Have you got a growth mindset? Read Lisa’s story

08 July 2021

Have you got a growth mindset? Read Lisa’s story

If we believe our skills and abilities can develop and improve, we have a growth mindset. If we believe our skills and abilities are personal traits that don’t change, we have a fixed mindset.

Psychologist Carol Dweck explored these mindsets when she analysed our belief systems and how they impact our abilities, potential and ultimate success. She saw our mindsets (or the way we see ourselves) as having an enormous impact on our thoughts and actions, and our ability to achieve our goals.

TopicGrowth mindsetFixed mindset

My abilities


… can improve through practice.… are fixed and unchangeable.

Failure is


… a chance to learn.… permanent.

Critical feedback


… gives me an opportunity to improve.… is a personal attack.

I feel at ease with


… challenges and obstacles.… straightforward tasks that take minimal effort.

Thinking creatively is


.. a way of innovating and improving.… something I avoid.

What I achieve in life


… depends on how much I put in.… is already decided based on my current abilities.

Lisa’s story

Lisa registered with CoAct / MS Queensland when she was looking for a job and support to stay in it. Her employment team helped her into a role as a part-time medical transcriptionist, working from home. Her employment consultant, Janet, was able to access funding so she could receive exercise physiology and remedial massage.

Lisa’s employment team also connected her with NDIS and helped her apply for a Disability Support Pension. This has enabled her to reduce the hours she works and manage challenging periods with her condition.

The team at CoAct / MS Queensland continue to provide many supports to help Lisa work and enjoy life.

At the beginning of the year we asked Lisa what would make 2021 her best year yet. She said, “Doing something awesome-inspiring to celebrate 29 years with multiple sclerosis (MS) and still being able to walk.” Let’s find out about her mindset and how that vision’s coming along.

Hello, I’m Lisa. I was diagnosed with MS in 2001 but haven’t let it stop me enjoying life. I’ve never thought ‘why me’ but rather ‘why not me’?

“MS has opened many doors that would have been closed and 99 percent of the time I feel positive. I took up swimming to stay mobile and ended up competing. I have goals and dreams just like everybody else. I strongly believe life is what you make of it and we all have choices. I decided I wanted a life and not have people feeling sorry for me.

“I work part-time and am training for the Pan Pacs in November (Asia-Pacific’s biggest and best annual masters games). I want to run like there’s no tomorrow and feel the wind on my face and in my hair. And I love the swimming and the water, I feel normal in there.

“I have a great team of support people and full-on training program. I also eat well and make sure I have at least 20 minutes rest every day with no devices. This is all helping me to achieve my goals.

“I want to see how far I’ve truly come since my diagnosis 20 years ago and what I’ve achieved in that time.

Employment consultant Janet McPherson says, “Lisa has faced many challenges but has a great mindset which allows her to continue to strive towards her goals. She’s always out to help others and looking to the future. No matter what she’s faced with day-to-day, she knows that tomorrow is a new beginning. It’s a privilege to be part of her journey.”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system. It may affect the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve and impacts more young people in Australia than any other chronic progressive neurological disease.

If you’d like some help to believe in yourself and what you can achieve, register for Disability Employment Services today.

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