Growth Mindset and Resilience

Growth mindset is important to build a resilient character. Professor Carol Dweck explains how the two mindsets – growth and fixed – affect how people view their own intelligence and how much effort they are willing to put in any challenging situation.

Those who have a growth mindset believe their brains can change and that they can become smarter. By putting much more effort into a task, they realise that it’s the process that we benefit from, and that we learn from our mistakes and failures. Those who have a fixed mindset think that skills, talents or abilities are something you’re either born with or not, and they usually don’t improve even if you diligently try and help. These people might say things like “I’m just not a math person”, while the alternative would be “I wasn’t really good at it at first, then I became better, or I improved!”.

Science has now proved that the brain can change and that you can actually become smarter. With the right practice, neural networks become stronger, new connections are built and even faster impulse transmission is possible! This happens every time someone practices something hard or challenging, thereby learning something new.

Why is this important to build a resilient child? Resilience is simply our ability to bounce back from failure. Encouraging a growth mindset will teach kids that in order to succeed, we need to see mistakes as lessons to learn from, and that the process of failing and trying again is making them smarter. Understanding that, kids are more likely to get up and try again right after they failed!

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