Monday, June 5, 2017

Chapter One and Chapter Two

Respond to each question.  Then, respond to one student's post from either chapter.  Refer to the Directions and Requirements post to make sure you include all the different parts to each answer.

Chapter One
Can you think of a time you faced an important opportunity or challenge with a fixed mindset?  What were your thoughts and worries about your abilities?

Chapter Two
Have you ever been like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg - afraid to give something important your full effort?  Are there other self-defeating ways to try to protect yourself from (meaningful) failure?

236 comments:

  1. CHAPTER 1
    Last year when I took Chemistry Honors, everything seemed black and white to me. There were things that I could get right away and others that I couldn't get no matter how much studying I did. I kept separating things into 'Can do' and 'can't do' before every test. I worried over how each wrong question would affect my grade and then how the class would affect my GPA. The whole thing was a mess. "... In the fixed mindset it's not enough just to succeed. It's not enough just to look smart and talented. You have to be pretty much flawless"(p24). I've always acted like that. Paticularly in chemistry, I worried everyday on if I could do things quickly and correctly or if I couldn't do them at all. In the end, I did okay in the class, but the fixed mindset definitely hampered my abilities now that I'm looking back on it.

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    1. ((I just realized my quote in there is from CHAPTER 2.)) In the vignette reactions (page 8), people with the fixed mindset reacted poorly, calling themselves losers or other self degenerating things. Sometimes, I feel myself reacting the same way when something bad happens to me. Not every test went well in Chemistry for me. In fact, sometimes I got a C (it may not seem bad, but I've never gotten a C on a test before that class). I immediately got upset, worrying over the repercussions: would I not do well in the class, would it lower my GPA by a lot, would my class standing drop, etc. This went on until I called down, but normally I got myself so worked up over one poor grade that I was crying over not being able to get into a college I wanted (and all over one test).

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    2. Hai Hannah :) Anyways, everybody has a class that throws them for a loop, no matter how brilliant they are. It's okay to not understand soemthing every once in a while (trust me, it happens to me all the time), it's part of life. A terrible part, but a necessary one. No one can completely understand everything.

      Also, you've always got me to help where I can :)

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    3. I felt the same way in chemistry. Everyday I would try to catch up and talk with people who understood it. It got to the point where I would just put nonsense and gibberish for the homework and I just focused on getting by. I attended some sessions after school with the teacher so that I felt like I tried, but would sit through them and then get frustrated and walk away. I ended up getting a C in that class. My attitude towards the class is mostly to blame.

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  2. CHAPTER 2:
    When I was younger, I was a quiet kid. A lot of people thought that it was just my personality, but really I was afraid of failure. I tested high on everything, so people just assumed I'd do well on everything. It was nice, thinking that I was smart, but really it just made me scared to do things that I couldn't do well. I didn't want to answer in class, let alone go to gym (which I am terrible at to this day). Even now, I see myself stop when I'm faced with challenges. Like Nadja says herself, "'Without effort you can always say, 'I could have been [fill in the blank].' But once you try, you can't say that anymore'" (Page 43). With my own version of that in mind, I always stopped myself before doing something and asked myself of A) I could do it well. If I could, I went full throttle! When I said no, however, I only gave enough effort to look like I was trying (so I didn't get any points off) but not enough to be mistaken for someone that was doing their best and failing. Tests that are supposed to show growth worry me. I'm afraid I may not grow enough. So for the first test (that's supposed to show my base value), I don't try hard. That means later, when I'm actually trying, it shows a lot of Growth.
    My "favorite" way of protecting from failure is to do the math. I calculate how much things are worth point wise. It starts with how much the questions are worth, then how much it'll affect the test, my grade in the class, my GPA, and how it'll look on college transcripts. Then, since by now that one thing probably isn't affecting everything too much, I tell myself that it's okay to do poorly because in the long run it won't matter. Sure, I study for the test, but to me it makes the situation seem a bit less desperate and makes it okay to do poorly on it. This means that I'm not trying too hard to actual did what I'm doing wrong or try to relearn it to get it right this time, which is an issue.

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    1. I was the same way when I was younger. I was scared to take a new challenge because I could be absolutely horrible at. But, its nice that you would rather see progress than obstruct the situation completely, even when it gets hard. Effort is definitely worth more than your failure.

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    2. I also came up with a way to evaluate if a task was worth giving my full effort. I first look at how a task will impact me short term and then long term. If I felt like the task would impact my life in a negative way for a long time I did not complete the task. Likewise, I found myself showing a little effort in the beginning of a class so it would look like I made improvements

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  4. Chapter one post
    My first time transferring was in August 2016 to Evergreen Park high school. I had been at the same school since kindergarten till junior year. I was really comfortable with the people and the many rules charter schools like mine, have to follow. Before I transferred many people at my old school said it was going to be hard to adjust to, I found that hard to believe because my school wasn't that far from evergreen park and they were both in Illinois. Later when I got my schedule and seen the school for myself, people around me started saying it more and I started to believe it. I began to worry if I could actually achieve good grades and started to believe that maybe I wasn't smart enough for this school after all. The author states"...the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.". This challenge is what lead me to "fixed mindset",when school satrted my confidence was depleted, I was really scared to speak up sometimes, and I became very frustrated. I eventually got over my circumstances and began to put in the same amount of effort I did at my old school. I realized I had to believe in my attempts and not let others predictions surpass through me.


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    1. I'm wishing you a very belated welcome to EPCHS! I've seen a lot of people entering the fixed mindset in a similar fashion to yourself (as a matter of fact, I too suffered from lack of confidence). I'm very pleased to see people let go of the concern initiated by the fixed mindset and become more acclimated to EPCHS. Have a nice day!

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    2. thank you! have a nice day too.

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  5. Chapter Two Post
    Growing up and only child, I never had someone I could trust to tell me what's trendy and what's not. Ultimately in my elementary years, I became very shy. I would barely speak in class, would be scared to make friends and not even join school activities. Though, I was placed in many out of school activities because my mother wanted to get me out of my shell. I was in gymnastics and ballet at the same time, but ballet required many recitals. My first recital was upon me and I didn't want to do it. I could dance in the studio but I didn't want to dance in front of my family. My family is not too judgmental but they believe what ever you do should be done correctly. I was scared to dance in front of them because I could possible mess up, so I gave up my passion for ballet for a while. For me, it was my form of protection from any criticism and embarrassment from my family. This reminds me of the statement made on page twenty-five; "the fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to already be." I was so focused on making my family satisfied in my efforts, that I completed ignored my love for dance. However I believe there are other ways of "self defeating" to protect yourself from meaningful failure; being endless effort. Even with doubt, I believe if you try you'll have a good story to tell, progressively do better and never say "what if".

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    1. I can relate to this situations with the many recitals and performances I've had to go through. When I was much smaller I was in a recital but I was practically forced to go out onto the stage because I was so scared that I was going to fail. This also happens to me during my musical performances. If I hit the wrong note by the slightest, that's all I can focus on and how I failed at that. I agree with your last statement! It's always better to try then give up and have regret.

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  7. CHAPTER 1:
    When I was in 4th grade we had this thing called the monkey rope. It was a 20 foot rope that kids climbed in gym class. If you made it to the top of this 20 foot rope and touched the ceiling you became part of this unofficial club called the Monkey Club. I have never been the most athletic human being, so climbing this roped was like a snail dreaming of winning the Daytona 500. I felt so defeated because all of my friend had touched the dusty old ceiling. I was the only one who couldn't do it. I had always told myself that I could never reach the top of the monkey rope because I had no athletic ability what-so-ever; I was set on the fact that I couldn't do it. When school was over that day, I got home and told my 17 year old sister about my 10 year old problem. My sister then told me about how she had the same experience with the legendary rope. She had told me that she figured out that you have to use your legs and arms in tandem. You can't just use your arms or just use your legs. I took my sister's advise and i eventually made it to the top of the rope to touch the ceiling. I was so fixed on the fact that I couldn't climb the rope that I didn't step back and try a different way to improved my current strategy. Now I know how to climb that rope and I am able to look at situations in a different light, not just in one way. I believe that this situation helped me to improve my intelligence ,in which, I can become more patient with myself (and my athletic ability). This situation reminded me of the last sentence of Chapter 1 : "[Growth mindset and Fixed mindset] can be changed." Before talking to my sister, I believed, solely, that I couldn't climb the rope because I was not athletic, but when improved my ability in another category I accomplished my goal.

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    1. I had the same experience with that same rope, and i remember my friend making it to the top and bragging about it and teasing me about not even trying because i thought i could never do it when i compared myself to everyone else until i started seeing people thinking the same exact thing as i was so i took a deep breath a motivated myself to do it. i only made it like a third of the way up though 

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    2. I can relate to this completely mainly because we went to the same school! This club as I remember it was so highly praised and it was hard to be one of the kids who wasn't a part of it. I was so set on being that one kid who hates the rope because I couldn't do it. I never got to make it and now I'm not sure if I physically wasn't strong enough or if my beliefs got in my own way.

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  8. Chapter 1:
    Up until a few days ago actually, I definitely went into Behind the Wheel with a fixed mindset. Because of my anxiety and PTSD, I was very unprepared to start driving on the street with the thought of endangering others' lives. The empty feeling in the pit of my stomach prevented me from even wanting to try. My thoughts would creep in and tell me I'd never be able to do that; feel comfortable with going the speed limit, while still managing to avoid a collision. And somehow my brain couldn't connect my muscle memory to where the break was and where the gas was, so learning for me was a challenge. My parents own two very different cars- a Honda Odyssey, and a Ford Focus. The Odyssey is a tank, where you're towering over everyone else, and your depth perception isn't too relative from that of the Ford Focus. And unfortunately the Focus is a stick shift, which I personally have no interest in learning to drive-at least not yet. (It's probably best I learn automatic first.) Like many others in a fixed mindset, I think my mentality was that of "nothing ventured, nothing lost," where "risk and effort would for sure show my inadequacies" despite how much I wanted to drive. (Page 10) Luckily, I went all in, and gradually felt more comfortable, even with the invisible hole in my gut. In fact, the second day I decided to drive home because of my cocky attitude about how much better I felt. Not quite as comfortable in the Odyssey as the car they had at school, but I'll get the hang of it. It may be silly to be so afraid of driving, but I realized that everyone does it and through practice, it'll improve.

