Change your mindset, change your life – a practical guide to thinking on purpose

By: Jackie Beere MBA OBE

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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 192 x 128mm
Pages : 264
ISBN : 9781785830112
Format: Paperback
Published: August 2016

In GROW, Jackie Beere demonstrates how we can all change our mindsets, learn to learn and choose to think on purpose. Our thoughts and beliefs lead us to develop habits that can predict our success or failure. We can all choose to grow – and coach our loved ones to do the same – by fostering and sustaining a mindset that will keep us healthy and happy in future years. Jackie Beere believes the key to this is thinking on purpose and metacognition. Jackie shows you how you can understand yourself and others so that you can be flexible, fearless and happy.

Jackie shares observations, stories and practical tools to help you, and others you care about, grow. Jackie offers a personal perspective, but one that is informed by wide reading and research in the fields of psychology and cognitive therapy. She has been particularly inspired by Daniel Goleman’s work on emotional intelligence, Carol Dweck’s research on the power of developing a growth mindset, the founding principles of neuro-linguistic programming, and the latest discoveries about our brains and how they work.

Life is full of changes and challenges but by thinking on purpose, we can all become more resilient, adaptable, self-confident and successful. Jackie’s refreshing and personable approach means this is a personal development book for everyone – even if you think that’s not usually for you. Honest and to-the-point, Jackie takes a pragmatic approach to useful mind management techniques, putting the theory into practice through numerous case studies.

As Jackie shows us, thoughts really are amazing things. Thoughts can make you feel happy or sad, clever or stupid, beautiful or ugly – despite all the physical or other evidence to the contrary. But you can understand and manage your feelings by growing the emotional intelligence (EQ) you need to become happier, wiser, kinder and more successful. Do you see mistakes as failures, or opportunities to learn? Are your beliefs limiting you, or helping you grow? Do you control your negative thoughts, or are they controlling you? Are you aware of how your moods are contributing to your sense of wellbeing and overall happiness? This book gives you the tools to change your mindset and so transform your life.

Are you ready to grow?

Chapters include:

Chapter 1 – Why we need to grow

Chapter 2 – The human condition

Chapter 3 – Know yourself

Chapter 4 – The fragile powerhouse

Chapter 5 – If you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you’re right

Chapter 6 – Thinking on purpose

Chapter 7 – Growing others

Chapter 8 – Helping our children choose to grow

Chapter 9 – Tools for growth

GROW came in as first runner-up in the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards under the self-help category. “The Eric Hoffer Award identifies a winner, a runner-up, and honorable mentions within eighteen all-inclusive categories.”

Jackie Beere - Grow: Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life - Click here to watch.

Picture for author Jackie Beere MBA OBE

Jackie Beere MBA OBE

Jackie Beere, OBE is an Independent Thinking Associate who worked as a newspaper journalist before embarking on a career in teaching and school leadership. She was awarded an OBE in 2002 for developing innovative learning programmes and is the author of several bestselling books on teaching, learning and coaching. Since 2006, Jackie has been offering training in the latest strategies for learning, developing emotionally intelligent leadership and cultivating a growth mindset.

Click here to see a summary of Jackie's writings in the press - both online and in print.


  1. Everyone has areas where they need to experience growth. This very helpful book begins by explaining why we need to grow. Questionnaires are included to guide readers to understand themselves better. To change a negative mindset, we must learn to re-frame our thoughts. Changing negative inner dialogue takes practice. It requires thinking on purpose to re-frame the outcome, because whether we think we can or we think we can't - we're right. An insightful chapter about Helping Our Children Choose to Grow includes a table of responses of "Do's" and "Don'ts" that may be beneficial to parents trying to help their child work through a problem. The author has included testimonies, examples, and charts. Chapters contain Reflect and Review sections to reiterate important points. Very practical book.

  2. This book is a practical guide on personal development or growth, subtitled 'A Practical Guide to Thinking on Purpose'. It is set in the theoretical background of humanistic psychology, brain science, NFL, and the human potential movement.

