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December 9, 2019

Turning Stumbling Blocks into Stepping-Stones

Having a growth mindset can help us turn our setbacks into opportunities

In life, we may come across what feels like one stumbling block after another with little hope that things will get better. With these feelings, it can be easy to see failure as a sign that we don’t have what it takes to succeed. This way of thinking, however, is far from the truth.

Challenges will come our way, but we can turn our stumbling blocks into stepping-stones as we develop a growth mindset.1 Having a growth mindset can help us see our failures as opportunities to grow rather than setbacks.

An example of this mindset would be a student saying, “I’m not good at math, yet.” They believe they can develop the skill rather than telling themselves they can’t do it and won’t ever be able to do it. We ourselves can develop a growth mindset as we try new things and embrace mistakes, seek help from those close to us, and listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Solving problems is easier when we embrace mistakes.

Try new things and embrace mistakes

Sometimes we don’t go after our hopes and dreams because we’re afraid of making a mistake. Making a mistake, however, allows our brain to flourish with activity. The more we put ourselves in situations that stretch us, the more we will be able to solve difficult problems.2

Trying new things is one way we can practice developing a growth mindset. When we branch out and put ourselves in unfamiliar circumstances, we can create our own learning environment — a place that promotes challenge and growth. By seeking these experiences, we can walk a path of life-long learning that will frequently help us develop and increase our intelligence.

Ask for help

Seeking to develop a growth mindset is great with a friend! A friend or colleague can help hold us accountable for our progress and remind us of our potential. It’s important to choose the right person though. A great choice would be a person who can encourage us when we don’t think we can do it ask us how we’re doing with our goals.

Our friends can remind us that we haven’t achieved our desired results yet, but still encourage us to get there! In fact, as we try challenging things and receive encouragement from our peers, we will be inspired, but we can also inspire them. Our courage to seek higher education, or perform a difficult task, can have a lasting impact on those around us — leading others to turn their stumbling blocks into stepping-stones as well.

Friends can be a great reminder that we can do hard things.

Rely on the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost is another companion we can use to develop a growth mindset. He can speak peace to our minds when we make a mistake, help us recognize the potential within us, and discover areas where we can improve.

When we struggle to understand assignments, or face difficult circumstances at home, we can pray for guidance and peace. Then as we act in faith, we can develop a growth mindset because of the challenge, growth, and learning we will be blessed with.

Choosing to learn and grow from our challenges turns our stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.

Stepping forward with faith

Difficult circumstances will come into our lives, but as we begin to exercise a growth mindset, our intellectual capacity will increase. Challenges aren’t meant to be stumbling blocks in our lives, but rather they’re meant to serve as stepping-stones to lead us back to Heavenly Father.3

Life is full of opportunities to grow and increase our capacity to learn. We each can see the good in our challenges as we view them as steps in our eternal progression. Though it will stretch us, often beyond comfort, we can move forward with gladness.

How has a growth mindset helped you in your life? Share your experiences in the comments below!

1^ To learn more about a growth mindset, see Carol S. Dweck’s TED talk, “The power of believing that you can improve
2^ See Jo Boaler, “Mistakes Grow Your Brain,” accessed Aug. 23, 2019
3^  See Elder Lynn G. Robbins, “Until Seventy Times Seven,” Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2018

Comments on "Turning Stumbling Blocks into Stepping-Stones"

Francis Sernyo Doku says:

Thank you.

Faith Bridget Beatrice says:

Thank you for this motivation.

Eric says:

Thank you for the motivation it means a lot to me. I praise God for the good advice.

Samantha says:

Thank you for motivating us.

Matial junior mpompa says:

A growth mindset has helped me to achieve many thing in life. For instance, over my mission there were many challenges, but with growth mindset, I have always been able to overcome them by learning, working hard, and a great desire to succeed.

Alamani Faiva says:

Thank you for the inspiration you have shared with us. I can’t wait to experience my challenges through BYU-Pathway.

Chima Nwaokonko says:

A growth mindset has taught me that having faith and trust in our Heavenly father, there’s nothing impossible for me to achieve or that is above our reach.

A growth mindset has stretched my ability to think, identify, and solve problems.
And by trying to correct my mistakes, I’ve seen the very best in me and becoming perfect on that particular subject.

I thank Heavenly Father for the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, which I felt at this time. I am grateful that I have the ability to do all things that I set my mind on.

CBN says:

Perspective is crucial. A wise saying goes thus, “it is not the weight of the load that makes one’s hand to ache but the way one carries it”. Linking this saying to the above discussion, it is not the mistakes we make that keep you back but our perception of them.

I had to consciously develop a growth mindset over the years. Initially when faced with challenges and seeming mistakes, I would strictly block my mind from taking a moment to analyze the mistakes for fear of self judgement. This affected me in that lack of proper assessment of my mistake eroded me of any chance of ever learning from them which inevitably led to repetitions. However everything changed when The Holy Spirit began to instruct my heart to properly analyze the mistakes with love, forgiveness and graciousness. My exponential growth ever since knows no bound!

Now I’m enrolled in BYU-Pathway, about to begin a new journey of learning, growing, implementation and change. I am excited and grateful.

iga george says:

What I can say is that we need faith in everything in this earthly life and the guidance of the Holy Ghost to seek knowledge through education.


For me, a growth mindset has helped me to overcome a lot of challenges in life. I remember when I was in the desert in Libya due to what I was going through at that time, I thought I would never make it this far, not even when I was also kept in the prison for what I know nothing about, but the Lord stood by me. The Lord knows that a day like this will come for me to share my little story with you, so one thing I believe is that the same God will be there for me now that I have been privileged to be a new PathwayConnect student. So whatever blocking stone we meet on our way during this journey, the Lord will also see us through. I also want to thank you for sharing your testimony.

