Lately, I am watching music cover videos on Youtube. I am listening to this crazy song right now. While I scroll down the comment section to find the lyrics to sing along with, I encounter comments that trigger me. “I wish I had your talent! Good job!” In fact, it seems harmless. But, with this comment, the commentator destroys any effort these artists build up to be that good. This is the outcome of a typical human with a fixed mindset. Today, I will show you the result and the reasons why having a fixed mindset and being talented will ruin your life.
Having a fixed mindset will ruin your life – me as an example
Long ago, I was the definition of the typical Asian kid. Straight A’s, fixed at good results, and shy. In elementary school, my whole purpose was to live up to my reputation as a Straight-A-Student and make my parents proud. Showing day after day that I am the best was my goal. Even among the Vietnamese group in my home city, I was called a talent, not once but daily. As a result, I developed a dangerous mindset about myself. I saw myself as an upper human being. I had a fixed mindset and saw myself as a talent.
Consequently, I discovered several truths or principles. First, failure is not an option. If you fail you bring disgrace to your family, ancestors, and god himself. Second, being a talent means not bringing up any effort at all. When you have to work for being good at something, it means you lack ability and knowledge. And as a talent, you have no flaws, in fact, you are perfect. And finally, everyone is destined with a proper set of talents. It does not matter how hard you work, every mark on tests is a 100% reflection of yourself.
I was stupid as fuck and learned it the hard way. Upon entering Junior High School, my grades drop badly. I discovered an ugly truth. The truth, was I was a failure and I had no right to be a human anymore. I felt ashamed and disappointed. All I did was blame the teachers or other outer factors. But never myself. With all these feelings, I had no option but to accept that I was a failure. Furthermore, bad grades will always determine my future path. This is why I did not even try my best. I dropped even more. Luckily, I enjoyed some of the lessons and understand some subjects/topics right away. Sometimes during high school, I felt again that I was a talent. But what is the reason for this kind of thinking?
Origin of the problem
The origin of the problem is calling me a talent. Relatives, close friends of the family, and my family themself told me that daily. Every time I got an A, they told me I have an exceptional talent for this. Another reason is the strictness of my family. Failure was not an option. When I came home with bad grades, I got punished physically. Also, striving for perfection was another reason to grow my fixed mindset.
If parents praise their kids solely for focusing on talent, it gives the impression that they achieve their goals without effort. As a result, they think it is the only way to achieve their goal. With pure given talent, nothing else.
Instead, parents should always praise their kids for the effort they put in. Here are two advantages of doing so. First, kids will concentrate more on the effort of reaching their goals. The result is that they will continue to grow. They develop a new strategy to approach a problem. In addition, they review their mistakes more often and learn actively to solve problems. Second, they will grow up to see mistakes, not as a failure or devastating factors in their lives. Rather they see mistakes as an opportunity to grow. It can be possible when they see their knowledge and ability, not as a limited source. Instead, they see it as a muscle that can be trained. And to develop this growth mindset, stop calling your kids a talent.
The Fixed Mindset vs The Growth Mindset
Let’s analyze this chart.
To understand the left side of the chart we need to know that every person with a fixed mindset wants to protect their reputation as someone perfect. In a sense of, ‘We can do everything without a problem and are godlike.’ We go through every category in this chart.
Challenges/Obstacles: Any kind of challenge and obstacle has the potential to reveal that we are not as smart as we think. For the fixed mindset, this is frightening. They can not let someone see them as other than talented. Instead, people with a growth mindset do not see intelligence as a fixed source. They believe that being smarter or better can be obtained through challenges. That is why fixed-minded people hate challenges, and growth-minded people do not.
Well, basically, people with a fixed mindset want to preserve that they are the best which is why they develop these behaviors. Effort? A talent like me does not have to. We can do everything without problem and effort. Do you criticize me? How dare you? I am perfect as I am! Someone is more successful than I am? It cannot be that someone is better.
Summary – Having a fixed mindset will ruin your life
Looking back on my childhood, I realize I was never talented. The reason why I could read perfectly and calculate with all the math operations was my constant working for it. My mother forced me every day to read and do math practice. When I joined the elementary school the kids started to learn calculations with small numbers while I was bored. Getting good marks was easy until entering high school. I forgot that learning and practicing were essential for a human’s development. And I want to stress it to everybody. Practice beats talents. Some of these phenomena you can see when you meet old school friends. When they were the ace in high school they sucked now. Why? Because they never develop further and see their potential as fulfilled. Being talented will ruin your life.