|by Jude Treder-Wolff LCSW, CGP, MT, CPAI|
They are often unconscious or operate just below the level of awareness, and only emerge into the conscious mind when they are challenged in some way. Some underlying beliefs associated with the "fixed" mindset - and that impact the ability to learn and change include
"People in my family are natural winners (so if this is hard for me I cannot admit it);
"Mistakes are a sign that I should not be doing this at all;"
"Failure means I should just stop;'
"The intelligence I was born with is as good as it gets."
"Talent is something you either have or do not have."
"Effort is more important than outcome - if I put the effort in I will learn this material/get better at this new thing;"
"Good and bad things happen to all people, its what we do in response to it that really matters."
"Natural ability is just a starting point for success - what matters is effort to develop it."
"Failures are part of any learning curve and important ways to figure out what to do differently in future attempts."
Researchers David Yeager and George Walton at Stanford University — worked with University of Texas researchers to develop interventions for these at-risk students. They write that “seemingly ‘small’ social-psychological interventions-that is, brief exercises that target students’ thoughts, feelings and beliefs in and about school-can lead to large gains in student achievement and sharply reduce achievement gaps even months and years later. The interventions do not teach students academic content but instead target students’ psychology, such as their beliefs that they have the potential to improve their intelligence or that they belong and are valued in school.”
These kinds of interventions are appropriate for clients across the lifespan because they promote the "growth" mindset which empowers individuals to persist and expand into the challenges of change. Improvisation provides uniquely effective creative experiences that meet the objectives of engaging the potential of brain plasticity, learning to think in new ways and embrace more adaptive beliefs, and increasing the sense of belonging and skills to sustain it.
- Openness to experience
- Curiosity and creativity
- Social connections
- Brain training games