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    1. I can totally relate to you. I just started behind the wheel, and everytime its my turn to drive, I get really nervous. My family is in the same situation as you. The two cars I could possibly drive is my mom's Honda Odyssey, or my dad's jeep and the jeep is a stick shift so I have to drive the Odyssey. Last week was my first time driving in a small (drivers ed) car, which was much easier, and later that week, when I went back to drive in the odyssey, everything was off. I still have a fixed mindset that overtime I drive in the odyssey now, this will happen but hopefully the more driving experience, the better I'll become.

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    2. Alexis,

      A fixed mindset can only get a person so far in life. It about taking risks and trying challenges. Pushing your limits and expanding your intelligence. I have seen some of the things you can do before. Your abilities are extraordinary! Never let your fears determine what you can and can't do! you be the person to decide what you want to do and become. Having a growth mindset can give you endless possibilities to what you can do in life. Because with a growth mindset there is no such thing as a limit because there is always a chance to learn more!

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    3. Chapter 1 Response:
      I can definitely relate to the fear of driving you had with the "nothing ventured, nothing lost" mindset. I still find it terrifying that you have the capability of a lot of destruction based on your abilities, and that even if you are good at driving, you have to rely on others' abilities. I tend to avoid driving because I focus on my mistakes rather than focusing on how I am doing as a whole, despite the act being pretty simple. I know that I have to change my mindset and lessen my almost irrational fear in the future to participate in the task. I hope that we can both overcome the fear that comes with the everyday task of driving.

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    4. Ugh girl ive been doing behind the wheel. And i purposely did not go tjid9 monday because he makes me so nervous when i drive. I dont like when i mess up and jes so intense. Like why even bother showing up if im not gonna get better. I still make myself go but itd the worst part of my day. I mean its almsot over and then you never have to drive with ur instructor. I hope it goed well for you

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  10. CHAPTER 1:
    Last year in October, I auditioned for the district orchestra. I had to prepare 2 pieces, and complicated scales on cello. My band instructor made auditioning a big deal, and that you were automatically improving yourself as a musician. I wanted to see what it was all about, and was somewhat pressured into it because I was the only string player in the band. When I first began the music I immediately started to stress because I was so nervous for how the audition would happen. I also was so frightened of the idea that I wasn’t going to be prepared for the audition. When the audition did come, I was surrounded my cellist who where so advanced. I began to feel like I was a bad cellist, and that I wasn’t good enough to be auditioning. At that point I had a fixed mindset, because I didn’t realize that I was becoming a better musician by challenging myself with an audition and preparing the music. I was so focused on how I wasn’t as good as everyone else. After the audition I didn’t feel my best, because I knew that I didn’t do as good as I expected, and everyone else who auditioned did better than I did. I immediately felt that I would never be good at playing the cello and was in a bad mood. In the article, it says “ When we(temporarily) put people in a fixed mindset with its focus on a permanent traits, they quickly fear challenge and devalue effort.” In the situation I was in at that time, I immediately looked at the negative side of the situation instead of considering the fact that I gave effort, and took steps to becoming a better musician by challenging myself with harder music.

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    1. Your response to music is very similar to mine, especially with auditions. I compare myself to others too much and focus on the final result rather than the journey and improvement that took place. I'm glad that you eventually realized that auditioning for district orchestra made you a better musician!

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  11. Chapter 1:
    Last semester of Sophomore year, I took one of my most challenging courses yet, Chemistry honors. When I started off the semester doing kinda bad on tests, I started to panic, thinking that I was absolutely going to do bad in the class. So I continued with the mindset that I was just bad at science until one test when I got a 100%. I was like WOW I guess I can do good after all. As stated on page 6 of chapter one, A fixed mindset includes you having to prove yourself over and over. Because I had proved I could do well on test in chemistry, I now had a higher mindset and expected the same thing from myself in the future.

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    1. This same thing happened to me sophmore year. In the beginning of the semester I started off pourly but once I got a higher grade on a test I started to have a more positive mindset overall for the course. like you, I tired to continue to prove myself for the rest of the semester and prepare myself for the next science classes I planned to take, which ended up working out for me in physics this year.

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    4. chapter 1 reply:
      This year I took my first ap class and it was ap history. Everyone was saying that it was one of the hardest classes at Evergreen so I already had a bad mindset of failing going into the class. The first couple of weeks were brutal for me and I was super down on myself until I got back several tests with As and Bs on them a month into the class. After that I knew I could do it and was back in a positive mindset. I worked very hard in that class from then on and I ended up doing great thanks to that one positive thing.

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  12. Chapter One Response
    When I was a Freshman, fresh off the middle school bus, I thought I was invincible. The classes at Central Middle School were quite easy, so my brain was accustomed to not working hard and still doing well. That all changed when I was situated in Ms. Sekhri’s English 1 Honors class. That class was an eye opening experience for my naive freshman eyes. It brought challenges that included getting multiple C’s on her tests. I’ve never gotten C’s before and when I asked for extra credit, she simply replied to do better on the next test. My fixed mindset immediately went to the response presented in Mindset on page 8, “They’d see what happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth.” I was rethinking my abilities in that class and wondered if I was really that smart after all. I went into that class believing that since I’ve gotten good grades in previous classes, I could just breeze through another one. I didn’t look at my first high school english class as a place to learn, initially. I unfortunately took it as a test of my intelligence. Eventually, however, I learned to overcome the challenge and enjoy it when I realized I was learning important skills in an environment I have never experienced before. If I went into Ms. Sekhri’s class with a growth mindset, maybe my memories of my first high school english class would be different.

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    1. My experience transitioning from eight to ninth grade was very similar to yours. I had achieved A's in almost every single class years previous to my high school years, and when I entered my ninth year, I was not prepared for all my honors classes. They were definitely not the same as the ones in Central. I had never earned myself C's or D's before as a grade, and I felt like a complete failure. I felt as if my teachers were attacking me on purpose, but I soon realized that it was my fault and I had to try harder. After my freshman year I picked myself up and got back into my A's and B's habit. I still feel foolish losing all of my honors classes in one quick year, but I know that I still have hope as I have learned the quickest in my life throughout my high school years than any other set of years in my life.

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    2. This happened to me in my first couple of honor classes. Especially U.S History honors. I thought that since I got great grades in middle school it would be just as easy to get them in high school. I started getting grades that I thought I never would have gotten. I had a fixed mindset through all of those classes, and would get really mad at my grades. I eventually began to try new ways of learning to see if it would help my grades, and it did. I worked harder in U.S history then in any class, and I started to get better grades!

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    3. Hi Kayla :) The same thing happened to me, only in Alegebra. I was so used to being able to barely paying attention and still doing great. The wake up call is terrible, but kind of expected and necessary when you look back. We all expected high school to be just like middle school. However, the two couldn't be more different. We survived though. I should also say you recoverd quite well, Madame Secretary :)

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  13. Chapter Two Response
    In many ways I have been like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Most notably, I didn’t like to try hard in physically grueling situations. I am slightly athletically inclined, but that comes (secretly) with a lot of effort. For example, when I finished the mile in school I tried to slow my breathing so it looked like it took no effort when in actuality, it did. I also tuned out in physical competitions where I knew I would immediately lose. Instead of giving it my best shot, I had a weird way of thinking that instantly failing is better than showing effort and improving. Parallel to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg on page 43, I thought that showing any effort robs you of any excuses you have in failing. I thought that if I never tried, I didn’t really fail, I just didn’t really care to make an attempt at success. Including the fixed mindset of not trying=no failure, I have also used perspective as a way to protect myself from failure. If I have failed, I look back and realize that it didn’t make too much of a difference in my life; just the way it made me feel was something drastic.

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  14. This year I was very optimistic for the upcoming season. last year I was a starter on JV and I knew there was a fee oprn positions for the varsity team. Unfortunately in the beginning of the season my coach never put me in. I didn't even get the opportunity to show her what I could do. then 2 weeks in I fractured my wrist. I was out until there was about a month left of the season. I was upset with myself and I knew my skills would not be the same as before. I had already basically counted myself out. I got to run for some girls so I got to atleast do something. I was worried about not getting to play at all but I got a ltitle playing time overall.

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    1. I had the same obstacles during the season. I knew I had to give it my all every time I had a chance. Even though I did not get a lot of plying time, i still did my best when i did

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    2. During baseball this year, I went through the exact same scenario. I started on JV and played on varsity for the playoffs. I thought I had a great shot at playing until a freshman was given my spot and I moved to the end of the bench. I was furious but it only fueled my drive. I kept working hard to better my skills until I was given an opportunity. With a growth mindset, I earned my spot back and it felt great doing so.

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  16. Chapter One
    A time I faced an important challenge with a fixed mindset was just last year, when I was doing the science competition project. I was to build a rollercoaster with my partner. After the first prototype of the design for the coaster failed, I basically forced myself to believe that I inherited no more building potential than I had already used. The science competition project was important to me at that time because my grade was averaging between a C and a B, and if my parents found out that I had a C in a class of mine, I might not have seen the light of day again. Anyways, I did very little work on the project because I felt as if I had run out of ideas, and I could no longer add to the creation to make it better. So naturally, I placed it into the works of my partner, whom I previously believed would do a poor job on the project. If I were to face that challenge now though, I think I would have faced my challenge with a growth mindset; I think of myself now as a much different person than I was before.

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    1. I too did the roller coaster for the science competition. I chose to do the roller coaster again for my junior year because I thought that if I did it again, it would turn out better. Boy, was I wrong! Everything from the dimensions of the roller coaster to the time of the marble was completely off. I kept wondering if it was luck the first time I did it, or if I did something wrong that it became right. I came to the conclusion that I did not cut the length of the columns to the correct size, and that through off the outcome. If I had the chance to redo the roller coaster I would totally redo it because I would like to apply what I had learned (page 9).

