Contrary to popular belief, high achievement isn’t merely a product of innate talent or ability. Talk to any current or former coach, and you will quickly understand this truth. Coaches of all sports have stories of athletes who seemed to have everything, but achieved very little. Why does this happen?
Carol Dweck, a pioneering researcher in the field of motivation, points out that our internal beliefs fuel our behavioral patterns and predict success. What does this mean for the high potential athlete? Take a moment to examine the graphic on the right.
The transformational quality separating successful people from their unsuccessful counterparts is whether they believe their talent, intelligence, or abilities can be developed versus believing they are fixed. Fortunately, we – parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors – can influence the type of mindset our children and young adults develop.
Build a Growth Mindset
Praise effort, strategy, focus, and perseverance. Limit praise associated only with an end product.
Failure will happen. When processing failure with a child help the child identify what he or she can do about the situation.
Explicitly Teach a Growth Mindset
Children benefit from hearing stories that clearly identify how others have overcome challenges similar to what they face. Further, every child should be explicitly taught about the malleability of the brain – it’s like a muscle and can be developed over time.
How do you know if you or your child might have a fixed mindset? Click here to take a quick quiz to find out.
- If you identify that your child might have a fixed mindset, schedule a meeting with your child’s teachers to discuss strategies to help them develop a growth mindset.
- Set reminders around the house, in your car and on your smart phone to help you remember to praise wisely, affirm variables within your son our daughters control, and set aside time to explicitly teach your child about a growth mindset.
- Read to your children or bookmark in their bible stories that exemplify growth mindset.
Need more information?
Order Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
View Carol Dweck’s Ted Talk: Here