    The author says in the introduction that as a teacher, trainer, writer, mother and wife she has been on the lifelong journey of self-discovery to see how to make life work well so that she can be both happy and successful. She claims to have a lifelong action research project to find out how to survive and how to thrive. The book shares her thinking and learning with the reader on how the key to successful living and happy relationships depends on the way we think when we react to events. The book shares observations, stories and practical tools to help the reader to grow and become more resilient and adaptable. 

    There are nine chapters, and three appendices. The first argues why we need to grow, then the second chapter 'The Human Condition' describes how the way we see the world can affect how we experience self-confidence in life, and can predict success or failure, happiness or discontent. The writer claims that metacognition helps us think on purpose to grow rather than be overrun by emotions. The third chapter encourages readers to analyse themselves to understand more about their own beliefs and values and mindset. It has practical exercises to help this process and to take more control. Each chapter has a helpful section to review the content and reinforce learning.

    Chapter four 'The Fragile Powerhouse' draws on research into the way the brain works developing an argument that we can grow and change the brain like a muscle, and that understanding the brain can help control our thinking and emotions, and increase the neural pathways.

    Chapter five has the arresting title: 'If you believe you can, or believe you can't, you're right.' It explains how our beliefs can be limiting and can reduce our happiness and success. We are urged to reframe beliefs and push ourselves outside our comfort zone to develop growth mindsets.

    I came to the heart of the author's message in the next chapter: 'How to think on purpose. How to deliberately change your mind.' We are urged to check out our fast instinctive thinking by developing an inner dialogue to visualise success, recognise limiting thinking, and reframe our thoughts.

    Chapter seven focuses on how to grow others we care about by employing coaching skills. There is helpful advice about active listening, and the words and questions we use.

    The next chapter, 'Helping our Children Choose to Grow', enables readers to relate the arguments of the book so far to work with children. Teachers might turn to this chapter to practise some of the exercises to develop growth mindsets in pupils.

    In the final chapter the author generously makes available practical tools to improve metacognition and self-regulation: a mood monitor; reframing thinking cards; the comfort zone challenge; visualisation and mindfulness exercises; and a happiness manifesto.

    The language of the text should be accessible to general readers as well as to a range of professional settings. There are clear expositions of key ideas, illustrations, and case studies to help the reader's application of unfamiliar ideas. Even though the author draws support for her arguments or assertions on a wide range of references to experts in the field (such as Daniel Goldman, Bandler and Grinder's NLP, and Dweck's work on mindsets), readers should not be put off by the esoteric or  jargonistic language found in some books. There are helpful bullet point summaries at the end of each chapter, reviewing key ideas and designed to reinforce learning. There are plenty of practical illustrations, and illuminating diagrams. In compiling this text Jackie Beere has drawn on her years of extensive experience of running practical experiential training workshops about human potential and allied subjects.

    This is not light reading nor to be read at one sitting; but rather needs to be studied thoughtfully, reflectively, analytically and critically. I read sections over several weeks, pondering the ideas, engaging critically, and took time to relate the content to my previous learning and experience. It is essentially a workbook: a practical guide to becoming more successful, resilient, and content with life by choosing to think in a different way. It could become required reading for courses or workshops in a range of professional settings.

    The reader can see how I enjoyed this book and learned a lot from the author's learning and wisdom. We are privileged to have this experience made available to us. It might seem a little ungracious to engage critically with the text, but I am sure Jackie Beere would wish us to do this.

    So what reservations or critique do I have?

    1. The author makes little mention or reference to other perspectives on human development, the growth of virtues or of character that the Judaeo-Christian tradition or other great world religions can contribute, nor to the work of the Jubilee Centre Birmingham University on character development and Aristotelian tradition.

    2. Readers will need to test the claims of the author about recipes for happiness or indeed whether the pursuit of happiness is the goal of life.

    3. The author tends to make assertive claims (e.g. on p.122-3 and elsewhere) that would be more acceptable to a critical audience if they were couched in terms of a hypothesis that readers could evaluate.

