In a 2006 study by Mangels, two groups of people were set up with electrodes to catch their brain activity. One group had a fixed mindset and the other group had a growth mindset.
Each person was given a quiz. After every question, the participant was told whether they answered right or wrong. Then immediately after that they were given the correct answer if they had answered incorrectly.
Researchers found that the brains of fixed mindset people lit up when they heard if they had given the right or wrong answer. While those with growth mindset brains lit up when the researcher gave them the correct answer if they had missed it.
The fixed mindset people were worried about being wrong. The growth mindset people were interested in learning something new.
At the end of the quiz, the researcher surprised the participants by telling them they would now redo the quiz. They had already been given all the answers they missed along the way so their score should improve.
The growth mindset group did better on the retake because they had been focused on learning the right answer while the fixed mindset group was only worried about being wrong and therefore missed some of the right answers when they were mentioned during the first quiz.
This is so powerful.
If we are scared to fail and allow that fear to light up our brain, we will miss opportunities to grow and learn. If we see each mistake as a chance to find the right answer, redirect, and open the door we were meant to open, we will continue to become more of ourselves.
When are we too old to grow? If we embrace the path of lifelong learning, then we grow until we die. It’s not just about growing our intelligence, it’s about growing our emotional IQ, our empathy, our ability to control anxiety, our relationships, our health, our food intake and our results. When we know better, we do better.
Stay curious, reward positivity, surround yourself with people who raise your average, and decide what is urgent versus what is important.
You are exchanging a day in your life for what you are doing today. Are you growing into tomorrow?