“I can’t do front flip , it is just too hard for me.”
” You can do that! Give your best!”
“No, I have no talent in this. I don’t want to look silly.”
This is a conversation between a mom and her child. The kid is learning to do front flips. He finds it difficult after just a few attempts. When he is about to give up the mother assures him that he can do it and encourages him to continue. However, her words do not seem to have any impacts in changing his thought to give up.
Are you familiar with this scenario? Do you always encounter this problem when teaching?
For some people, learning isn’t always pleasant and enjoyable. They hesitate to carry on. Why? Because we care about our self- image. Our mind desire to acquire that positive self- image like being smart, professional or talented. When our mistake tolerance is low we feel anxious towards challenges, worry about the consequences and doubt our own abilities. We think imperfections will ruin our image. If such thoughts persist, how can we improve?
According to Carol Dweck, we got to have a correct mindset first. It acts like a belief system that will greatly impact our life in all aspect. What can a great mindset do to a person? It can influence individual personality and enhance the capability. She spent decades to find out individual who succeeded believed that intelligence can be improved by effort. On the other hand, individual who believed that intelligence is static will never go far. She categorised the former mindset as growth mindset and the latter as fixed mindset.
A kind of belief in nature, intelligence and talent are static and unable to improve. Individual with this mindset will work for positive self- image instead of self- growth. Therefore, they give up easily, seldom ask for help, refuse to try and don’t enjoy learning process.
A kind of belief in nurture, intelligence and talent is elastic and can be improved. Individual with this mindset enjoy the learning process and willing to work for self- growth. They constantly seek for opinion and appreciate criticism that will improve their current stage.
We are ending this post with a video from Carol Dweck herself talking about this topic. Please watch for better understanding of the whole growth/fixed mindset concept. Opstopus deems it as life-changing 🙂