Photo by Sushobhan Badhai / Unsplash

What's your first thought when you run into a challenge or roadblock?

Is it "This is impossible; I give up", or "I have an opportunity to grow and learn"?

You always have the opportunity to learn from a situation. That challenge may be insurmountable, but that doesn't mean you can't get value out of it.

There has been some research around the concept of a Fixed Mindset versus a Growth Mindset. Unfortunately this research, originally conducted by Carol Dweck, suffers from the Replication Crisis and has faced some criticism despite being referenced around the world, but I think it's still an interesting concept worth thinking about.

A Fixed Mindset essentially suggests that your talent and intelligence are predetermined for you. If something is outside of your capabilities, then that's just the way the cards were dealt.

A Growth Mindset instead suggests that your talent and intelligence can improve over time with the right mindset, that with deliberate practice mastery is forged.

I don't have the resources to attempt to reproduce Dr. Dweck's study to see if it's valid or not. For all we know, it may have been a flawed study, or it could hold true. But we do already know that one's mental state can have a significant impact on our performance.

If you try the Growth Mindset and it works for you, then that's great. If it doesn't work for you, then that's great too (you've shown it's not effective for you, and therefore you learned something). But trying it doesn't cost you anything.