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GROWTH MINDSET : how it can impact our own intelligence and confidence

Welcome to my new blog – I hope that I can brighten up your day and inspire you in some way.

I would like to share my thoughts with you on the importance of growing your mindset to help build your confidence based on the following article I read called “Praising for Effort, Not Intelligence” by Carol Dweck, Stanford psychology professor. I found the article fascinating.

Carol Dweck says that “intellectual development is not the natural unfolding of intelligence, but rather the formation of new connections brought about through effort and learning.” And also that “Research shows that educators cannot hand students confidence on a silver platter by praising their intelligence. Instead, we can help them gain the tools they need to maintain their confidence by keeping them focused on the process of achievement”.

The brain really is like a muscle, as Carol Dweck says – the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Every time you try hard and learn something new, your brain forms new connections that, over time, make you smarter and more confident too!!! “The brain has more plasticity over time than we EVER imagined; that fundamental aspects of intelligence can be enhanced through learning; and that dedication and persistence in the face of obstacles are KEY ingredients in outstanding achievement.”

It really is important that we make a conscious effort to invest in ourselves, and also to use the tools available as early as possible to help grow our kids’ mindset (not also forgetting ourselves too as parents), to help them grow in confidence and to improve their self-esteem.

Life isn’t just about being intelligent – everyone is different, we all have different abilities, and we just need to find out what those things are that really make us tick and glow, as happiness is also a key factor too. Though we all want our kids to do well, we MUST bear this in consideration, and look at the bigger picture, from one human being to another. What doesn’t work for one child may work for another, so we do need to be open and flexible as much as possible. And learn from our mistakes, or try again in a different way, and adopt new learning strategies that might work better.

Our life is really like one giant puzzle and day-by-day, if we put in the hard work, we HAVE the ability to make new connections, join up the puzzle pieces or add a new piece to the puzzle as we learn something new about ourselves. It’s ALWAYS the small pieces that make the bigger picture.

Also, celebrating the big AND the little achievements is really important. The effort people put into their achievement is a really important part of having a growth mindset, to recognise, acknowledge and reward effort, and not labelling them in a set way making them scared of failing, and then they won’t attempt to do certain things as they might fail, and then they will likely miss out on opportunities they never knew they had. This is the AMAZING part of growing your mindset!!!

It is fascinating, because some people, children and adults alike can label themselves a certain way due to possibly a disability they have, or something they have been told they are by possibly a teacher or their parents or family, or an experience they have had, that has defined their character and how they behave for the rest of their lives, unless they choose to make some kind of change.

Effort must be seen as a positive thing. Personally, I have to say myself, one thing I have always been, is a really hard worker… I remember getting a lot of praise at school particularly for the effort I put into my schoolwork. The hours on end I would spend studying for exams all throughout school and university, which I never liked as I hated performing under the pressure of exams. I much preferred coursework and working in my own time. Although I wasn’t the most academic and was fairly average in most subjects at school, I did do really well in languages, French, Spanish & Latin, my strongest subjects, and I always worked hard and tried my best. It was more of a struggle for me with hearing loss, but I pushed through it somehow despite the challenges working against me.

This probably explains why I generally don’t give up easily, and that even through the darkness, the struggles and challenges of life, it IS possible to find your way through towards the light again, which is a lovely feeling and feels like every step I make in life now is a real achievement that benefits me and all those around me too. And you can experience this too…

Sara Benveniste

Sara is a mum of 3 and also a Mindset & Wellness coach. and through personal experience, helps people with low energy and chronic fatigue develop a healthier, more positive and creative growth mindset, and at the same time, nourish their mind, body and soul through self-love, good nutrition, music and mindfulness. She is also a linguist, and loves learning foreign languages, including French, Spanish and Italian, playing the flute and listening to music.

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