It’s Not All About Outcomes

I highly recommend listening to this podcast/video by Dr Andrew Huberman. It is long, but worth it.

In it, he describes the importance of developing a “growth mindset” versus a “fixed mindset.” He further emphasizes that what we believe about intelligence affects how well we learn. So, if we believe that intelligence can grow and isn’t fixed, we’re more likely to be successful learners.

You may have already heard of this concept – that with practice, we can all improve our performance in just about anything. But Dr. Huberman takes it further by focusing on the feedback we give ourselves or that we receive from others. Specifically, research has shown that praising effort is much more effective and motivating than praising outcomes.

He discusses how it’s important to reward effort and actions – not just apply labels of success. For example, praising someone for being smart or a great athlete can actually hurt their motivation and performance. That label gets too mixed in with a person’s identity and then may create an issue with self-esteem when things don’t go as well as expected in that area.

So praising the effort that one puts forward is recommended. That reinforces the belief that it is okay to fail, while encouraging a willingness to take risks and attempt things where success may not be guaranteed at first (or at all).

Finally, Dr Huberman discusses how to look at moderate stress in a more positive way and as a means of improving performance.

We each have the ability to apply this important new research for ourselves and our families and see some positive results in the process. I hope you enjoy the episode as much as I did!

Watch and listen here.

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