Have you ever tried to learn a new skill or concept, but gave up when it didn’t come as easily as you’d hoped? Perhaps you were learning how to ride a bike and fell off—or maybe you were learning how to use a computer program, and just couldn’t get the hang of it.
You might have felt discouraged and frustrated by this experience. Or maybe you thought something like “I’m just not good at this,” or “I’m just not cut out for this kind of thing.”
If so, then chances are that you’re a bit more familiar with what’s known as a “fixed mindset” than a “growth mindset.” A fixed mindset is one in which we believe that our abilities are fixed—we’re either good at something or we aren’t. We don’t see failure as an opportunity; instead, we see it as evidence that we shouldn’t even bother trying.
A growth mindset is different. When we have a growth mindset, we believe that our abilities can be developed through effort and hard work—that no matter how skilled or talented we may be right now, there’s always room for improvement.
In fact, believing in the power of your own potential can help motivate.