Stoked About Growth Mindset

My good friend Mike Kates is a trainer in beautiful Hawaii. Seeing his name in my inbox brings thoughts of the thrill of surfing and the calm beauty of the islands. He recently shared a reflection on the important difference between a fixed versus a growth mindset, and how your mindset drives your response to life’s challenges and joys.

“You can usually find yourself in one of two types of mindsets: fixed or growth.  A fixed mindset will keep you in your comfort zone usually for fear of failure or being poorly evaluated in some way. A growth mindset knows that failure is an unavoidable stepping stone on your path to your next level. A growth mindset also knows that widening your comfort zone requires being uncomfortable, sometimes even feeling fear, but doing something anyway. When you overcome that fear, the fear becomes confidence. And for me that is the true meaning of feeling STOKED. It’s the rush you get from widening your comfort zone… It has the power to truly make you feel good about yourself.”

Is fear the root of a fixed mindset? I think it is.  Fear can make us hide under a rock and stay silent when we want to speak up. Fear of what others might think, fear of being “wrong” or of “failure”.  When I host my Policy Circle for a discussion, my mind is getting a workout. I have to share my own understanding of the issue and actively listen to other points of view. I feel “stoked” when I take the time to learn about an issue and have a face to face conversation about policy. Not back and forth emails or posts, but an in-person exchange.

Want to give your growth mindset a workout this summer?  Make time for some face-to-face policy conversations – over lunch, at the beach, on a walk.  Get Stoked!

Start a circle at


For surfing workouts set in Hawaii, follow Mike Kates on Instagram.