A growth mindset - the belief that intelligence is fluid and can be grown - helps our brain to develop while lowering our stress level. In contrast, people who believe intelligence and abilities are fixed at birth tend to dread and avoid what they don't know or understand. They consider effort as pointless, give up more easily, and are missguided by the need to prove that they were gifted from the start.

People who think intelligence is incremental see their life as full of learning opportunities and take setbacks as challenges to improve their knowledge and skills. The differences in outcomes from having a growth or a fixed mindset are significant. Decades of research in neuroscience and psychology have proven that a growth mindset leads to better learning and higher performance.

The concept of a growth mindset was developed by Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and one of the world's leading researchers in the field of motivation. Dweck and other experts have found that a growth mindset improves outcomes both for parents and kids, particularly regarding the family's well-being and children's test scores. Since children tend to adopt their parents' mindset, positive or negative mindsets are transmitted from generation to generation.

Students who believe that learning can enhance their minds score better on IQ tests and are more likely to complete courses. Students working with the goal of mastering a subject in the long term, rather than getting high scores immediately, achieve better later - both in higher education and careers.

Research has shown that just an hour of growth mindset training has an effect on a student's grades in difficult subjects such as mathematics. At-risk and low-performing kids, particularly, benefited from adopting a growth mindset, a finding that has prompted many school systems to adopt specific training programs in this domain.

In summary, a growth mindset predicts greater psychological well-being and school and work engagement. People with a growth mindset tolerate setbacks better, are more motivated, and are more successful. As Carol Dweck explained, every moment we challenge ourselves, our brain makes stronger connections within itself - a process that will expand beyond our brain to our wider physiological systems, opening the door to our real and full potential.

Picture: A young girl as scientist (ChildUp & DALL-E - 2022)