The power of believing you can improve
Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 16 May 2018 @ 13:18
I watch a lot of TED talks when I’m on my treadmill, and have heard many inspirational, insightful speakers. One particularly resonant one for me was by Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford, about ‘the growth mindset’. It is something I wish I had understood when I was younger.
Carol’s thesis is the power of believing you can improve. If you try something and it proves too difficult for you, by believing that you simply haven’t mastered it yet, you completely change your mindset. It’s not that you aren’t clever enough, or it’s too difficult for you. It’s simply that you haven’t yet worked it out.This ‘growth mindset’ gives people hope and encouragement, and means they believe they can improve and learn. When I was at school, I thought I had to be brilliant at something the very first time. I thought if I found it hard, it was because I wasn’t clever enough. I gave up too quickly on things I found hard, as I didn’t grasp that it was OK to improve over time.
I don’t have children, but I think it is one of the most important things you can teach them. As exam time approaches, and more and more pressures are piled on young people, it is really important that they realise that what they know now, and what happens now - after studying, taking exams, getting results - is not the end. It’s just a stage on their journey of continued growth and improvement.
If you know someone who needs some self-belief they'd love 'The Sky's the Limit' mantra