Jenica says:

I am inspired by your helpful testimony. It is a big help to us who have enrolled in BYU-Pathway. Thank you so much.

Alexio Soza says:

“Turning Stumbling Blocks into Stepping Stones” has opened up my mind to venturing into BYU-Pathway with more focus than the hesitant mindset I had before my enrollment. Now I have learnt to face my fears with an open mind filled up with positive possibilities rather than a fear of the unknown.
Thanks for the uplifting message.

Chantha(Eitha) says:

Thank you for sharing this. It was a good experience for many people who surrender like me…I have read and it’s inspired me a lot. A growth mindset has helped me in many circumstances of my life.

Kyuka says:

I appreciate you for sharing this. It has been an eye opener to me. It has inspired me to read more and to yearn to learn more from you. Glory be to God.

When I got back of my service as a missionary, I decide to step forward and marry my fiancé. I didn’t have a job yet, but we put our trust in the Lord and His promises. With faith and a powerful mindset, I founded a good job in few weeks that allowed our marriage to happen. We have a little child now, and I know that with confidence, hard work, and always remembering the Savior, ALL the things are possible.

Martha says:

Thank you for the encouragement. I am looking forward to January 5th. I am not a high flyer, but commitment, dedication, and hard work have helped me convert my stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Kouame Denis says:

More than helpful, thank you. For me the way is paved. Hard times are ahead, but I am ready to face them with what I have learned.
Thank you!

Francis says:

Thank you for this inspiring message! Going back to school after a long time will be a challenge, but with this message helping me, I believe I can do it. God is with me and trust that I can do it.

Felipe Andrés Mery Thomas says:

I believe a growth mindset will help you face any challenge you may have. I’m always trying to become better, and this way of thinking (having a growth mindset) has helped me to believe that I can do it! This has been for the best, and it will help me to become a better person. I think we never stop learning, and we have to be prepared with the arms open to receive God’s will.

Kondwani Kamanga says:

Thank you for the this encouraging article. It has been so helpful as I prepare for my first ever class at an online university. I thank God for the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is one thing that is so special with an education like at BYU-Pathway.

Allieu Abraham Abu John says:

Thanks for the tips! I have read in this article concerning growth mindset. This is an interesting and inspiring moment to start another semester after almost a year ago.
I know that I can only make it when I rely on the influence of the Holy Ghost. Keep sending in your lovely comments to help bolster us on our way to success.

mazzynarisma says:

Thank you for the inspiration you share to us. For me personally I was enlightened and determined to pursue more so that I can turn my failures or mistakes into opportunities. I know the road isn’t easy, but the Lord’s help and blessing are so sure.

Richard Ravinesh Gounder says:

Thank you for the uplifting message. I like the idea of trying new things and not being scared of failure but using it as a stepping stone. What a great way to begin this journey. No wonder we are told to be more childlike; they persevere, and their strength stems from not fearing failure.


This is really uplifting and edifying.

Christopher says:

My first experience at turning stumbling block into stepping stones was making a decision to pursue a university education without a sponsor after returning home from a honorable missionary service in 2014. It was a growth mindset that kept me focused even in the face of challenges.

Moli Taufa says:

The first growth mind set for me is stepping into BYU-Pathway with a lots of faith. Thanks for the uplifting messages.

Nellie Angela Mensah says:

Thank you for this inspirational thought. I’m looking forward to these challenges that will help me grow both physically and spiritually.

Carla Ivonne says:

A growth mindset has helped me in many circumstances trough my life. I remembered when I was a volleyball player, sometimes it was kind of impossible for me to get the marks in jumping that my coach requires because of my height. But having positive thoughts helps encourage me to keep practicing and keep training to achieve those marks. Also, praying helps me to feel confidence and develop a growth mindset.

Walter Wisdom says:

A growth mindset has helped me overcome my weaknesses in life

Bowen says:

No experience comes to mind, but I’m looking forward to having these experiences through my challenges in BYU-Pathway.

Ginger says:

Not all decisions feel peaceful right at first. However, when we work to overcome obstacles as we stay on the path Heavenly Father wants us to, that is when we begin to feel peace and confidence in God’s plan.

Jeanie Farnworth says:

I just enrolled in the PathwayConnect Program. I am a little worried but excited. I will turn 82 soon and love learning, so with the help of my Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, I feel it will be a wonderful experience. My biggest challenge will be able to maneuver on the computer, but I know I will learn. Thanks for offering this program to everyone. Jeanie Farnworth

Bernard Obiri-Yeboah says:

Finally I think the answers to my spiritual confusion are being made readily available and in a more innovative way.

To have the opportunity to not only know about Heavenly Father’s plans for me but the very ingredients to help me point my compass in His direction is a testimony that brings joy to my life.

I know things won’t be easy but with the Saviour at the helm of events, I will not be moved.

Thank you.

Sis Moore says:


Guellor Mbaki says:

Thank you so much for this uplifting message!

As I am preparing to start PathwayConnect as a non-native English speaker, a father, husband, employee, and a leader in the Church, I cannot number the challenges I’m facing right now!

Reading this uplifting message helps me to understand how my Heavenly Father loves me and wants me not only to endure to the end, but also to enjoy this mortal life as I am working for my eternal life.

I am grateful beyond measure to be a member of the Kingdom of God on earth and have brethren who help me turn my stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.

I am so excited to begin this wonderful journey to a bright future and successful life!

Thank you once again. –Brother Jamie Regehr

Lauren Conrad says:

Thank you for sharing your experience, Jamie! Your faith and testimony are inspiring.

Jamie Regehr says:

Really great post!

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