Growth In Spite Of Hardships
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1701
- Category: Growth Mindset
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Ever since I was a child I had always been told by my father that people don’t really change, and that in essence it is just the little things that change about them. He says that what you are born with is what you got and that determines the ‘you’ today, that our personalities are defined at birth, and that our ability to grow ourselves as humans is limited. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with him, and one of his comments stood out from the rest. He said “People don’t change. They just look like it.” Growing up in American culture, it was a stark contrast to this belief, there were TV shows that persistently conveyed a certain moral value to be held, by being honest and hardworking, kind and caring. Many shows and opinions that stated people were not stagnant and could become better and not only embrace these cultural ideals, but outshine them. But what about suppression? Would an individual be able to grow for the better, embrace these good traits of honesty, hard work, kindness and caring capabilities despite hardship? Under what circumstances would an individual be able to fight through hardship and develop a positive trend towards growth and build a foundation for emotional fortitude? The human mind is not only incredibly flexible, but surprisingly resilient as well, and with the right teachings or values instilled, can grow positively despite (through) hardship.
Positive growth in humans has been associated with continual improvement in life, doing well in education, their career or family lives or just working towards goals and achieving them. Research shows that with a positive growth oriented mindset can determine how that can lead to higher levels of achievement. In “The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset and Intrinsic Motivation” they define a growth mindset as the belief that intelligence can be grown, that intelligence can be nurtured through effort and learning. It is further argued and believed that the students in the study understand setbacks and challenges are necessary components of the learning process and by “bouncing back” that in turn fuels their drive. Propelling this idea forward and embracing it can improve the academic performance of students. Ironically, perhaps the mere belief that growth is possible is what’s necessary in propagating that growth, and the fixation on stagnation is what could be stunting a positive growth oriented mindset. (great sentence)
Confirmation bias studies in psychology determine that our innate beliefs inherently reflect how we view the world. Our perspectives are shaped and molded by the values we grow up withthat each individual grows up with. My father instilled in me the belief that change, positive growth, for a human was limited at birth. Although he didn’t know it, he preached an idea known as “determinism.” Was that deterministic mentality a result of his upbringing and hardship as a child? Perhaps drawing from what our knowledge and understanding of the world, and consideration of our internal biases could lead to distinct difference in a human’s capability for growth. In “We only believe what we already think”(capitalize as title appears in article, may be right as it is) the article describes BP’s (describe what BP is) oil spill, the workers that worked on the seal of the well had already believed that the well was properly sealed (many repeated words, try to find synonyms). When the test results came back indicating the well was not sealed, they further continued with the operation despite the test results showing full well that the well was not sealed. (same with this sentence) The inherent belief was already there for the workers that the container was already working, that inherent belief clogged out any other possibility that it may in fact, not be sealed. This very stubborn human act of error is called confirmation bias.
Despite having evidence contrary to what was apparent, the act was done as if the apparent act was still true. Neuroscientists reveal that perhaps the cause of confirmation bias could be from the physical state of the brain, where the prefrontal cortex inclines us to ignore views that challenge long held views in order to keep us from having to constantly change our understanding of the world. This indicates the human mind is trying to efficiently manage the information in a way that matches the current setting or ‘puzzle’ in the mind, and the brain may not translate that as an error, but rather for the sake of the individual brain’s efficiency. Another part of the brain, the striatum, has dopamine has the opposing effects, where new unique information is readily gained. However, this does not battle against confirmation bias because this is new information that is entirely new, and may not challenge inherent views. With confirmation bias so strongly embedded in the human mind, how would any individual progress with a positive growth mindset? How would forward growth be possible while persistently maintaining change and correctly updating information in our minds?