    4. Sometimes the author is so convinced by her own beliefs and values about human growth that she slips from argument supported by evidence into assertion (like 'you will find') based on an unchallenged mindset or cherished ideology. In several places I wrote question marks in the margin and comments like 'who says so?' and 'what evidence?'

    I spent several weeks reflecting on the ideas in this book, learning much along the way from the engaging style and invitational exercises in the chapters. I strongly commend Jackie Beere's book to students of human growth, and to practitioners in a variety of professional fields as well as to the general reader. The book deserves to be widely circulated and referenced in other publications.

  3. A thought-provoking and highly motivational book which is for personal development for all. It is packed with pragmatic teaching and tools to enable you to change your mindset, learn to learn, think on purpose and positively transform your life. This book will help you to refreshingly grow to become more resilient, adaptable, self-confident and successful and lead a wiser, kinder and happier life.

  4. Initially this book seemed a bit bland and it was a while before I began to fully take in what I was reading - like someone who sits next to you on the train that you don't notice initially, but they keep talking and by the time you near your destination, you are engrossed in what they are saying.

    And somehow, while I was reading, the author's voice did make it into my head and into my psyche.

    By the end, the question I asked was: if we can all become better thinkers, better learners, better teachers - better people - by training our brains, why don't we all focus on it every day?

    Moreover, why has there never been a definitive guide on personal growth for those of us who have spent most our lives labouring under the misapprehension that we have been dealt certain cards (a set level of intelligence, talent, ability) and are stuck with them? Here is a book about getting better at stuff just by thinking differently - and it's in simple language with clear ideas organised into usable sections (and yet still with the reassurance of those little academic references at the bottom of the page).

    It leans heavily on the work of Carol Dweck, Daniel Goleman and Carl Jung and, to a lesser extent, Malcolm Gladwell and Matthew Syed. If that sounds like your kind of reading list, but you're struggling for time, it may be a useful gateway to their research and ideas. It includes a little about almost everything anyone has ever told you about personal development - growth mindset, neurolinguistic programming, mindfulness, brain science, coaching - plus the book's central idea: "thinking on purpose".

    The added value for people working in schools is in the final two chapters, which are specifically about "coaching others" and "helping our children choose to grow". Here you will find really useful lists of growth mindset language to use with pupils, strategies for building a growth mindset culture with children and (here's an interesting test for us all to try) a list of questions for parents to ask their children, to discover whether their school has a growth mindset culture. Forewarned is forearmed.

    I have since found myself often using its strategies and language. So when my three-year-old sent a cup of blackcurrant squash sprawling across the kitchen table, which then dripped slowly but insistently into a puddle around my feet, I heard a voice in my head telling me that I needed to reframe my reaction into a learning experience about drinking from a grown-up cup. "Aha," I thought. "I am exercising my internal locus of control."

    This book is very personal in the way it talks to the reader, in the questions it asks of the reader's life, and in the author's frankness. She uses examples from her own life to illustrate philosophy and techniques, from her early adult life as a single parent, through her career as a headteacher, to the extraordinary story of her hurling a leg of lamb at her daughter in a fit of temper. By the end, you feel that you know Jackie Beere very well, and somehow, that she knows you too.

    This book has become my friend. Its thoughts and ideas have become part of my world, and I recommend that they become part of yours, too.

    Click here to read the review.

  5. It has been a real pleasure to read GROW. It brings together the most useful principles of NLP and Growth Mindset research and combines them with a smattering of well evidenced neuroscience to create a practical and easy to digest read. The illustrative examples and activities are great, providing insights that can be applied equally well by a leader, a coach, HR professionals or anyone looking to improve their performance or reach their potential. The hard work has been done for you - Jackie knows what works and it's all here in one easy to apply resource book that I will turn to again and again.
  6. In GROW, Jackie Beere demonstrates how we can all change our mindsets, learn to learn and choose to think on purpose. Our thoughts and beliefs lead us to develop habits that can predict our success or failure. We can all choose to grow - and coach our loved ones to do the same - by fostering and sustaining a mindset that will keep us healthy and happy in future years. Jackie Beere believes the key to this is thinking on purpose and metacognition. 

