How to Develop a Growth Mindset

November 28, 2023

How do you face tough times? Does your mind immediately head to worry? It’s not uncommon to stress when challenges arise or when things don’t go according to our plans, but there are ways we can develop ourselves to focus on the positives. 

Throughout the 20 years that Brian Ellis, Commercial Manager for Cat Reman, has been with Caterpillar, he has experienced his own fair share of challenges. He has become adept at shifting his perspective to have a growth mindset.  

“Worrying from my perspective is like having a fixed mindset. It avoids challenges, it is the tendency to give up when obstacles are ahead. It ignores useful and negative feedback or criticism. It feels threatened when others see success,” says Brian.  

Instead of thinking “I’m worried that,” Brian recommends shifting to a mindset of “I wonder if.”   

“These thoughts lead to action and at least one step forward,” says Brian. “They embrace growth and change obstacles into opportunities.” 

Here are Brian’s six tips for developing a growth mindset: 

  1. Embrace challenges 
  2. Change obstacles into opportunities 
  3. Make the complicated simple then take the first step 
  4. Learn from criticism 
  5. Be inspired by others’ success 
  6. Share your successes … this is how you fail forward! 

“I believe we have all made mistakes, but the goal is to learn from our mistakes. And thank those people who are willing to pour into us and provide positive and negative feedback,” Brian says. “If you haven’t had a chance to fail yet, my grandpa always told me ‘Keep living, you’ll get an opportunity!’” 

At Caterpillar, we're committed to providing continuous resources and opportunities for our teams to grow their skills and experiences. That's why Caterpillar's Reman employees are focused on getting 1% better every day this year through small, continuous improvements. Next time you’re faced with a challenge, remember Brian’s tips on developing a growth mindset.  

Brian Ellis