Children who engaged in self-talk, saying favorable, encouraging words to themselves, improved their math performance when the talk focused on effort (e.g., “I will do my very best!”), not ability (“I am very good at this!”), suggests new study (n=212 ages 9 to 13 years).

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Parents and teachers really help to develop the kids inner voice, too. I was told often as a small child that I wasn’t good at math. This became my truth because a teacher said it.


The fully fixed mindset is debilitating, but people are really prone to go all the way to anyone can do anything, which is blatantly untrue and just feels like, well, feelgood blather. The one-handed (his bad hand has bad motor control and feeling due to hemiparesis) videogame speedrunner “halfcoordinated” has one of the most eloquent summarizations of a good attitude I’ve seen. This was aimed at other disabled gamers, but applies to everyone in just about any endeavor: > “It’s really important to just take what life has given you, and do your best with it. I’m not going to say that anyone can do anything, those are just empty words, but I will say that your limits are way further out than you think they are. And if you push yourself you’ll be really pleased with the results.” If I pick up the guitar now, will I ever be better than Buckethead? Pssh. But the Komatik of next week *will* be a better guitarist than the Komatik of today.


I’m a music teacher. With both my child and adult students, when they say, ‘I can’t do this!’ I gently encourage them to switch to, ‘I haven’t learned to do this yet.’ (I had to learn to talk to myself this way before I could teach it; I am still learning.) 100% supported by experience. I’ve seen faces light up when the paradigm shifts.


I’d wait until this replicates before putting too much faith in it. This is precisely the kind of study that has historically not replicated.


It’s all about what you believe you can do. I teach people programming occasionally and it’s always just a battle against their limiting beliefs