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    2. The science competition is still my least favorite part of high school. All of my stress is gathered into that one month period of research and papers. I still don't think that I will ever get more than a B on the science competition even if I tried my best. I guess that is my fixed mindset showing through. That is now why I just do the bare minimum to get the B. I kind of regret doing it that way, but I feel as if it is just impossible for me to achieve no matter how hard I try.

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  17. Chapter Two
    When I was younger I had acted in the same childish way Sonnenberg had. I used to play a lot fighting games (video games) with my brother and when he would defeat my character, I would use the excuse, "I wasn't even trying my hardest," but I would continue to not try my hardest for fear of losing while I was at my full potential. Other self-defeating ways to protect yourself from failure, other than never trying, would be creating excuses for every defeat, large or small. You could lose a chess game to a friend and begin to launch excuses like, "It was to cold, so I couldn't concentrate," or, "I was hungry so it made it hard to focus."

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    1. I have also used that excuse because I was afraid of the taunting and teasing that would come. I used that excuse because I feared maybe if I gave my all there was a possibility I would still lose. Even though giving things your all could result in utter defeat in this case it is still important to try your best because that is what helps you improve.

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    2. When I was in middle school I wanted to be the best in art class. It sounds a little ridiculous but it meant something to me. If I would mess up I would restart my entire project. I would be like Sonnenberg and find ways to be childish and not accept what was happening. I would come up with excuses to just restart the project.

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    3. When I was in middle school I wanted to be the best in art class. It sounds a little ridiculous but it meant something to me. If I would mess up I would restart my entire project. I would be like Sonnenberg and find ways to be childish and not accept what was happening. I would come up with excuses to just restart the project.

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  18. I faced numerous challenges while transitioning from 8th grade to high school. In high school, it is harder. Teachers make you think they way you have never though if before. Grammar school was a breeze for me so I wasn't used to being challenged on a daily basis. Even though i know i can do it, there are still times where i feel weak and like i can't do it. Coming into high school I had a fixed mindset that everything was going to be easy for me . That changed. I find myself challenging myself and my brain to think it if the box

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  19. Chapter One:
    While everyone else was worried about the transition from elementary school to junior high, I was deeply affected by my peers’ style of writing. I became fascinated by how they were able to simultaneously write quickly and neatly, compared to my writing that seemed like chicken scratches. I began to fall behind on my academic work as I concentrated on reshaping my handwriting. My near perfect grades began to plummet because I would spend the majority of my time re-teaching myself instead of doing homework and studying at home. While I was at school, I became worried because everyone else was finishing test while I was barely half way done. As the bell was to ring, I had thought to myself that “[I am] worthless and dumb- everyone’s better than me” (page 8) because I turned my papers in without completing them. Now that I look back at myself, I did not need to worry about my penmanship because everyone has their own style and not everyone can write as precise as a calligraphist.

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    1. Hi Jocelyn! Your handwriting looks cool because it's cute and has a little fancy feel to it. I can kinda relate to a degree because I would feel confused about my traits because of mom. Some peers would say I'm tall or complement my handwriting, but mom (and dad) would say I'm short or shrinking and say my handwriting looks like trash or as if a chicken wrote with a broken foot.

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  20. Chapter Two:
    As usual, I had to wait until the last minute to start my essay that was due the next day. This time, the essay was to be graded as an important assignment. I had spent around an hour or so on the introduction because I could not think of something to go with the main idea. In frustration, I had to skip the intro paragraph and jumped right into the body paragraphs without setting the right context. As I wrote, I had to piece together the examples to the main idea without sounding like I did not know what I was doing. What made the situation much worse was that I had not sketched the outline of the essay. I spent hours on the essay without the help of an outline, and I was afraid that I did not have enough examples to pull this essay off. Through sweat and tears, I managed to finish the essay within the time frame because I decided that “trying and failing -an honest failure- was better than” (page 43) the path of pulling a hooky at school. In the future, I will not procrastinate on my essays because I do not want to go through that ordeal again. Also, if I don’t do great on future essays, then I will have to learn from those mistakes and try again.

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  21. CHAPTER 2:
    Situations that I have been in that make me similar to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg would be my cross country races. Before every race, I always tell my team mates, “I’m going to run slow this time”, so I lower my standards. Whenever I surpass my idea of "going slow" in a meet I feel more accomplished. Whenever I do slow down, or I get a lower place then other people in my team that I usually pass, I will always blame it on something. That it was too hot or I drank a lot of water before. Because I was so used to being successful, I would use excuses for when I wasn’t as successful, even though I tried. There are other sports, like soccer, where I began to stop trying in practice and games. I felt like it was pointless trying after messing up one thing. The moment I did something that impacted my team negatively, I wouldn’t play as hard before. I would do this because I believed that since I messed up, It was pointless to try. This not only showed my fixed mindset of the situation but it is also similar to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s situation. It is similar because she felt that since people were surpassing her and she thought she wasn’t good enough, she should just give up. I felt that I wasn’t good enough for my team and that I was becoming the worst player on my team. In the article it says, “Without effort, you can always say, “I could have been [fill in blank].” But once you try, you can’t say that anymore.” Once I put in effort I didn’t have any excuse for why I wasn’t playing my best.

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    1. Unfortunatley, using excuses is an addiction we all seem to succumb to. If you tell people you're not doing your best, then they'll understand if you don't do well. I totally get it. I'm glad though, that we're becoming exposed to the evils of fixed mindset, since it allows us to take a look back and shows us what we could have done different or better.

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    2. My dad has always said this to me when I blamed somebody for something dumb I had done: "Don't blame anybody but yourself. Those people didn't take a dump in your cereal this morning, you did." At the time I thought he was saying that to tick me off, but whenever I say it to myself it motivates me. I try, now, not blame anybody for my silly actions because that means that I can't learn from them. To quote chapter 2, "You can still be in the process of learning from your mistakes until you deny them." If I constantly blamed others for my mistakes, I would think that there was nothing wrong with me and that I should just keep treating people the same way.

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    3. I see your issue here and its one we all probably have had an issue with before. My issue like yours is that I will sometimes swim slower in meets to get into slower heats for the next meet. Sure at the next meet I will win that heat, but at the time I try to find an excuse as to why I did so poorly on the race. Hopefully both of us will find ways to avoid this problem, or tell yourself what you did was the best you could do at the time.

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    4. I can definitely relate to this situation in track and cross country. During cross I'd sometimes have a negative mindset going into a race when I thought we had good competition saying I didn't get enough sleep the night before, the weather wasn't good, or even that this meet isn't important. By doing this I had a fixed mindset that we were going to do bad and anything I did I couldn't change situation. This also happens during track too because if I have one bad race usually my other race is usually bad too. This happens because I tell myself I'm going to do horrible since I just did bad during the previous race. During this cross and track season I hope to eliminate my negative fixed mindset.

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  23. CHAPTER 1:
    Because of my mom's work, my family and I had to move around quite a bit. In the first grade I moved from the confront of my home in the windy city, to sunny South Carolina where I knew absolutely nobody. This was the first time in my life that I didn't have any friends and since I was pretty shy I was pretty much certain that I wouldn't make any friends. Because of this fixed mind set I didn't really talk to anyone and just kept to myself for that first week. The article states "Believing your qualities are carved in stone-fixed mindset-creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over." Having enough of making myself feeling horrible, I decided to break out of my shell and make new friends and to stop being such a shy little kid. Once I realized this my life changed for the better. I am very glad that I came to this because just 6 years later I had to pack my bags and start a whole new adventure in Texas. That is not all, not even a year later I said goodbye to my friends once again and headed back to where it all began. Started over 3 times would've been very hard if I still had my fixed mindset.

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    1. I can relate to this because as a kid I moved around a lot we had different houses, different towns, and different schools all the time and it was hard to start from scratch every single time. Breaking out of my shell and realizing that I could make friends regardless how long I stayed or whether or not they were going to be lifelong friends really helped me open up and become more confident in myself and my ability to do things

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  25. Chapter 1
    As I read through chapter 1 I couldn't help but relate to the Group of people in the fixed mindset; so when I saw that the question was to choose one specific time I thought this way I had a lot to choose from. The one time that I believe impacted me the most was when I was about 10 and in third grade I had just transferred schools and had tested into the "gifte" or advanced group of students. We had separate classrooms and activities from all the other students. as all my classmates learned and built on their strengths and weaknesses I struggled to even keeping up with the teacher. With only a few months in those courses I was taken out. This hurt my self-esteem greatly right away I started to view myself as less than and not good enough because I had been given an opportunity and I blew it. I related to the quote in chapter 1 page 10 that states "if Rome wasn't built in a day maybe it wasn't meant to be". To this day I still struggle with the way I view myself and my ability to achieve.

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  26. Chapter 1
    At the end of my sophomore year, I had to decide if I would take AP U.S. history or transfer into the regular history class. I decided not to take the challenging course because I was afraid of having to actually try. "It's startling to see the degree to which people with the fixed mindset do not believe in effort"(10). I was so use to getting the easy A, and the thought of having to put in a lot of time studying disgusted me.

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    1. I've done the same thing out of pure laziness and it never benefits me. All throughout my previous years of school I was used to getting an easy A until I tested well on the plan and explore test and was placed in challenging classes. I too chose the easy way out sometimes and even though you do everything right in that class you could have had room for improvement in the more challenging class.

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  27. Chapter 2
    Entering my Junior year, I was afraid that I would score below by goal on the SAT. " The scariest thought, which I rarely entertained, was the possibility of being ordinary "(30). When we took the PSAT I scored an average score, but my whole life I was taught that I was above average that I was the cream of the crops, and the thought of not living up to those standards frightened me. I decided not to put so much time into studying for it because if I would have done poorly it would have been because I did not even try. I protect myself from failure by understating my failures,comparing myself to subordinate people, and reflecting on all the times I succeeded.

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    1. This reminds me of the sentences on page 6 "if you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character--well, then you'd better prove that you have a healthy dose of them" Before Sophomore year I believe that my skills were harnessed in a metal sphere where skills like being good at more or having great athletic ability could be lost, but werent able to be gained. Now I've realized that skills are kept in a super elastic sphere that goes on forever. You can always improve on something or learn something new.

