4 Simple Mindset Shifts That Helped My Clients’ Teens Go from Failing to Thriving

person holding a green plant

Points to be covered:

  • The role of mindset in academic performance
  • Four key mindset shifts that can drastically improve academic success
  • Real-life transformations: how these shifts have helped my clients’ teens
  • Actionable strategies for parents to facilitate these mindset shifts
  • Utilising academic coaching for reinforced change


Hello, dear parents!

Are you grappling with the challenge of a struggling teenager? You’re not alone. Over my career, I’ve worked with countless underperforming teenagers as a teacher, head of sixth form and academic performance coach. One crucial area I focus on is the role mindset plays in academic success. Today, I’ll share four simple yet profoundly effective mindset shifts that have helped many teens go from failing to thriving in their academic lives.

1. From “I Can’t” to “I Can Try”

Why It Matters:

This is the foundation of a growth mindset. When your teen adopts the empowering belief of “I can try,” a world of possibilities opens up, and effort is incentivised.

Quick Wins for Parents:

  1. Celebrate Effort Over Outcome: Shift the focus from results to the effort invested in achieving them.
  2. Introduce YouTube Growth Mindset Videos: These can serve as powerful reminders of the value of a growth mindset.

2. From “It’s Too Hard” to “It’s a Challenge I Can Overcome”

Why It Matters:

Perceiving difficulties as challenges rather than as insurmountable obstacles paves the way for proactive problem-solving and a can-do attitude.

Quick Wins for Parents:

  1. Set Achievable Goals: Work with your teen to establish small, achievable academic goals to make challenges more manageable.
  2. Time Management for Teens: Teaching your teen to prioritise tasks effectively can be invaluable in overcoming challenges.
  3. Consider Academic Coaching: A teen academic coach can offer additional support in implementing these mindset shifts.

3. From “I’m Not Good at This” to “I Can Improve with Practice”

Why It Matters:

This shift from a fixed to a growth mindset encourages the belief that skills and abilities can be developed through consistent effort and practice.

Quick Wins for Parents:

  1. Show Real-world Examples: Share stories of individuals who achieved success through persistence and practice.
  2. Utilise Flash Cards: An excellent tool for making practice more effective and focused.

4. From “I’ll Never Pass” to “I’ll Do My Best to Pass”

Why It Matters:

Setting realistic yet optimistic expectations can have a profound impact on the strategies employed and the effort put forth.

Quick Wins for Parents:

  1. Mock Exams: Use these as a practical tool for simulating real exam conditions and helping your teen see that success is attainable.
  2. Daily Reflection: Encourage a brief reflection period after study sessions to help your teen assess what worked and what didn’t.
  3. Employ the Pomodoro Technique: This time-management method can make large tasks more manageable and less overwhelming.


Mindset shifts are not mere buzzwords; they are foundational principles that can change the trajectory of your teen’s academic life. While these shifts don’t happen overnight, with consistent effort and the right strategies, transformative changes are achievable.

If you’re looking for a structured way to implement these mindset shifts, my ‘Surviving to Thriving’ programme can offer the guidance you’re seeking. As a seasoned academic coach, I’ve had the privilege of helping many teens transform their academic lives through these crucial mindset shifts.

Isn’t it time we empower our teens with the right mindset to succeed academically? Let’s help them go from failing to thriving, both in school and in life.

Ready for that transformation? Let’s make it happen together. Click here to book a free consultation call now.