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Is natural ability a bad thing?

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Is natural ability a bad thing?

“I’m stupid at math!”

“I hate basketball!”

“I’ll never get it. Why should I try?”

Sound familiar?

It should. Most of us live with a belief we have talents or strengths as well as deficits or weaknesses. They're something we’re born with and there’s not much we can do about it. 

While there’s truth to that belief, how we interpret it has a profound impact on our lives.

In a nutshell: Do you focus on the process of reaching a goal? Or do you focus on the result, specifically whether it's a success or failure? Put another way, what was important to you: what was learned going from A to B or getting to B correctly? Growth vs fixed mindset. 

Sadly, most of us focus on the wrong thing.

Below explains the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset, and how to test which way you think.



As they say, you can’t turn a pig into a racehorse, but you can make a very fast pig.
~Tom Bilyeu

If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.
~Carol S. Dweck


Understanding a Growth Mindset vs a Fixed Mindset

Your mindset is how you interpret or organize information. It’s your way of thinking and can be influenced by such things as culture, education, experience, spirituality, religion, and media.

Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck has literally written the book on the topic (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success). The chart below summarizes the differences between growth and fixed mindsets.

A word of warning: we all like to think we lean towards a growth mindset but most of us lean towards a fixed mindset.

If you’re still confused about which one you are, here’s a hint – are you grateful for criticism or do you feel the need to explain or defend yourself when someone is correcting/critiquing you?


Growth mindset

Fixed mindset

Intelligence is always being developed. People with this mindset believe that qualities, traits, talents, and intelligence grow with experience and time. 

Intelligence is fixed/static/stationary. Individuals with this mindset believe that traits and qualities are fixed and cannot be changed. 

People with a growth mindset make positive changes in their lives.

With a fixed mindset, trying to make positive changes doesn't make sense since traits are fixed.

Challenges are welcome. They’re seen as opportunities.

Challenges are unwelcome because of the fear of failure and mistakes.

Persistence despite obstacles.

Gives up when obstacles appear.

Efforts serve as stepping stones or as a path to mastery. Effort is seen as part of the process. Action and practice influences outcome, not just traits and talents.

Effort is futile. Talent determines success.

Criticism and mistakes are feedback to help with learning.

Anything other than praise is seen as a threat to their abilities and is taken personally.

The success of other people serves as an inspiration or lesson.

The success of other people is a threat and showcases personal inadequacies. 

The approval from others is only useful if appropriate to the learning. The focus is on learning, not pleasing others.

To affirm the self, approval from others is needed.

There is a sense of purpose.

The focus is on appearing capable, smart, and successful, which means purpose changes with the activity.


For more research on the effects on growth mindset, please leave a comment below and we’ll send you the ones we have gathered (your email is required but will not show up publicly).

For some people to increase focus and creativity, they need physical movement. Support them by letting them do what their body needs to do. Encourage undisruptive movement and fidget items as needed. 

May you create a week that instead of frustrations and failure, is full of challenges to be embraced and the excitement of growth.

Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,

P.S. Thanks to those of you helpful souls who gave feedback on the nail clippers, lap pads, and earplugs. You have no idea how helpful your input was in our discussion of what to do next. Much appreciated.

If you have an idea for a new product, please list it below or email us info (at) Thanks!


P.P.S. Thanks to those of you who shared your interest in Vibes hi-fidelity earplugs and cord. They can be viewed here. If you might be interested in InnovAID carrying them, please comment below or email me diane<at> We are only surveying interest right now. It is NOT a commitment to purchase. Thanks.

Your name will automatically be entered to win a set. The draw will be made Monday, August 31 (TODAY!) and will be announced in the Sept. 2 issue of Take AIM.

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