Grow as a Person: Find yourself in Brainology by Dr. Carol Dweck

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Carol S. Dweck, a psychology professor, stated in her article, Brainology, that having a growth mindset leads to more personal success, and those who have fixed mindsets struggle to have as much success. Is that necessarily true, though? Does having a catered attitude toward learning to provide more success? It depends on how you view and define success. As an adolescent, there were many moments in my literacy that could be considered a success, but my attitude at the time refrained me from seeing them as such; therefore, my fixed mindset didn’t prevent me from having success. It was my lack of a growth mindset that prevented me from recognizing them as success. Thus, having a growth mindset was a crucial point for me in finding a purpose in literature, further leading to experiences of personal growth and success.

Throughout my adolescence, I had an estranged relationship with reading and writing due to the high expectations I had. I excelled in school at an early age, having been taught both at school and at home. As a result of that, I had high expectations of success. One of the first successes I had growing up was being able to read The Giving Tree at the age of five by myself. The ability to read is a fundamental point in a child’s growth in literature. I was unable to recognize that advancement due to the constant amount of schoolwork I was assigned. From that, I began to see learning as a chore, which worsened my attitude toward reading and writing. A few years later, I had another moment of success; I got accepted into a merit program. To place into the program, I had to write to a prompt, something I had never done before.

Through a tremendous amount of effort, I wrote the best I could and got accepted into the program. For the years following, I became preoccupied with schoolwork and some hobbies, so I didn’t have many friends growing up. As school progressed, so did the amount of work I did, further isolating me from others outside of class. Closer to puberty, I started to feel a lot more uncomfortable with myself and my body, and as a result, my attitude about everything, not just literature, began to decline. I struggled with a positive identity and began to realize I had mental disorders. From that, my grades dropped, and I had to re-find myself. It wasn’t until 2016 that I began to discover my identity and gain a new attitude toward life. Before sophomore year began, I had quite some time alone with myself and started to look up if there were any words to describe how I felt about myself. To that, I found something that stuck, unlike any other transgender.

At that moment, everything began to make sense to me, but more questions arose about what I was supposed to do with school. I decided to start school presenting under the name of Noah, using he/him pronouns, and finding new ways to express my identity. During the first semester, I enrolled in two English classes, one being an honors course and the other being creative writing. Those classes proved to be rather challenging at the time because I lacked the esteem to write about and express myself. My English teacher, Ms. Webb, took notice of how I was struggling and decided to have daily conversations with me during lunch or after class. In our discussions, we talked about solving my issues, with her being highly supportive of me when many others weren’t. She became one of the first people I truly felt bonded with enough to be my friend.

From bonding and having her help me with my identity, expressing myself became a lot easier by giving me a more positive attitude about myself and learning. Therefore both my classes became less of a struggle; I was able to write poetry and papers with ease that I struggled with beforehand. After having Ms. Webb for two years, I gained the growth mindset I needed and excelled in writing much more than before, to the point that she pushed me to take AP English for my senior year. Since I had a new mindset and someone to be by my side, I decided to take AP English. I was scared at first to take AP because I knew that it was quite a lot of work, and I was afraid of being behind due to not understanding. Nonetheless, I signed up for it because Ms. Webb believed in me and told me it would help me improve myself as both a reader and writer, as well as change my way of thinking by challenging morals.

My AP teacher, Mrs. McSpadden, was quite different than Ms. Webb, but she helped me maintain the growth mindset I needed. She knew the course was challenging and helped provide class discussions and reviews to lessen the misunderstandings that we may have had. Although she helped me retain a positive attitude, the course was no place to be careless; I had to work to get the grades I wanted and to have time to spend with others. Mrs. McSpadden urged the idea that growth is both having the mindset that you can succeed as well as putting in the effort to achieve the outcomes you want. By implementing both, I was able to get high grades and pass the course with an A.

In conclusion, having a growth mindset and applying yourself can help you overcome challenges and can lead to success. By understanding my identity and having those around me who supported me in finding that growth mindset, I was able to excel further than I thought I would and was able to find personal success. That has influenced me to go in the line of psychology and help LGBTQ youth to figure out their identities and give them someone to let them grow to have a positive mindset.

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Grow as a person: find yourself in Brainology by Dr. Carol Dweck. (2023, Mar 08). Retrieved July 15, 2024 , from

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