I cannot do this.
I am just not talented enough.
Oh! I’ve never done it before.
What do you think is the reason behind being so pessimistic about yourself?
Is it because you’ve encountered so many failures in that department that you have given up hope?
Is it because of some strongly held beliefs about yourself?
Take your time and think.
Carol Dweck conducted a study on this.
She worked with middle schools and selected those boys and girls who in the opinion of their teachers, school principal and school psychologist were especially “helpless” when confronted by failure.
She then divided the children into two groups. The first group was assigned to solve some math problems and at the end of session no matter how their performance, they received praise for doing well.
The second group was also told to slove math problems. Occassionally they were told that they hadn’t solved enough problems and that “they should’ve tried harder”
After some days, all children were given a combination of easy and very difficult problems to slove.
If failures were the reason for their helplessness, the students in first group should do better because, the appreciative feedback would boost their motivated.
On the other hand if the main cause of helplessness was how the children interpreted themselves and their abilities, the encouragement to try harder would prove effective.
The result was that the students from first group gave up on encountering hard problems just as they did before the training.
But children from second group tried harder while solving difficult problems.
From this, we realise that maybe more than failures itself, it is the interpretation of failures that matter.
If instead of looking at failure and saying “I lack here. I will never try this again” we trust ourself and say “I will try harder next time” things could improve.