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5 1/2 Things About Growth Mindset From Dr. Tromp

We’re so excited to welcome a special guest to share some words of wisdom with us this week. Our very own president, Dr. Marlene Tromp, is here with 5 1/2 tips to help us through this semester and beyond. 

While we don’t control all the challenges we face, we do have the opportunity to determine how we respond. When we persist in the face of setbacks, we can achieve great things and experience extraordinary personal growth. I challenge you to utilize a “growth mindset” this year.

Growth mindset is a research-based mental-framing process, studied for decades by Carol Dweck at Stanford, that can help you shift your perspective when you face challenging circumstances or struggle to succeed.

These are the key elements of a growth mindset:

1) Intelligence can be developed

A fixed mindset might say intelligence is static. A growth mindset knows it is not; rather you can grow your brain’s capacity to respond to complex problems. If at first you don’t succeed, it doesn’t mean that you don’t belong or you can’t learn. You’re strengthening your ability to do the work every time you face a challenge.

2) Embrace challenges

The only way to have the experiences that help you truly grow is to embrace challenges. Don’t take the easiest path. Take the one that will make you stronger and more prepared for the future.

3) Persist in the face of setbacks

Experiencing setbacks is like building a muscle. To physically grow a muscle, it must sustain micro-tears — essentially, damage — then it grows back stronger. You develop your muscles intellectually and emotionally, just as you do physically. Failures may be the experiences you learn from the most.

4) See effort as a path to mastery

Many people believe that if they have to work too hard, it’s a sign that they don’t belong. Those with a growth mindset recognize that working hard is how you get to success: hard work is the pathway, not a sign of a problem.

5) Learn from criticism

Many people feel withered by criticism. It feels like a failure. People with a growth mindset are exhilarated by criticism: it’s a chance to learn, grow and get better.

5 ½) Find inspiration in the success of others.

When you see someone else succeed, instead of comparing yourself negatively (“I’m not good enough”), use those who succeed as role models. Learn from their model to reach even higher levels of achievement.


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