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  28. Chapter 2:
    When I was younger, I took piano classes. With the teacher that I had, before we tried to play the song, we would go over all the notes and write them in. So basically, I was playing from the letters that we wrote in and not actually the music. I was doing really good playing that way and soon I got more complicated songs and I could play them all. Later that year, my teacher got sick so I got a substitute teacher until further notice. After the first class with him, I told my mom that I wanted to quit piano class until my old teacher came back because I didn't like him as a teacher. The truth was, he was trying to teach me to read notes without filling it in and I felt I was doing fine without that. I had a fixed mindset about how much I could learn, and should learn. Like stated on page 42, I felt like effort could reduce me. If I went back and tried to learn how to read music, I would have to start back at the easy songs when I could just keep going where I was. My old teacher never came back because so got really sick, so I never went back to piano class. And now, I can barely play at all, with the notes filled in or not. There are other self defeating ways I could have tried to protect myself from the failure, like staying but not trying, not bringing my music to class, or simply insisting we did it the way that I was taught, but did the worst and just quit. Now I see how learning to read music could have made me twice as good of a musician as I was before.

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  29. Chapter One:
    I normally operate under a growth mindset; however, there are times where I become deterred and momentarily feel like a failure. One specific instance occurred when I got a math quiz back and to my dismay saw that I had received a 76%. I was not accustomed to this type of score and began to think exactly like someone with a fixed mindset would. I thought to myself "I'm an idiot." and saw "a direct measure of [my] competence and worth." (page 8) I became worried that I wouldn't be able to bounce back from one bad grade. I thought that I was headed down a slippery slope of not being able to master the curriculum. Fortunately, this wasn't the case and I was able to change my mindset back to my normal, positive mindset as Carol Dweck explains can be done on page 12.

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    1. I have that same feeling when i receive a test or quiz score that i'm not happy with, especially when i feel like i did good on it. Just this past semester in math i got a quiz that was around 60% and that was enough to put me in that exact mindset. I had a little slump in the class where for about 4 or 5 quizzes in a row i would end up getting C's even if i knew the material. I was just too worried about getting a bad grade that i actually got a bad grade when i normally wouldn't had i not been in that mindset.

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    2. I also experienced something just like this. I got one of my test scores back and I was not pleased at all with it. I started comparing myself to others and their scores. I told myself I wasnt good enough and i couldnt take this class anymore. With that mindset, I started to concentrate less on the important things. I finally went to my teacher about it and she ended up helping me out a lot. I fixed the way i used to think and i hope i never fall back into my old traits of thinking so pessimisticly about my abilities to take a test.

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  31. Chapter one:
    About two years ago I received a hoverboard for Christmas. I was so excited to ride but yet so scared because I had never ridden one before, so I had a lot of doubts. I was thinking that I would fall off and break a limb, break something in the house, or the hover board might even blow up. I decided to give the hoverboard a try and after continuously falling off I decided to give up the hoverboard life because I was a "failure". I had thought that because I hadn't learned how to ride after the first 2 tries that I would never get it. I was almost positive that there was something wrong with my balance or even that my feet were too small for the pads but not once did I think that maybe it would take practice. But after I saw my cousin ride and fall numerous times I learned that the statement "our abilities are carved in stone(4&6)" is false and in fact they are learned. Through practice and growth I learned to ride the hoverboard.

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  32. Chapter 2:
    All throughout my life I have been the only child in my household but I do have siblings. I have never been one to like to share, I always get my way, and I have a problem expressing my feelings except for anger. I don't like to get attached to people even when the attachment/connection may be beneficial because I feel like at some point everybody will turn on you. I don't like to tell people things because I feel like nobody is worth trusting. I also think that if I give my all it won't be good enough and "Nothing is harder than saying,I gave it my all and it wasn't good enough.(42)'" So instead of giving relationships(in general) my all I use isolation as a form of protection which can often cause me to miss many beneficial opportunities all because I was afraid to give something my all.

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    1. I am not an only child but i do also feel like one a lot. My whole life i haven't really told any of my siblings secrets or actually anything at all. i don't isolate everyone but i definitely do to majority of the people. In my opinion, isolating people has its pros and cons.

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  33. Chapter 1: A challenge I have faced before with a fixed mindset was taking US History Honors last semester. I have always gotten good grades without trying too hard, and I did not think about it too much when past students talked about how bad the class was. I sat in the front of the class, listened, did my homework, asked questions, and truly believed that I understood what I was learning. When I received my failed Chapter 2 quiz back after thinking I did so well, I immediately saw that as a direct correlation with my intelligence and worth as a person. On page 6, Carol Dweck wrote about how Mrs. Wilson, her IQ-driven sixth grade teacher. In the same way Mrs. Wilson stressed the importance and privileges of the higher IQ, I stressed my grades and scores. If I was was not succeeding in the classroom, I was not proving myself and succeeding as a person. At first, I accepted that maybe I was not cut out for the honors track and that I should not have moved up from non-honors. My fixed mindset prevented me from growing myself as a student. Until I understood that I was able to adapt and change my old strategies to fit that class best, I would not thrive and succeed.

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    1. I also had a fixed mindset in US History Honors. I would constantly see myself as a grade in that class. I thought I did good on a quiz and the exact opposite happened.I constantly felt defeated in that class. I began to think I should drop out, or not put myself in such difficult classes.

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  35. Chapter 2:
    Compared to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, I also play the violin. Her understanding of how she "refused to change" her "awkward playing position" is relatable to me as well. (Page 42) Recently I've been going through a lack of practice and wanting to express my talent because my sister is surpassing me. I quit my lessons with my teacher because it was hard to fit practicing in my schedule. My sister on the otherhand has a new teacher, who is considered an amazing, well known violinist, because she excelled in our old teachers playing as well. She plays both Irish and Classical, whereas I've always wanted to stick to Irish. Sometimes I'm just afraid to try because I notice that she gets more attention from others. I almost don't want to jump back into it as disappointing as it is, but my confidence is depleting. Like Nanja, instead of saying "I could be," I should just do it and stop thinking about how I compare to my sister; work on my own goals, rather than let it beat me up. (Page 43)

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  36. Back at central i had project that i had to do with my friends, but we didn't get much done. We wasted a lot time just goofing off and we ended up failing and the next day everyone in the group was upset because their parents grounded them besides me and my friends would always say how lucky I was because I could bring home a D and not get grounded. And for a while, I thought it was cool too, until freshman year, when I saw my friends in honor classes and seeing them at the top of our class, while I was barely passing my classes. The second semester of my freshman year I tried doing my work until I got a D on my first history assignment. I was was trying to tell my friends how mad I was mad at my teacher for not explaining the assignment, but they all assumed I was joking about caring about my grades and I thought wow okay so my friends don’t actually care about how I'm doing in school unless I'm failing. I thought well if they don't care, why should I? And I tried at the beginning of the new semester of sophomore year to do my best but as soon as I see a bad grade, I blow off the entire class because I feel like I already failed and i thought a lot like the statement on page 4 “you were smart or you weren't, and failure meant you weren't”. Then I didn't care about my grades if i were failing until I had like 2 weeks left of school. But I never felt motivated until my counselor called me down and we talked about my grades and he was confused on how I was getting A's and B's on the assessments part of my grade, but when it came down to participation, homework, and classwork I was failing. We talked a lot about my potential and it really helped me look at things differently and slowly start to think with a growth mindset and focus on trying to do better and taking my time

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    1. Daniela, there are people in the world that will lift you up and encourage you to be the best person you can be those are the growth mindset people and then there the cruel people who will put the world on your shoulders and watch you suffer they will tell you that you will never amount to anything. These people have fixed mindsets. They are the people that think they have natural born talents and tha9t they don't need education or they don't try new things or challenges they think they are better than everyone. It is up to you to decided which mindset you want to have and what you want to amount to. Its your life. Don't let anyone dictate what you do.

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  37. Chapter One:

    My freshman year of high school i tried out for the Varsity dance team. Of course i had never really had any experience with dance ever in my life but I considered myself to be a pretty good dancer. I felt that i had that natural trait in me. And i felt that i didn't need experience to be on the team.When tryout day came i realized that i was surrounded by girls that had been dancing or doing gymnastics since they were toddlers that was when i realized that i didn't belong in that group of people. Or so i thought i didn't. I had a fixed mindset that i would never amount to the potential that those girls had or that i would never be able to pull off the flexibility and moves that were required. I kept telling myself i couldn't do it. I was doubting myself. And because i had such a fixed mindset i did not make the team. When Sophomore year came around i did not try out because i figured that since i didn't make it my freshman year nothing would change the next year. But something in me changed my Junior year. I worked harder to try to learn the moves and i exercised and stretched i became better at dancing. So when tryouts came i finally made the team and the same thing happened for Senior year. Because i changed my mindset i was able to do what i thought was the impossible. I realized then that if i have such a fixed mindset and only stick to what i know. Good things will never happen t me and i will never progress in life.

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  38. Chapter 2:

    There have been times when i have been afraid to give something my full effort. It happened a lot during presentations in school. I do consider myself to be very smart but there was a time when i had to do a research project in 8th grade. I didn't know much about the topic that i was given and i did not want to mess up the project and fail because i had false information so i decided to only talk about what i knew. I did not apply myself fully to the task that i was given because i was afraid that i would fail. I think that also had to do with the mindset that i had in 8th grade. I always believed in keeping my head down and not raising my hand not talking to people sticking to what i know and sticking to the status quo. I stayed on the safe side to prevent failure. Until i realized that even being safe you can still fail. I started thinking with a growth mindset when i entered high school. After changing my mindset i became a different person.

    I do believe that there are different self-defeating ways to keep yourself from failure. In chapter 2 the author of the book talks about how she was the best speller in her school but refused to go to a citywide competition because she was afraid of losing her title of a success to a failure. By not doing new things or trying new things at all you are failing yourself because you are refusing to take a chance to see the challenges tha9t you can handle and face through life. Staying on the safe side isn't always the best option. Taking risks can lead to success as well.

