From a fixed mindset to a growth mindset

April 21, 2022


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Now that the pandemic is behind us, it is important to reflect on the life lessons of this significant period and how we want to frame our lives and work post-corona. For adventurer, TEDx speaker and high performance coach Cedric Dumont, everything starts with the right mindset. ‘The right mindset makes the difference between success and failure. It is as simple as that.’ Today, Cedric jumps off buildings as a base jumper, but as a child he was actually cautious and calculated. ‘I was not incredibly talented and mentally I was not strong. At one point, I could have easily said: I will never be mentally strong. But I refused to accept that. I was not born a daredevil, I became that way because I wanted to.’

Rocket mindset

The latter is what Cedric calls a ‘rocket’ or ‘growth’ mindset. Against such a growth mindset, psychologists place a ‘fixed’ mindset. People with a fixed mindset do not believe they can still grow. Or they simply do not see the need for it. They think: I was born this way and I will die this way. Cedric: ‘There are top athletes and top entrepreneurs with a lot of talent and a lot of skills who nevertheless do not live up to their potential: they lack the right mindset.’
‘In addition, there are people who may have less talent but are willing to work hard. What do we see? The less talented category are often much more successful.’

I cannot/I can

We all live with thought patterns that limit what we want to do or can do. If you do not detect those patterns, you cannot change them and you will be stuck in them forever. Cedric: ‘I was always convinced that I was not a good speaker, that I was better off not getting up on a stage to talk about my ideas. If I had to give a presentation in front of the class, I could not even sleep the night before. So when a friend asked me to come and speak for his company one day, I had to break a limiting thought pattern that had been haunting me since my school days. By breaking the thought that I could not speak in front of an audience, I made the unthinkable the new normal. Today, public speaking is an important part of my job.’

The choice is yours

Especially in times of change and learning – think post-pandemic – a growth mindset is a must. Being open to the so-called learning pit, learning from your mistakes and embracing this phase of transition – no matter how unpleasant – is the basis for a good transformation, for a good reset.

If you manage to see crisis as an opportunity, if you have enough resilience and have prepared your mindset for moments of crisis, the most fun part begins: shaping your own life. Cedric: ‘Realise this: you are no longer a child and you have free will. You can choose whether to hold on to such a restrictive thought pattern or erase it. Your quality of life depends on it. The choice is yours!’

Cedric Dumont is an adventurer, entrepreneur and pioneer in extreme sports such as basejump and wingsuit. He is a sought-after speaker on leadership, focus and performing under pressure.


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maartje vanewijk

Annelies Theunissen
People Sustainability Expert

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