Advance Performance | Mindset: The Power of Believing That You Can Improve
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Mindset: The Power of Believing That You Can Improve

Mindset: The Power of Believing That You Can Improve

“The power of yet.” What would you attempt if you knew you just hadn’t achieved it yet?


Imagine you have just taken an exam.  You studied hard for several months and you open the envelope… “Grade: F = Fail.”  Wow you would feel disheartened and wonder whether it had been worth all the effort. It’s a final conclusive result.

Now picture a second scenario: Imagine after the same exam you open the envelope and it says “Grade: Not Yet.” This grading is indicative of being on a learning curve; a path into the future.

“The power of yet” is core to the understanding of Mindset which was discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck after many years of research on achievement and success.  She explains its amazing effects on learning and achievement in her renowned TED talk The Power of Believing You Can Improve.

Mindset Carol DweckThis talk is an introduction to a fascinating concept and strands of detailed research by Carol Dweck’s team.  Her book Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential  provides the author’s theories and research which backs up her main ideas exploring learning, parenting, motivation, and leadership.

With a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities such as intelligence or talent are simply fixed traits. These people validate their intelligence or talent instead of putting in more effort to improve.  They also are fixed in their belief of “I am”, so don’t spend time developing their skill or talent.

With a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through commitment, effort and hard work – for them, intelligence and talent are just the starting point.  Dweck’s team have found this creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

This will all sound very familiar if you have been on a course with Advance Performance!  On our Peak Performance course, you have learnt that changing your core beliefs will result in a change of attitude and therefore a change in behaviour.  This is essentially Dweck’s Growth Mindset.  The characteristics of the Growth Mindset are very similar to the characteristics on the Positive side of Advance’s Human Tree – perseverance, resilience, adaptability, effort, hard work, commitment – all synonymous with success.

dendritesAs you consciously think positively to change a habit, your brain is growing and strengthening new dendrites.  In Carol Dweck’s talk she shows the proof of the new and strengthened connections in the brains of students with growth mindsets.   She shows the difference compared to students with a fixed mindset as their brain connections (dendrites) are not active. The growth mindset student shows the new and strengthened connections reflecting “Their brain is on fire with yet. They engage deeply.”  This is further proven neurological research of the power of thinking and believing positively!

Carol Dweck’s research in education has proved the importance of praising the process that students engage in within their learning such as their effort, strategies, focus, perseverance and their improvement. This kind of praise enables children to develop their resilience, adaptability and creativity as they pursue more difficult problems.  In fact, recent research supports the capacity of the brain development in life-long learning and effort, commitment. Training can take us much further than we believed in the past.

So, what would you like to learn, train as, or become an expert in?  What have you yet to become?