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    1. I can relate to not displaying full effort on tasks to make sure nobody then questioned my ability. As a child and still sometimes, I find myself slipping into that "nothing risked, nothing gained" attitude in school, but reality is, that failure in school is REALLY what helps you learn. I always remember what I got wrong and was corrected on, rather than the things I easily understood. Highschool really does change the way you think about challenges and the way you learn.

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  39. Chapter 1 Response
    The transition from middle school to high school proved to be more difficult than I imagined, but my real challenge was coming to my first day of swim practice in high school. I have swam throughout elementary school, but in eighth grade I decided to stop swimming altogether. When I started freshman year I was soon approached by the coach Sarah Marshall, and she asked me if I was ready for the season. Me being nervous I gave an extremely unenthusiastic "uh sure". I knew I would do swimming in high school because my brother and sister swam, and I am not good at any other sport except swim. Coming into practice seeing all these unfamiliar faces I was scared and alone. I was put onto varsity the first day because our coach new I was a swimmer, and the team had extremely low numbers. The reason I stopped was I never thought I was great at swimming, even though my times were better than some seniors on the team. I didn't like the idea of staying at hot pools for hours on end for a race 20 laps long, and I just didn't feel too motivated at the beginning of the season. I just took all my negativity from previous experiences, and I never took a moment to think maybe this time it would be new and exciting, which it soon proved to be. The other thing was that I was worried the most was I thought I was in this alone, because I didn't know anyone. I was a nervous wreck, and too afraid to speak up and I always relied on my lane partner Max Schultz.He spoke for me and asked questions for me, he was my "translator" as our coach described him.However, He quickly became my best friend and role model in high school in only a few short days. "Everyone has a role model, someone who pointed the way at a critical moment in their lives."-Page 1, Chapter 1. Max was my role model during my first and second seasons of swim. He changed all my negative thoughts to positive ones about swimming almost instantly. I would have never thought someone could change my views on something I was extremely nervous about weeks before the first practice. I now felt welcomed into this small group of guys I had previously been so quiet around, just because one took me under their wing. He changed my previously negative fixed mindset about swim to an enthusiastic positive one, which I will carry into my final 2 seasons remaining here at the high school.

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    1. Kris, I had roughly the same thing happen my freshman year as well. I had a fixed negative mindset about band because I had a bad experience in the past. My 8th grade year of band made me uneasy about high school band, until a senior came in and took me under his wing. Just like you, I was scared of the people around me until my senior introduced me to people and made me feel right at home. I really liked what you said about someone changing your negative mindset to a positive one, because I hadn't been exposed to that either until I came into high school. I'm glad you found your role model early on, and I'm glad he changed your mindset because it's often difficult to get out of.

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  40. CHAPTER 2:
    To quote the dearly beloved musical, Wicked: "those who don't try never look foolish." Every time I hear these lyrics I think of myself freshmen year. I had always been great at math. I always loved the little challenges PEMDAS and factoring gave me in class. From the ages of 7-14 I breezed through common core and Everyday Math without a hitch. I then entered my first math class in high school. I was enrolled in honors algebra with the legendary Jamie Pembroke. The first thing we did in that class was take Chapter 1 lesson 1 notes. The content was something I have never seen before and I knew right then and there that I would not pass this class with my usual A. I told myself that I wouldn't do the homework if it got too hard because it was simply impossible for me to do. Like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, I was scared of saying "I gave it my all and it wasn't good enough." As soon as my mom saw my grade (a C) she did an immediate intervention. Myself and her both came the agreement that I should get professional tutoring to help me through algebra. At the end of the semester I ended with a highly deserved B and a good lesson learned: failure is worse when you don't try at all. I believe that there is no way to avoid failure. We didn't learn how to stand with out being on the ground crawling first. Many things are avoidable: potholes in Chicago, bad people, a traffic cone in the street. On the contrary, many things are inevitable: old age, death and failure.

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  41. Chapter 2:
    Sophomore year I worked with a partner to make a paper roller coaster for the science competition. We met one time and made our roller coaster in less than 2 hours. It was sturdy and worked efficiently. We placed first. When the science competition rolled around next year my friend and I decided we would take the easy way out and use the same tactics and make a roller coaster very similar to our previous one. I made this decision because I thought that we could just breeze through the project and avoid any failures because we already knew what we were doing. I had obtained a mindset similar to that of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg - "I was used to success." (page 42) I think my biggest way of avoiding failure is being lackadaisical and, in some situations, trying to do the bare minimum to accomplish something. :/

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    1. I know perfectly well of how you feel. Sometimes with the cockiest attitude you think you can complete something with the lack of work you put into it. And that's how I act when it comes to something as important as a test like finals. When the time comes, I decide to procrastinate or even eliminate studying as a whole because I think I have enough knowledge to earn me a decent grade. Then I learn the hard way that success doesn't come that way. Honestly, I think I'll still continue to do that, but I'll try my very best! Don't worry, you're for sure not the only one!

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    2. i can relate to that, freshman year i did the battery for the science competition, and i placed first. then the following year, i would take the easy way out and use the same set up. i think that once we work hard and do well on something, and are able to use the same idea, we don't want to do all the work again, so we use something that we know already works.

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  42. Chapter One
    I was taking Geometry, and I was nervous because anything relating to Math has always been difficult for me. The semester started, and I was doing fine. I thought I was doing okay everything was simple and easy to me. I started worrying about future assignments and tests. The stress of upcoming tests and assignments was overwhelming. I became discouraged and thought I would fail. New lessons came and surely enough I didn't understand them, which further proved my point of failure. At one point I stopped putting in effort because I thought there was no point .Page 4 summarized my feelings during that time,“you were smart or you weren't, and failure meant you weren't”. Looking back now I was facing Geometry with a fixed mindset that obviously was not very helpful.

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    1. I completely understand. I have done this with so many classes and it is always so hard to change your mindset once you're in a certain one. I tell myself I'm going to do bad on a test or in a class and because of my negativity and mindset I do sometimes end up doing bad. Self fulfilling prophecies are so harmful to education and life in general, but it's so hard to stop creating them. I hope it gets easier for you to believe in your abilities :)

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    2. I totally agree with you! Once you get lost in geometry, you're lost forever until you ask for help. I didn't understand what was going on in my geometry class about half way into the year. That really killed my grade too. Because alot of things that you learn in the lessons lead into the next ones. With a lot of the same information and formulas. With that being said, I never asked for help and just thought I would catch on, which I never did.

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    3. When I started Geometry my sophomore year I felt really similar to the way your explains it. Having so many quizzes and assignments I began to quickly lose interest which in turn led me to give less effort. When my teacher began to see how drastically my grade was slipping he recommended a tutor and I agreed with him. Once I took the effort to find a tutor and take the time learning the information everything began to fall into place. Now, after putting in so much time into the subject, I can happily say that geometry is my favorite math topic.

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  43. Chapter 2:
    I always had a passion for art and drawing. Since i was very young I would spend a lot of time drawing. One day a friend of mine wanted me to draw them something. At first I was happy and I accepted, but it soon turned to worry. I began to draw what she wanted me to, but I didn't like it so I started again. i made millions of different rough drafts, and criticized each one heavily. I wanted to draw a picture for her, but I decided to not do it out of fear. I was scared that she would not like my drawing, and to me that was failure. "I was used to success, to the prodigy label...,and now i felt like failure."(pg.42). That quote summed up my feelings during that time. I felt pressure because people constantly hyped up my ability to draw, that anytime i didn't like my drawing it felt like failure.

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    1. I completely understand how you feel. When you're a fantastic drawer and people recognize that talent, they want more out of you and expect you to want to draw all the time for them. I used to draw a lot as well until others would realize it. I didn't want them to criticize my artwork and deliver the wrong piece for them. And even though I knew they liked it, I couldn't get myself to recognize that I did well and would eventually grow with practice. I stopped drawing because I didn't see my expectations being met then and there. If you pick up drawing again, don't let the attention startle you. If you did the best you could on something, remember that there is always room for growth and adjustments!

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  44. chapter two
    I have watched my sister get into relationships throughout highschool. I would see her be so upset when they wouldn't work out and I've always thought she was a lot better than me so it would scare me to want to be in a relationship. I thought if thank hey wouldn't work out for her why would they for me? so I would push people away from me when they were getting too close. I would distance myself if I felt like I was getting attached. I have learned that it's good to open up to others, even if it's not for love and just friendship. And I have realized how selfish my old ways, or excuses were.

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  45. Chapter 1
    History has never been my best subject, so when I got to Mr.Enstrom's U.S. History Honors class and failed multiple quizzes, I started to lose confidence. Since I didn't like history and I didn't think I was any good at it I kept telling myself "I'm going to fail this year and APUSH next year." Believing I was smart, I started the class with "an urgency to prove [myself]over and over." (pg 6) But after I realized I wasn't doing well, I just kept telling myself that I just don't have the skills or intelligence to do well, which truly set me back.

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    1. I believe that the feeling of not being good enough should not be a set back. When you see that you are not doing well, that should just motivate you to try harder and that is what you did. You ended up doing very well in the class which should show that you do have the skills and that that mindset wasn't that much of a setback. You had a goal in mind and you worked hard and even if you didn't do as well as you wanted you now know what your maximum effort will give you and that is a good thing.

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    2. I was the same way in history. It was never my strong place and after freshman and sophomore of getting b's and struggling in the class I had just told myself that I cannot thrive in that subject. Telling myself that really showed my junior year when I received my first c in apush. I think if I had more confidence I would have done better.

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  46. Chapter 2
    Sophomore year I joined the basketball team and since I had taken a two year break from sports, I was way below everyone else's skill level. I was too afraid that I would miss if I shot, so I didn't shoot. I didn't give practice or games my full effort because it feels terrible to shoot and miss and think "I gave it my all and it wasn't good enough." (pg 42) I think there are so many ways people try to protect themselves from meaningful failure. Students don't try on the SAT so they can say "I could have gotten a 1400." People don't chase intimidating careers so they can say "I could have been an amazing doctor." People are self defeating all the time because it feels safer than giving something your full effort and it not being enough to succeed.

