How does being afraid of failure impact people’s ability to be creative?

Recently taking up a new dance form made me think… Are dancers born or are they made?

Clearly there were some naturally talented individuals in the class (some, I had a sneaky suspicion, may have been break dancing since birth!) but there were others who, after initially stumbling around, with persistence, hard work and some good old fashioned sweat and tears, soon had the moves down.

So where does talent come from, sheer hard work or a natural flair?

Recent research has found it is the mindset that we apply which plays an instrumental role in our learning ability.

10 years ago we believed the level of intelligence a person had was capped. However in 2008 a ground-breaking study discovered that intelligence is in fact fluid and the brain has a level of plasticity.



This has had huge significance, but what does it mean?

The study believes that a person’s mindset can either be Fixed or in a Growth State.

Essentially it’s the difference between believing an individual can change and grow through application and experience rather than having immutably engrained traits.

For a growth mindset, a person will see failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Ultimately it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval.

When you become concerned with what others think, you fall into a fixed mindset, which will stifle your creativity and innovation.

Adults in a fixed mindset also think that great effort or great struggle, means that you are not smart. There is the sense that if they were talented it would just come easily. However people in a “growth mindset” enjoy the effort and welcome the struggle. They understand that innovation requires it.

‘Instead of stretching for innovation, honest maybe a better servant of your skills.’

What do you think?  We would love to here your thoughts and views…


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