Have you ever made a goal, tried to meet it, and thought to yourself, “I can’t do this.” The problem might not be your abilities; it might be your mindset. A growth mindset describes a mentality characterized by the following:

  1. I can grow from failure.
  2. Constructive feedback is not an attack on my work; it’s a chance for me to improve. 
  3. With enough effort, I can do anything I put my mind to. 
  4. You have the power to change your intelligence.
  5. Embracing challenges will help me grow. 
  6. The success of others inspires me.

Conversely, a fixed mindset describes a mindset characterized by believing that your intelligence cannot change with effort. Some people believe that you are either born with particular skills or not. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our brain has something called neuroplasticity, meaning our neurons can form new connections as we have new experiences. Neuroplasticity is at its best when we are young, but that doesn’t mean it completely goes away as we age. To learn, we need to take action and practice skills. Doing so will literally rewire your brain, leading to new knowledge and skills. Just believing your brain can grow will cause you to behave differently. You will achieve more if you think you can work to get smarter. It’s kind of like manifestation (turning the ideas in your head into a reality). When you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t. But when you tell yourself you can, you will. So next time you think to yourself, “I can’t,” see if changing your outlook changes your success.


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