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    1. I believe that everyone should take risks in their life. The fear of failure does not make sense to me. Failure has never been absolute in my experience. You always learn from failing and you can redo things a good majority of the time. You can retake the SAT and you can take classes again in summer school. Failure is not that serious, especially when you learn from it.

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  47. Chapter one:
    I have always, and still do, have a fixed mindset. My sophomore year i had to study very hard for finals in Lithuanian school(a lithuanian culture/language thing i did on saturdays). I had also missed alot of school because of clubs and did not have time to study because of those clubs. I did not just give up, like the article implies fixed mindset people do. I studied and worked extra hard. The article implies that someone with a fixed mindset would not give effort because if the person was good enough naturally, they shouldn't have to try. Although I do agree with that, I am not discouraged from working because i am naturally not good enough. It is perfectly acceptable to be average or below average in my mind because that is just part of what makes us unique. I was not scared of my abilities, so i worked hard and achieved good grades in lithuanian school and graduated.

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    1. (forgot to do a reference) In the article it talks about how Alfred Binet invented the IQ test.(page 4) It says that the intention was to help children learn. But i think it made the general public set to the fixed mindset. I have met very few growth mindset people who are affected by their mindset and set back by it. Unintentionally, i think that the idea of IQ has made many people insecure and not willing to work hard, like the chapter implies fixed mind set people do.

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  48. Chapter Two:
    I have never been afraid to give something my full effort. I might have been too lazy to, but not afraid. Failure is not scary to me. I have long accepted that not everyone is born equal. I am perfectly contempt with this fact because that is just a part of what makes us unique and different from one another. Similarly, i do not judge people who do worse for this same reason. I always look at myself, and do as much as i would be happy with. If you are not scared of failure, you will never fail. I look at anything as an opportunity to see how well i do, and if i do poorly, that is fine. I will play to my strengths and continue to not stress about failure.

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    1. I also feel that I do not stress as much about grades or others failures in the same way my peers do. I know myself not to be an expressive person and have accepted this n my life. However, I try to pull from other strengths to aide my weaknesses and take from other things that I've learned and apply them to situations I haven't experienced. All this to say that comparing ones success to another isn't realistic because everyone experiences different opportunities.

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    2. (forgot to do a reference) The article says that fixed mindset people have a low confidence after events occur that dont go the way the fixed mindset people intended. (page 51) I do not connect with this because as i said, failure does not scare me. When i loose i dont feel down. I feel as if both chapters as a whole generalize the fixed mindset because i have a fixed mindset and do not connect with people such as Nadja despite us having the same mindset.

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  49. chapter one
    When i think back to a time I faced an important challenge with a fixed mindset, math comes to mind. As a child, I always recognized math as being strenious just because of the reputation older students made if out to be. My negative feelings towards math grew stronger when I reached junior high, using online math programs and learning regular math in school. My teachers told me I was doing just fine, but i could be doing better if i tried. I felt like I was trying, an that math was just difficult, However, my mindset changed when I got to highschool and my teachers and student had a different attitude towards the subject. I honestly pretended to like math just to get throught the mental block of hating it-and it worked. Now I approach all my classes with what could be considered a growth mindset.

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  50. Chapter 1
    All my life I've been involved in cheerleading. It was my favorite sport and my place that I could thrive, up until my junior year. One day at practice my coach pulled me aside and told me that she was going to make me an alternate for the competitive season. Being an alternate means you don't participate on the competition floor unless someone else gets hurt, which means your basically not good enough. Her telling me this crushed all of my dreams. I thought I was improving and doing well but apparently not. After this day my mood was awful at practice. I felt I was wasting my time being there and I had given up. I stopped improving and doing the best I could not even on purpose my mindset had just changed drastically. Since I was now doing poorly at practice my coach would single me out and tell at me multiple times during practices which just made everything worse. My mind was so stuck in the idea that I wasn't good enough that everything went bad. "The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life"(p6). I eventually ended up quitting cheer because I couldn't pull myself out of that hole. After I quit I felt better about myself and my decisions.

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    1. I partially see where you're coming from Sam. When I was in cheer, I was injured for most of the season and had the constant fear that I wouldn't be able to come back and be good enough for the team and the coach. It's a bad feeling, feeling as though you're not good enough and I ended up not returning to cheer.

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  51. Chapter One:
    Looking back on Freshman year, I realized how much of a fixed mindset I had. I had been sick with mono that year and missed about 2 weeks of school. Math was never my strongest subject and after missing that much school, my grade in that class and my confidence declined immensely. After coming back from being sick, it was so hard to jump back into the lesson when I knew nothing. "In fact, it's starting to see the degree to which..." (page 10). I agree with that statement 100%. If I would have put in so much more effort freshman year, I believe I would have succeeded. Even though I did pass the class, it was a close call. Instead of pitting myself for not knowing what we were learning, I should have been asking questions and asking the teacher to help me. As time goes on, I believe that my mindset has changed from a fixed mindset, to a growth mindset.

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    1. I can relate about it being hard to get back into the flow of things in math. I got lost very early on in my pre-calc class this year and it showed in my poor quiz and test scores. I also should've asked more questions and stayed after school longer instead of just shutting down and ignoring my math homework as if it wasn't even there. If I had simply put more effort into the lessons and not let my negative, fixed mindset of "you're not going to understand it so why try?" then I probably would've done much better in the class.

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  52. Chapter 2 Response:

    Back in eighth grade when we would do dodgeball and I KNEW that I was not good, I would throw the ball really high up so that it was bound to be caught so that nobody thought I tried. I feel this is a perfect example of page 43 "Without effort, you can always say, 'I could have been [fill in the blank].' But once you try, you can't say that anymore". I used to feel that if you did not try, nobody can say anything of your ability because they did not really know what you were capable of. People just assumed I had a careless attitude rather than judged my ability, which is what I wanted them to do. There are other self defeating ways to protect yourself from failure. Freshman year, I was placed into non-honors classes because that is what I scored. This score did not define my work ethic though, because I easily passed those classes with A/A+s. At the end of the semester, my teachers told me I could easily move up into honors classes, but my grades may not be as high. I seriously considered staying number one in easier classes, rather than being average in honors classes. You can protect yourself from challenges and failure by not risking it at all and avoiding those situations all together. Despite my consideration, I moved up into honors classes and excelled because I wanted to challenge myself and truly learn.

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    1. I relate to your dilemma over being the smartest in an average class vs. being average in an AP class. Freshman year I took the easy rode and perfected my gpa in regular classes at EP. To be quite honest, it eventually got boring. But after throwing myself in AP classes, I noticed a great change in my study habits. In regular classes it was all too easy to slack off on paying attention and just take the test. However, in an AP class, you build your skills everyday and learn so much more by challenging your mind.

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  53. Chapter 1
    When I was in fifth grade I remember watching baseball on TV with my dad everyday it was on, so I decided that I should join the baseball team at my school and try to be like the guys I saw on TV. I quickly learned that it would be a lot more difficult than i had imagined. I was a tall kid but I had very minimal strength compared to the rest of the boys. They could hit harder than me, run and throw faster than me, and even catch better than me. So when the season started I already wanted to quit, I thought that since everyone else can play better than me then whats the point? I didn't see myself improving, so I asked myself "What is there to do!" with little avail. I realize now that if I had not had a fixed mindset and believed in myself then I would have improved very much.

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    2. Having a fixed mindset especially when you are comparing yourself to people who "make things look easy" is the worst feeling. You honestly do feel like you shouldn't even bother trying because you won't be as good as them.  I have given up on many things because I didn't believe that I would ever be as good as someone else and my confidence went down so much that I wouldn't want to even try anymore. I now realize if I would of changed my mindset and thought of ways to improve myself instead of comparing myself to other people I would have seen an improvement and felt better. Sometimes it's just about saying " I'm not as good as them yet" versus saying " I won't ever be good as them".

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  54. Chapter 2
    This is a problem that has plagued me for a long while. I remember around 4th grade I was really good at a lot of the things we were learning or play at recess. I was extremely good at math and the little games we played during indoor recess like mancala or connect 4. One day we got this transfer student and during class, she would always answer correctly before I could even think of it. My classmates would tease me and say little things like "whats going on?" or "you have competition now." and i just would say things like "oh, i wasn't paying attention." or make up an excuse that something was distracting me. I knew that she was smarter than me, but like Sonnenberg, i would be childish and make something up so that i could hide it. When recess came i lost at the games i had been so good in too, but like before i would just say " I wasn't really trying" so i could feel like i hadn't lost. Even now when i do things like run the pacer and am not happy with my score, I just say that my stomach hurt or something of that nature so i don't have to deal with that feeling of failure of not being up to my own standards. Or when i take a test or quiz and right as i turn it in, i say that i completely flunked that test even if i feel like i did fine, just so i feel like i did better than expected if i get a score i would normally not be happy with.

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    1. I can relate to you in that when I don't succeed at something I often dismiss it and try to ignore the activity. I believe that this type of midset is harmful to almost everyone due to some of the experiences someone could miss out on. Looking forward I hope that I could be more open minded and use a growth mindset.

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  55. Chapter 1: I once face a challenge with a fixed mindset. When I was about 11, my family and I went on a ski trip but I didn't know how to ski. I was really scared to, and I figured I've never done it before sochow am I gonna do it now? I was afraid if falling and hurting myself, as well as looking stupid next to my cousins who were more than capable of skiing. The first time I went down, I fell and almost landed in a patch of trees. It was horrific. I took off my boots and skiis and walked 15 feet down the hill. I felt so lame and like a loser just because I fell. Then I realized I looked even more dumb walking down a ski hill than I did when I fell, so I got myself together and kelpt going til the end. I was worried about how I'd look to complete strangers. It was silly. I eventually learned and now I'm good at it, but before I was so afraid of the opinions of other people who didn't even matter and wanted to quit after one try.
    Chapter 2: I've always had a fear of putting my all into things. Especially important things. I've been scared because what if my best, isn't good enough? What if what I believed to be my best is not anything close to good? I always hide from failures by hot getting my hopes up about things. If I get my hopes up or try my best, it can either go really well or really badly. It is a very bad feeling when things go wrong. I try my best for most things, but very important tasks makes trying hard nerve wracking. It's like I'm on a stage being compared to all of the other people who are trying their best & beating MY best. It can be extremely embarrassing, especially something that I love to do.

