Updated: Jan 1
Let's come back to the word potential. To become a student of potential is to express your possibilities. Research backs this point. One of the ways to develop your capacity as a student of potential is to cultivate a growth mindset (see Carol Dweck). Now, what exactly are we banging on about when we say, 'growth mindset’?
To have a growth mindset means to have the belief that you can learn anything, that if you fail, you don't take the failure too hard - which runs the risk of 'learned helplessness' (the belief that failure is inevitable, Martin Seligman). On the contrary, you use failure as a possibility for growth. When you come up against obstacles you use these as lessons to grow more. These are but some of the growth mindset principles which are really important to think about.
How do you view yourself right now? Perhaps you are comparing yourself to others in your class, in your course, or any space that you are in. "Look at them, they are so 'clever’. Look at me I'm so stupid. They make it look so easy while I struggle". Are you playing a game against others or are you playing your own game? In other words, are you playing your own inner game first, with the notion of becoming a better version of you? What if you said, “you know what, I'm going to make as one of my yardsticks to become better than myself".
Sometimes you are going to 'fail'. You are going to get swept off your feet. With a growth mindset approach, you dust yourself off and get back on the horse. A student with a growth mindset is willing to get knocked down and increasingly becomes okay with that because they are willing to get back up again. A student with a growth mindset is willing to take it to the finish line.