HERO + Growth Mindset

HERO is a way to remind ourselves to operate with Hope, Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism.

A Growth Mindset is essential to making progress in school and in life! Why? Adversities arise and doubt can be distracting as we travel on the road from where we are to who we want to be become. Choosing a Growth Mindset allows you to grow through what you go through. This mindset helps you to unleash the HERO within and help others develop their own HERO.

Here are the key ingredients to growth based upon the research of Carol Dweck, who is credited as the foremost scholar on Growth Mindset:

  • Feedback
  • Effort
  • Mistakes
  • Challenges

How did reading that list make you feel? Just like many people are not excited about lifting weights, you may not be super excited about these key ingredients for growth. Nevertheless, our mind is a muscle that gets exercised by how we confront challenges. When things are not easy for us, much like the resistance we want to experience to get physically stronger, we can get mentally stronger, too. We can recover and figure things out because we have what it takes to succeed. So, let’s HERO but make it a Growth Mindset!

Hope is about having an expectation about future positive outcomes. Hope is not an “I hope it will work out attitude”. Feedback from trusted sources, and learning from experiences, fuels hope. It lets you know if you are on the right track and ultimately helps you to get better. Good feedback can help you overcome blind-spots—the things you don’t know about yourself that other people can see. This key ingredient for growth helps us learn more about ourselves from others.

Efficacy is about your confidence in your ability and capacity. You have skills and abilities that enabled you to be where you are today. It is not a matter of luck but the effort you have invested! Reflect upon the last time you experienced success. What helped you to succeed? What did you do? Who helped you? Effort is not something to escape, but embrace. The work you put in will be worth it. You can do it!

Resilience is more than a trendy word. Resilience is rooted in reality. You may get knocked down, but you can decide to get back up again. You live and learn. We all do! You may make a mistake and even experience failure. You are not a mistake and you are not a failure. Obstacles come along as part of the journey in the classroom, in our careers, and in the community whenever we pursue change for the better.

Optimism is believing that good things will happen for you and to you in the future. You enjoy the good right now and know more opportunities await in the days ahead. The last ingredient for growth involves viewing challenges as opportunities. You shall overcome. You have overcome before and you are a powerful person who can choose to believe that better is coming.

Whatever your life looks like right now, know you have what it takes to succeed at Cincinnati State and beyond. Change is possible. In fact, the next time things do not go well or as planned, consider this HERO + Growth Mindset perspective: you have seen things can change. Why not believe that things can change again in your favor and move in a positive direction?

You can choose to learn from feedback, choose to put in the effort, choose to not give up, and choose to give things another try. When you start naturally using this perspective you can overcome obstacles and believe that you have a good future ahead of you.


Dr. Valencia Moses has over fifteen years of experience facilitating transformational learning experiences for people across all stages of life wherever she has lived across the country. 

Dr. V serves as a Learning Facilitator for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Cincinnati State. She loves teaching HUM 190 and FYE. Dr. V is also the Founder of Vibrant Coaching.

As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Dr. V specializes in helping people own their unique identities using the CliftonStrengths Assessment as one of several tools to help people live successful and meaningful lives. This is why the tagline for Vibrant Coaching is “Be the best you on purpose”!