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    1. I realized my quotes weren't added in. Chapter 1: A quote that refers to this is, "While you're left admiring people who can do that, it's never clear how these things fit together or how you could ever become that way." This connects with me and the topic because I was afraid I wouldn't measure up to the skills my family members had. I just wondered how they could do it so easily and I was so terrible at it. I didn't give myself a chance.
      Chapter 2: "The idea of trying and still failing—of leaving yourself without excuses—is the worst fear within the fixed mindset" I connect with this because this has been my exact issue. It's scary to try knowing that once you do, that's it. You try your best and if it's not good enough, that's it. There's no excuse or anything. I don't know what to do with myself or the thought that these people around me are gonna think I'm weak or something else negative because my best is not as good as theirs.

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    2. chapter 2. I agree i myself feel like if i fail
      people will think i am weak. Sometimes i try my best and still fail. I give up if i feel that I won't succeed in what I am trying to do. I always compare myself to other people and their success and compare myself to people. I feel that sometimes I am not good enough just because other people succeed in things that i don't.

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    3. I agree with you when you say it's embarrassing when someone beats your best. It feels like I failed because I'm not as good as someone else, and that they look down on me. I also try to not got my hopes up. If I don't get my hopes up I feel like I'm not risking too much. I feel like if I do fail it won't be as bad, because I'm not letting myself down as much.

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  56. Chapter One
    During the summer before my Sophomore year my mother decided that it would be best if I competed for the Miss Bass Lake Teen Beauty Pageant. This pageant was an annual event that took place in the town where we spend our summers. I knew going into the pageant that my abilities were within sports and academics, and not in being proper and graceful. On the day of the pageant I had also learned that the girls I was competing against had been doing pageants for years and had more appropriate clothing choices and routines. Learning this new information did nothing but lower my confidence even more. Going into the pageant with this fixed mindset of not doing well makes me think back to the chapter and where it discusses how during the scenario section things could always be worse (pg. 8). If I would have accepted the fact that it was okay that the other girls had more experience I most likely would have been able to just enjoy my time in the pageant and not continuously belittle my abilities in how I was competing. Looking back on that day now I can see how having a fixed mindset really stopped me from trying something new and challenging myself.

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  57. Chapter 2
    When I was a very young child my parents decided to put me in not one but three different sports. They put me in ballet, gymnastics, and an almost entirely boys soccer team. I am starting to believe that during this time was when I began to not only love soccer, but also to spread myself entirely too thin. I have done many many sports and activities, but my heart and mind continuously are with soccer. When I began HighSchool my mindset was no different. I was a three sport athlete with little time to spend on the thing I truly loved. People would always ask me which one of these sports do you wish to play in college? My answer was always I don't know, or I don't want to put all of my eggs in one basket. When in reality I was worried that if I was to pursue only soccer and wasn't good enough I would have nothing else to lean back on. I believe having so many things going on revolving around multiple sports was one of the self-defeating ways I used to avoid failure. A quote from the text that I believe fits how I was feeling would be "Maybe they were a good enough pitcher for the minor leagues but not the majors." (Pg. 45). I was afraid that I wasn't good enough to play for a higher level which held me back for a long time. Finally, during the Fall of my Junior year my mindset began to change. I realized that my heart was not in cross-country anymore (the Fall sport I was on). I decided then that it would be best to leave the sport and pursue soccer on a more competitive level. Taking that leap of faith led me to joining a year-round club soccer team, and going on three separate college training camps for soccer. Now when people ask what I plan on doing for a sport in college I can confidently say soccer.

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    1. I like the point you bring up about thinking that you're not good enough to play at a higher level and it is interesting how you got yourself involved in multiple other sports and activities to avoid the failure aspect. I'm sure many people have had this same dilemma, including myself, and it is interesting to see how people deal with it. Making that decision to put yourself more into soccer is an opportunity that a lot of people pass up in many situations and it's good that you were able to decide on a path.

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  58. Chapter 2.
    There have been many times where I didn't do something because I was scared of failure. To this day I find myself taking the easy way. I am scared of failure. Especially in relationships. If something goes wrong in a relationship that I am really close to. It could all go away because we wanted to take it to the next level. But then again what if something good happens with that relationship and I would never know because I was too scared that the relationship would fail. I sometimes have the mindset of being food at something and not trying something new because you might fail. I also don't like drastic changes. I know i'll have to adapt and get used to major changes but for right now I'm sticking to what I know.

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    1. I totally agree with you here. I also hate change, every day I have the same routine, which is kind of boring. But at least I know I won't be late to work or whatever I have planned. I also don't like being in a relationship because I feel like if I fail at something, there is no going back. Communication is a huge life skill that I am trying to work on. It's so important to be able to communicate to people so everyone is on the same page. If I fail, I feel embarrassed, but it's one more thing that I have learned not to do, or how to make the situation better. Just in case it happens again.

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  59. During my junior year I took a difficult calculus course. While taking the class I had a fixed mindset. Throughout the course when I didn't understand a topic I would immediately quit and convince myself that I would never get it. On the other hand, at the times I understood a topic I would put far more work in to help further my success in the area. I believed that if i perfected the area I knew I could succeed in the class. I did this because I had "an urgency to prove myself over and over"(6). The fixed mindset I had during the class harmed me due to the lack of effort at points in the course. If I had to take it again I would use the growth mindset of the topics I knew and applied it to those I did not.

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  60. CHAPTER ONE

    I had did it. I joined the soccer team. My friends sister played on the team and brought me along to watch her games the year before and it was now officially apart of my life. However, I knew very little about the sport. Sports wasn't something I grew up playing as a child; nor was it eminent that I was to join one in high school. Going into to tryouts the only skill I previously learned, from my sister playing in high school, was to pass with the inside of your foot and there was a corner kick that happened in the game but I hadn't any idea what it was. By sophomore year, soccer I was immensely involved in soccer, playing it year round(season and club soccer). Now I knew the fundamentals of the game and started to develop skills in my position, Outside Defense, Knowing more of when to pass, what pass to make, when to go for the ball, communicating more with my team, and developing more athletic ability. After finally getting comfortable with my position the thought of switching it all up terrified me. The position I would play for the rest of the season had belonged to a teammate that had an opportunity to move up and play for varsity. I knew that i would receive a great deal of pressure from my teammates and my coach to fulfill her role of sweeper well. In this particular position I would need to be more communicative and louder and anyone who knows me understands that I am not a very talkative person nor am I loud. There was no way I could say no, but the anxiety led me to believe that I couldn't handle the responsibility or was capable of being successful in this position. I was stuck. A few games later it became easier and my anxiety lessened, but going into the game I still had that same fear of feeling as though I couldn't do it.

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    1. Mara, it is great to know that someone as talented at soccer as you are were apprehensive in the beginning of your career. It inspires people who are not successful initially to persist until they've exceeded their limits. I hope you continue to thrive throughout your soccer career!

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  61. CHAPTER 2
    I've always been taught to fully complete a task well or to not do it at all. Do not be fooled, this doesn't mean not to do anything but that if you have to/going to start a task give it your full effort.
    This adage has haunted me throughout my educational career and correlates with my fears about being open emotionally. Time and time again i am asked to share personal thoughts or emotions. Majority of the time, even from a young age, it is hard to tell a person something about myself in a way that another person would understand. Because of this, i've allowed myself comfortability in people not knowing much about me; instead of learning how to deal with it I'd rather not talk much about myself to other people, but listen. Although this has offered me many beneficial qualities, its hindered the opportunity to make longterm relationships. Now instead of correcting it I choose to stay more to myself. In a sense, I believe if I do open up and it fails, it's failed, wasted effort; “effort is a bad thing” and that I should stop trying. Since beginning high school and growing more into myself I try to make conscious decisions to not close myself off to different experiences while not coming up with high expectations.

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  62. Chapter One

    I have been playing soccer ever since I can remember, and I have only recently gotten out of a fixed mindset when it came to soccer. Throughout my life I have always been a bigger guy, and this made playing soccer difficult for me. Whenever I couldn't keep up with someone, I would think just like the students in chapter one, i would think "I'd feel worthless and dumb- everyone's better than me" (page 8). I would always think about how i wasn't fast enough, and that i should stop playing. All i would ever focus on were my failures, and how i wasn't made to play the game. In high school, i would grow out of this kind of mindset now i have more of a growth mindset, i think about how to get faster, and become a better player, rather than focusing on the negative. Now, i see my size not just as an advantage, but also as a challenge and i love a good challenge.








    Chapter Two
    Due to the way i have been raised, i can not really relate to Nadja. The way it works in my family, if you start something you finish it, and you must meet every requirement. this does not allow for excuses. but there are some things that i work harder at, and like it says in the reading, " you have to work the hardest for the things you love the most" (page 43). An example of this would be how i work harder when i play soccer, because i love the game. but i don't work quite as hard in things that i don't really love, but i will do what is required none the less.

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  63. CHAPTER ONE
    I had a terrible fixed mindset when it came to school. I still do. If I dislike my teacher, or disagree with an assignment, I won't do my homework. I decide it's unimportant and I don't need to do it. I've gotten into horrible fights with my mom who doesn't understand why I keep doing this. I don't really get it either. I think it has something to do with my terrible social skills or just a long line of teachers and I butting heads. I'm not the easiest person to teach. I have a lot of trouble with daydreaming and zoning out during class, which tends to get on teacher's nerves. We get into disagreements and I end up not doing work as a way to get back at them. It doesn't work, and it just hurts me, but it temporarily makes me feel better. At least, until my mom finds out. I'm trying to make this year better and not spiral out of control like I always do. I don't know if it's going to work, but its a start, I guess.

    CHAPTER 2
    I have been like Nina a lot of times during my life, but recently involving rifle spinning lessons for color guard. I convinced myself that I wasn't good enough at it that I didn't even try. I was so scared of failing that I decided it was better to not try and be upset with myself than to fail in front of people. I do things like this, undermining myself, a lot. I love writing, and I will get about a third into writing a book, look back, convince myself I hate it and no one would read it, then scrap it and forget about it.

