Mindset Plus Strategies Equals Student Success

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It is not difficult to teach students success strategies. Students can easily learn more effective ways to learn. And good study strategies are important, but mindset plays a larger role in success in school, career and life than techniques. As educators, we have seen examples of students with average intelligence who outperformed students with greater intelligence. We have seen at-risk students out perform students who had better educational foundations. Why? There can be many reasons why, but I believe the mind set and belief systems of students plays a major role. This is why some students give up easily and others are persistent. Some self-sabotage and others give themselves permission to succeed. Some have what Psychologist Carol Dwek calls a "fixed mindset versus a growth mindset." Or we could say some have a failure versus a success mindset. How can we help students to move from a failure to a success mindset? We must help them to change their limiting beliefs so that they are willing to allow themselves to succeed. For this to occur there needs to be more pain associated with failure than with success and more pleasure linked with success than with failure. Can pain actually be linked to success and pleasure with failure? Yes. For example, if someone does not feel good enough or deserving of success then their achievements can be painful. And we are also invested in being right, not wrong. If we feel undeserving of success and we achieve it, then we have proven ourselves to be wrong. Being wrong usually feels painful. Other examples of beliefs linked to the pain of success are: "I am not smart enough" or "if I outperform my friends they will think I am a nerd" or "if I outdo my family members they will feel bad." You can probably think of many more examples. These limiting beliefs are illogical, but they are tied to emotions which can be operating at a conscious or sub-conscious level. What can we do for ourselves and for our students to overcome or...
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