What’s the best, scientifically-supported mindset for success, resilience, confidence, and rebounding from stress and failure?
I’m a freshman at a top college, taking a couple of hard classes. These classes are in the STEM field, and I’m female. I love the topics, but I’ve become interested in these topics relatively recently (2 years ago), so I haven’t had as much experience in high school as many other students have. I try to stay positive and concentrate on my love of the topics and my future goals, but sometimes I have to deal with negativity and self-defeat.
For example, if I do badly on a test, I instinctively think, “Why am I so bad at X? Why am I so stupid?” though I consciously know that the correct gut reaction should be “This is a one-time problem; I’ve had much less practice and background than others in this class; I’ve learned a lot; I’ll work harder and do better in the long run, especially if I stay move on and positive.”
It’s hard for me to see past the fact that sometimes I’m in the bottom half of the class, and realize that sometimes I’m in the top half of the class, and that I’ve been doing extraordinarily well given how recently I’ve started learning. It’s also hard for me not to get jealous and judgmental when I see people who seem naturally good at something. I keep forgetting that it takes a lot of time, hard work, and practice.
- Dweck’s research
on praise and intelligence. It’s better to believe in hard work and love of solving problems, instead of believing that your performance is intrinsically determined by intelligence or genius.
- Can’t remember a source for this, but apparently when a (STEM?) test is given that both men and women do badly on, the men tend to blame their performance on temporary external factors (a badly-taught class or accidentally studying incorrectly; an anomaly). Women, on the other hand, blame their performance on themselves (they’re not smart or shouldn’t be taking this class).
- SuperBetter, an app / website which says its tactics are backed up by research. I can’t find their “science cards” on the site, but the app gives advice along the following lines:
- maintain a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative thought, which will result in an upward spiral. Anything below will result in a downward spiral.
- be “realistically optimistic” and “strengthen connections with friends.”
- develop a “positive explanatory style.” When something happens, you should believe that it’s temporary, isolated to particular circumstances, and surmountable. (Implied: despite what it actually is.)
- tell a heroic story about yourself, which will “turn a challenging experience into a transformative one.”
tl;dr I need to reprogram my conscious and subconscious mind for success and resilience. I’m looking for specific tactics, beliefs, and strategies to implement.