When you were a baby and first started learning to walk, you got up on your feet only to fall down again and again. If you’d taken a ‘fixed mindset’ approach to learning to walk, your little baby brain would’ve thought ‘this is too hard, I just don’t think walking is my thing’ and given up. But instead, you took the ‘growth mindset’ approach and practiced and practiced and fell down over and over again until you finally got it! Now, walking is second nature; in fact, you can probably run, jump, ride a bike, waterski, snowboard and more!
We can learn new things because our brains have a quality called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to keep adapting to changes in our environments. The brain looks for patterns and when the neurons in your brain are activated in a particular pattern, it becomes faster and easier for your brain to follow that same pattern in the future. Think of it like a pathway across a paddock. When no one has walked across a paddock before, there are no pathways, just plenty of grass. At first, walking through the long grass is tricky, but the more times the path gets trodden on the more entrenched the pathway becomes, and soon, it’s an easy and obvious pathway that everyone can walk down with ease!
Neuroplasticity shows that our brains are always changing! It’s not in one fixed state, and this is great because it means that what we do and what we believe we are capable of can influence how our brains grow. This includes being able to grow your ‘intelligence’. Like a physical muscle, the brain gets stronger the more you use it. Enter ‘growth mindset’!
Growth Mindset is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with effort. Luckily, there is plenty of science to back this up. Growth mindset is also what helps a person develop the quality of ‘grit’. “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future day in day out not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality,” says Angela Duckworth, ‘grit’ researcher, founder and CEO of Character lab.
So, when you hit something challenging in your EVolocity build, we want you to keep trying and maybe even celebrate your failures and mistakes! Because now you know that you have the power to change your own brain and you can only do that by trying new things and challenging yourself to learn!