Dr. John G. Gabe argues that understanding our confirmation biases can lead only overcoming the biases, and broadening our perspectives on understanding other things in the world, whether that be subjects of learning, or other people. In his article “Confirmation bias: It has to be believed to be seen,” the example of the gay community in the U.S is memorable. He mentions in 2008 California voters had rejected the notion of same-sex marriage, but six years later a majority of California voters had supported it. He says that family members of the gay members that came out had become reluctant to vote against their family, and that it’s harder to distance yourself from family, and that these were also just everyday normal people. That challenged the set expectation of what kind of people they were. Perhaps the vote to pass same-sex marriage would not have occurred if it had not hit so close to home.
Would California voters have even passed same-sex marriage if it didn’t challenge their beliefs?, that gays and lesbians were such an ‘out there’ and ‘different’ set of people than the norm? Dr. John G. Gabe says that intellectual empathy, by trying to understand other people’s perspectives and really trying to “walk a mile in a person’s shoes” can keep help maintain our intellectual honesty and provide a clearer understanding and perspective on the world. By maintaining intellectual honesty and actively working around confirmation bias, it will be much easier to relate to others and bypass their confirmation biases by relating to each other. In order for us to challenge our own confirmation biases as well as the biases of others, intellectual empathy is required, while it is simple and human to not only continue and affirm our natural biases, an active watch on ourselves is what maintains a healthy outlook and positions us towards a positive growth mindset.
Resilience is a core component towards a change in a positive mindset. In “Resilience, self-compassion, mindfulness and emotional well-being of doctors,” resilience is defined as the ability to adapt to stress, flexibility, bouncing (strange transition between flexibility and bounding, add a specific transition word) back and growth in face of adversity. However, resilience is not effective on its own without compassion., and Wwhy is compassion a core part of resilience? Compassion is the stem of resilience, by becoming compassionate with oneself, resilience becomes that much stronger. In the same article, compassion was defined as identifying the suffering of others and alleviating that suffering. Providing ourselves with unconditional acceptance and acknowledging that humans are flawed creatures, we can provide ourselves with mindfulness and the capability to have a healthy self-awareness rather than negative self-consciousness. The act of mindfulness is so powerful, that by being self-aware we provide ourselves with self acceptance as well. Self-awareness and mindfulness is critical in developing a strong mindset despite any hardship, because that is how the mind moves forward. Without awareness or mindfulness of oneself, than the capability to grow in the face of adversity is limited by the current state of awareness of the individual. “Resilience, self-compassion, mindfulness and emotional well-being of doctors()” concludes that the doctors who practiced or demonstrated resilience or mindfulness trended towards a positively associated emotional well being.
Resilience and mindfulness of oneself, or self awareness, has become a critical component towards any individual that wants to develop a healthy outlook of the world with a positive mindset. The development of resilience or mindfulness, how does it come to be? Sure there are doctors that have these skills, but were these skills learned from schooling? Perhaps during their time in residency or on the job? The development of resilience and mindfulness could very well be a result of humans going through hardship naturally without a guide. A study done on the displacement of women after terrorist activities, “Positive and Negative aftermath of the Trauma: An overview of the relationship” discusses the positive and negative trends of PTSD in these women. The study observes and records the women’s growth by surveying how they feel, and discusses the double edged effect of psychological trauma. The study concluded that the result of event, and how they felt after the event was dependent on “the subjective interpretation of the traumatic event and that it is not necessary that victims of the same trauma react in a similar way.” In essence, the way an individual perceives an event could drastically alter how you perceive that trauma, which significantly affects our personal development. Maybe if the women in the study all perceived the event differently, or perhaps taught the idea of resilience, self-compassion or mindfulness, then perhaps negative trends of PTSD would not have been apparent at all.
Hardship comes in many forms, whether that be in school, careers, life altering events, some form of abuse or traumatic event. Humans are equipped with the capability to counter their inherent biases, or things they have learned and become aware of them. Having the capability to do that can lead to self compassion and stronger self resilience. Humans have gone through hardship time and time again and pushed through those hardships and grown through persistence. Development of not only a positive mentality but self awareness and resilience can be fortified with the right guidance or teachings.