenges, including in their careers. Those with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges, give up easily, ignore or take offense to feedback, and eventually hit a plateau. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, persist after multiple failures or setbacks, learn from feedback, and reach higher levels of achievement.

If a fixed mindset sounds all too familiar, it may be time to cultivate a new way of thinking.

Forge a New Path

In the world of medical coding, there are endless opportunities for growth and advancement. The key is utilizing the knowledge you already have and expanding it to help you reach your goals. A growth mindset allows you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, discover what you enjoy doing, reach out to seasoned colleagues for constructive feedback, and use what you learn to develop your career path.

Here are four ways to develop a growth mindset:

1. Take Risks – Failure is an inevitable part of life, and how you respond to it will play a part in determining where you end up. Are you someone who gives up or someone who learns from failure and changes your approach until you succeed? Do you see failure as an end or as a chance to learn? A growth mindset eliminates the fear of failure, which helps you move forward and upward in your career.

2. Accept Feedback – No one likes to hear what they’ve done wrong or how they should have done something another way. We all want to be successful the first time around but that doesn’t always happen. When you receive less than positive feedback, don’t take offense. Think about what was said, learn from it, and then use it to get better at what you do.

3. Challenge Yourself – Challenging yourself involves stepping out of your comfort zone. Rather than boxing yourself in and spending day after day going through the motions, get involved in a team project or on a task in an area in which you are unfamiliar. Thinking of getting a new certification? Do it! Adapting and learning new things will help you discover new and better ways to get things done.

4. Believe That You Can – One of the big differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset is how you use the words “can” and “can’t.” If you find yourself saying things like, “I can’t do it,” or “I’m not good enough to be a supervisor,” you have a fixed mindset. Changing to a growth mindset requires questioning your fixed mindset voice. Instead of saying “I can’t do it,” say “I can’t do it YET.” Adding “yet” gives you time to try and eventually reach your goal. Over time, you may find “can’t” is no longer a part of your inner vocabulary.

Keep an Open Mind

Developing a growth mindset requires practicing awareness and focusing on changing your way of thinking. Not only will it help clear the way to a successful career path, but it can also help you develop skills and abilities that will follow you throughout your career. Keep an open mind and always remember — yes, YOU CAN!


mindsetworks®. (n.d.). Why Do Mindsets Matter?

O’Melveny & Myers LLP. (Feb. 23, 2022). Growth Mindset – A Key to Success. https://firsthand.co/blogs/vaults-law-blog-legal-careers-and-industry-news/growth-mindset-a-key-to-success

Stahl, A. (July 23, 2020). How Your Fixed Mindset Is Limiting Your Career, And How To Change It. Forbes. www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2020/07/23/how-your-fixed-mindset-is-limiting-your-career-and-how-to-change-it

SRG. (n.d.). Growth Mindset – The Key to a Successful Career.

Lindsey Motter
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Lindsey Motter, LPN, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, is the education officer for the Professional Coders of Central Pennsylvania local chapter in Harrisburg, Pa.

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