    This book seems to be part of a wider trend that we have noticed across a series of books we have recently reviewed, a feeling that many people are looking for something more than their current working environment. Of course there is always the feeling of the grass being greener elsewhere, however there is also a growing sense that the grass might actually be greener over there. The challenge is therefore how to navigate from where you currently are, to where you'd like to be.

    Beere's book is very much aiming to help you tap into this idea of questioning why you think the way you currently do. We've all heard -˜be the change you want to see', this book is very much down in the trenches of encouraging you to work out who you really are, and to use that as a stepping stone to then working out who you'd like to be, and where you'd like to do it.

    The challenge is probably if you are able to act on these thoughts to re-wire your thinking process and do the things that you'd actually like to do, rather than listing off reasons why it's not possible to achieve your dreams. Beere has some good passages where she lists the usual limiting excuses for why something may not be possible. On page 158 for example is a table called -˜reframing thoughts' which is very much aimed at dealing with those inner dialogues that we have when we question the wisdom of our actions and intentions.

    The fact that there are many books in this area at the moment suggests that there is a strong interest in looking at what we are doing, and questioning if it is the best use of our time and talents. As careers plummet from lifetimes to decades to even only a few years, we do have more opportunities to change and re-shape who we are and how we chose to spend our time. All the more so as you come to the awareness that once you change jobs the reality is often that very quickly you rarely hear again from most of those who were your former work colleagues.

    In this context, if you are willing to take the red pill and engage with Beere's ideas, you might just find the life you were looking for.
  7. GROW: Change your mindset, change your life by Jackie Beere isn't written for a recruitment audience but I feel I can safely recommend it. In the book Jackie demonstrates how we can all change our mindsets, learn to learn and choose to think on purpose. Our thoughts and beliefs lead us to develop habits that can predict our success or failure.

    The book is easy to read (although I have to admit I've not quite finished it yet) and in it she shares observations, stories and practical tools to help you, and others you care about, grow.

    As recruiters, in touch with what makes people tick, we should know that thoughts can do amazing things. But you can understand and manage your feelings by growing the emotional intelligence (EQ) you need to become happier, wiser, kinder and more successful? Jackie asks if you see mistakes as failures, or opportunities to learn? Are your beliefs limiting you, or helping you grow? Do you control your negative thoughts, or are they controlling you? Are you aware of how your moods are contributing to your sense of wellbeing and overall happiness? This book gives you the tools to change your mindset and so transform your life.
  8. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading GROW - it is easy to read, very clear and personal, and peppered with inspirational quotes, research and case studies. The practical ideas are super. It is an inspirational book to help us think about how we can develop a healthy, flexible, engaging and kind response to relationships in our every changing world, within the core settings of the work place, our homes, communities and our schools. It will be such a useful resource for anyone!
  9. Reading GROW is like chatting with a friend. Deceptively straightforward and upbeat, Jackie's narrative demystifies the scientific, philosophical and psychological theories that she believes underpin human happiness, linking ideas, telling stories and ultimately offering readers their own powerful path to positivity: thinking on purpose. Really accessible, fun and thought-provoking, this book is definitely a life changer.
  10. Jackie Beere sets out to write a really practical book, full of gentle advice and free from jargon or technical terms: this is exactly what she has done. The most useful research and writing from over the last two decades - from the worlds of education, neuroscience, positive and cognitive psychology - have been woven together in an easy-to-read, down-to-earth book that will appeal to anybody interested in personal change.

