Dr. Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University undertook a study where she researched the “growth mindset”. This study aimed to ascertain whether humans have the ability to learn and solve new things which can be defined as one’s understanding and belief that their abilities can be developed.
What I found fascinating while watching her Ted Talk titled “The power of believing that you can improve”, was the concept of individuals falling into two mindset categories namely:
- Those who believed they had a “fixed” mindset and
- The others group that believed their mindset could be developed
Society has normalized this concept that we are all born with a gifts or a talent, there is no such thing as being multi talented and those who are, are just special/ different.
The difference between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset is one’s decision to “do” or not to “do”
If you don’t get something right the first time, do you usually run from the difficulty or do you acknowledge your shortcomings and see how you can succeed the next time? I for one have been crippled by the fear of failure that when it happened for the first time to me, I felt like the ground beneath me was giving way and I would surly tumble to my demise. Until I woke up the next day, alive…and very much within the reality of my “shortcomings” hahaha! This is when I realized that I could either quit and tell myself that this wasn’t for me (hence why I failed), or see things through and cut myself some slack. I did the latter and overtime since then I always find failing such an enriching experience. It gives me an opportunity to gain perspective and ENGAGE with failure as if it were a teacher as opposed to a disciplinarian.
So with this being said, are we going to confine ourselves to the reality of a single box or will we step out to discover the multi facets of the box from the outside perspective and venture on to discover the world outside of the box and beyond? When we decide to see that challenges and hardships don’t mean “find another alternative, you’re just not good at this” but rather, “not yet but soon if you work at it” we will find that there is so much more that life will begin to offer.