    Jackie makes an important case for -˜growth' becoming the natural extension of -˜learning to learn'; that if we understand how our brains work, we can become much more purposeful with our understanding and unlock our true potential. Mindset, emotional intelligence and behavioural science are used to create a simple, yet powerful framework for change. Very compelling is the way, Jackie reframes -˜learning' into -˜growth'; a minor shift in some respects, but a major paradigm shift for educators in particular. Imagine an education system where personal growth is the main driver - all of a sudden, knowledge acquisition is no longer enough and young people's mental health matters as much as anything else. Hurray! However, this book is certainly not for educators alone. Aspiring to be happier, healthier and more productive in our relationships is something most of us strive for. This book shines a light on our current behaviours and offers us the choice of a possible new reality that we have the power to shape. Without judgement, and often using personal stories, Jackie offers alternative ways of dealing with very familiar situations, ways which ensure that we learn and grow stronger and more resilient. She also offers us the opportunity not only to affect change in ourselves but to support change in others by using coaching techniques.

    Jackie does not pretend to offer anything radically new, but what she does do, with great humility, is offer a much needed, straightforward reminder of some incredibly powerful approaches that all parents, teachers, employees and employers cannot do without. I wish I could give this book to everyone I know!
  11. Inspiring and upbeat - felt the positive practical coaching throughout. Full of useful exercises and practical tips that help develop insight into behaviour. The most awesome element is discovering that real change is actually achievable - even I am convinced. I can do this!
  12. A well-judged balance between the academic, the informative and the anecdotal makes this an engaging, absorbing and accessible read. A book that brings together a plethora of current thinking and delivers a strong central message about our ability to grow as people - full of practical advice, tools for self-testing, excellent summaries and a clever device to answer the sceptics' questions. A book to make you think, but so full of optimism and positivity it's hard not to smile as well!
  13. Reading GROW was a turning point for me when I was going through a crisis of meaning in my life. In terms of conventional success - a well-paid professional job, a very happy family, a good social network, fulfilling hobbies - I seemed to have it all. But somehow I felt deeply, profoundly unfulfilled. I struggled with this feeling for many years as I travelled in trains, planes and cars from client to client. I felt ungrateful for the bountiful existence fate had chanced to serve me and that I didn't seem to want. I tried to knuckle down and -˜make lemonade from the lemons'. Then it all got too much, and I got to thinking seriously about my life. I realised I was judging -˜success' the wrong way. I was using someone else's definition of success, not my own. I sat down and wrote out what success really meant to me, and what it did not mean. I created my own success manifesto which helped me see that I was judging myself on totally the wrong benchmarks.

    Over time I started to reset my life to fit in with my ideas of success, not anyone else's. It was not - and still is not - an easy journey, because we are all hard-wired by society, consumerism and education to define success as certain attributes. We think of success in very specific, limited terms such as our profession, looks, wealth and possessions. We don't stop to think of success in terms of wisdom gained, friendships made or moments experienced. Gradually I have started to loosen the tethers that bind me to one idea of success and align my whole life with another better idea, one that fits with how I feel deep inside. There is no way that I can tell anyone what success really means to them personally, but I do hope you can use GROW to help you find your own specific definition of success and, with the help of Jackie's guidance throughout the book, move towards it with confidence and bravery.
  14. We all seek happiness, but the question many people never ask themselves is ... what does happiness look like for me? I found the happiness manifesto in Jackie Beere's GROW very insightful in helping me to identify what happiness looks like to me. I was able to see the areas in my life which were incongruent and then look to make the changes I needed. It sounds so simple but it has been by far the most effective tool in my personal growth journey.
  15. This is a great book which offers a practical and realistic approach to self-development. It proves an inspiring, insightful and intelligent approach to personal learning, which explains what holds us back and how to get on with the journey. Well worth a read.
  16. GROW is a treasure-trove of ideas and insights into why we think, react and interpret the world in the ways we do. This fantastic book unpacks findings from the fields of cognitive psychology, personal development and self-help and gives us immediate and practical ways to use them in our own lives. With GROW, everything is gathered in one place, drawing together great ideas and valuable lessons from leading thinkers, scientists and business gurus, all focused on helping the reader set their own path and fulfil their goals.

    With helpful self-reflection questionnaires, real-life stories and practical advice, GROW is a book for everyone with an interest in learning more about themselves, their colleagues, family, partners and society. GROW will help any interested reader to take their next steps, set their next goals and face their next challenges.

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