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  64. Chapter One:
    I have been running Cross Country and Track for two years now. My freshman year I was constantly improving and that made me feel good about myself. However, when I started cross country my sophomore year I wasn't improving. I was staying consistent with my times no matter how hard I tried to improve in practice. Eventually I gave up on myself and stopped trying for the rest of the season, and that attitude followed me to track. During this years track season I would constantly tell myself I couldn't do it and I wasn't going to improve. I stopped pushing myself, and I stopped believing in myself. " If at first you don't succeed, you probably don't have the ability.(pg 9-10)." This quote speaks to me because I thought that if I didn't improve every race I was never going to improve. I was extremely hard on myself the entire season. Looking back on my past seasons I realize that the only reason I improved freshman year was because I worked hard and believed in myself. If I didn't have a fixed mindset, and I believed I could improve, this past season would have been a lot better for me.

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  65. Chapter Two:
    It is hard for me to give full effort in school because I am scared to be wrong on a test or just answering the teacher's question. I don’t study, and I procrastinate, so that I have an excuse for why I got a bad grade.“ Nothing is harder than saying, ‘ I gave it my all and it wasn't good enough’(page 42).” It is hard knowing that your best wasn't good enough, so I don’t try my best. I try a little, I don't just give up, but I don’t put my full effort in on anything. It is easier to say, “ I did this last night, that is why the grade is bad” rather than saying “ I worked on this for a whole week, and I still got a bad grade”. I know that if I put my full effort into my work, it wouldn't be bad. It is the thought that it could be bad that stops me.

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    1. I can relate to this SO much! Not the part of being scared of failing, but not trying my best. I love to procrastinate and studying isn't my "strong suit". I believe that if you know it, you know it, and if you don't, then you never will.

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  66. Chapter one-maritza garcia
    Well i think i have a fixed mindset in general. But especially this summer in band. Im drum captain and its been tough.on page 6 it says "fixed mindest-creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over." that's exactly how i feel. I feel like i always have to keep trying to prove myself to my peers and adults that im capable of being a good leader. Still working on it though. I try my best. At the same time i think i have a growth mindset. I believe i can improve and do better. Once people see that i am doing better then they'll know i can be a good leader for my section

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  67. Chapter 2
    I recently got out of a serious and long relationship. Now i fancy someone else but im afraid to give this person my full effort. Even though they treat me good and stuff. Any kind of relationship with anyone have always been hard for me. Im not really social but i want to become more social. Im just afriad of failing at another relationship. What if i do something wrong? Or this person is just playing with my emotions. Or even in friendships like i always try alter who i am in order to make everyone around me like me and make them happy. If you dont try you cant get hurt. If you dont try there is no failing. Page 43 she talks about her crazy bfs. I feel just like her. "What if this guy really liked me but i couldnt stop thinking about how if he really knew me he might get turned off." i feel ya gurl

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    1. Hey Maritza! I really liked how personal you were with your responses. I could really see the connection between your personal experiences and the author's. I'm sorry to hear about the hard times you've had with social situations and relationships :( . I know it could be hard to take risks with relationships but I believe it could be good for you to take some risks sometimes. Even if things do not work out, you'll have the experience to learn, grow, and find out what you want in the world. Maybe try to look at situations with a growth mindset instead of with a fixed mindset. If you see the experience as a lesson to better yourself rather than a event that will harm your self-esteem, then maybe you could avoid the constant hurt. I really hope you have better luck in future situations.

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  69. I have done the same thing one too many times. I have had a lot of opportunities to take an honors or AP class over a regular class but i chose not to. Sophomore year was when i decided to finally change to honors sciences and Junior year I was talked to about moving to AP english and I really regret not starting from the beginning. I should have pushed myself instead of taking the easy way out, but now i know this for the future.

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  71. When I really think about it, I stop myslef from giving my full potential to things all the time wether that's at school or my art. I once tried out for a soccer team because I thought I was an okay player. When it came to practices and I saw how good all the other girls where and how they had been doing it for years I immediately regretted joining. I knew that I was never going to be as good as them so I lost all hope and wouldn't devote myself to the sport. I became one of those 5th grade children in the book who when handed a harder puzzle "couldn't run from them faster"(page 23). I suppose other than avoiding a complicated task another way to protect oneself from failure would be to act as if it never really ment much to you. Like in my case I could always tell people I never really liked soccer and that's why I stopped.

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  72. chapter one discussion

    The first time I took the ACT I thought I was more than prepared. I had been studying and working hard and was excited to see my first test score. The grade above me even told me that the test was not bad and I would be fine. The day came and I took the test thinking I was going to be okay until after the test when I already knew I didn't take it using the best of my ability. A couple weeks later I received my test score back and I was no where near content of the score I got. After that i grunted about it for days, maybe even weeks. I thought there was no going back and I was a failure. My score was never going to get better no matter how hard I tried. It even affected my mindset about the tests I took for school. I started to believe that I was never going to go back to being a good test taker. "the fixed mindset creates and urgency to prove yourself over and over." My urgency jumped at me one day and as time ticked, the day came I finally thought to myself that I could do it. I started studying even more. I did my ACT homework every night. I ended up taking the ACT two more times and after each time my composite score increased. I plan to keep working and studying just to see if my hard work keeps paying off.

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    1. I felt the exact same way taking the SAT. I went into it thinking I was going to do good on it and didn't end up with the score I hoped for. I didn't even bother studying for it anymore because I was so upset about my score. As time went on I realized in order to get better, I had to work for it. The next time I took it, I realized my hard work paid off.

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  73. chapter one
    Last volleyball season i struggled a lot and didn't get much playing time. Even though volleyball isn't my main sport i still wanted to succeed in it. I worked very hard in practice but as time went on my confidence went down and didn't think i was good enough to play. The author states "the view you adapt to yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life." I agree with this quote because towards the end of the season i started thinking negatively. I was so upset with myself i just wanted the season to be over and with that mindset i didn't try my hardest like i use to.

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  74. chapter two discussion

    "nothing is harder than saying i gave it my all but it wasnt good enough." One saturday i had to play in front of a bunch of college coaches. The day before I was super antsy and nervous about how i would preform. I was hanging out with friends at starbucks and i unfortunately ended up rolling my bad ankle. It was swollen and bruised and I was in a lot of pain. Of course this has to happen. The next morning I could barely walk but I still had to play. I told my coach about it and she told me that i would be okay. I believed her. During the whole time i was playing I was in so much pain but no one really knew. I tried giving it my all despite all the pain i was in. I walked out just hoping it would be good enough. Even though i wasnt playing to the best of my ability due to an injury, I just wanted the coaches to know I gave them everything I could.

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  75. Chapter one:
    As an athlete, I would always approach challenges with a growth mindset but the beginning of baseball changed it to a fixed mindset. I was put at the end of the bench while a freshman played in my position. This caused me to question my abilities and my confidence to disappear. I thought that "Life is unfair and all efforts are useless" and told myself that "I'm a loser"(pg 8). I was extremely disappointed and even contemplated quitting the team. Eventually I realized my abilities weren't "carved in stone" so I decided to stay on the team(pg 4). I kept working hard by putting extra time in at the gym and on the field. I was finally given a chance to prove my worth to the coaches and I thrived. I quickly showed off my prowess in hitting and fielding. I earned back my spot and my growth mindset.

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  77. chapter two
    Over the course of the past two years, I have been actively trying to take control of my mental an physical health. I entered highschool extremely unhealthy in both categories and was well aware I needed a change. For two years I tried every diet there is out there and failed. Just hearing myself say that now sounds funny as I was only a freshman. Dieting is not for highschoolers let me just say that, an that's probobly why it never worked for me. After failing to get healthier, I just pretenend as if i didn't care about anything anymore. I was unmotivated and embarressed of my progress as my mom and uncle both were on a great track doing much better than I. This attitude stuck with me and health plummeted worse than when I was at least trying to diet. However just as Salerno Sonneburg decided "trying and failing an honest failure was better" I began excercising more and more as it became easier everytime and my diet consists of eating food I know is going to give me clean energy. I had to get over those few months of looking funny eating strictly healthy and yet still appearing unhealthy in order to get to where I am today.

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  78. Chapter two:
    During my childhood, I loved to play baseball. I grew up viewing myself as a great hitter because I always did great during the regular season. I had some bad habits that slowed my swing down that coaches tried to fix. They gave me pointers and ideas but I refused to listen. I didn't want to fail at trying new things so I pushed it away. That changed in my first season of all-stars. I wasn't used to the fast pitching and I struggled to make contact. At this point I had a "crisis of confidence" because my perfect swing was no longer working(pg 42). All that time I spent ignoring my coaches hurt me on the next level because I was "afraid of trying" just like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg(pg 42). I didn't want to give all my effort into change because I didn't want to feel like a reject. Today, my mindset is completely different and I always give it my all. I don't try to protect myself from failure with self-defeating ways. I embrace it in order to better myself as a person.

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    1. Kenneth, I have read, enjoyed, and related to both of your posts. I see that you enjoy baseball. That's cool! I too can see that I am doing good enough at something, like schoolwork or sports, and decided that I will remain good enough because I am scared to try to get better and fail. I do this because I am operating under the idea that, "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Now that I am older and wiser, I have realized that it is better to try and fail than to to remain the same forever.

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    2. I'm glad you have changed your mindset Kenny. I also play baseball and can relate to many of the struggles you faced. During this past year I also had a struggle of confidence. I believed that I wasn't a very good fielder so I focused on other aspects of my game. Now I do my best to address my shortcomings and it has aided me in life and on the diamond.

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    3. Chapter 2 response: Kenneth, wow that is a wondeful name. Anyways, Kenneth, your situation is very similar to mine, but in football. When I lined up at safety (in close proximity to you btw) I would always stand at 12 yards, sometimes even 15. I didn't trust myself being at 10 as the coaches told me to. I was afraid of letting anything past me. But when I realized that me standing that far back was hurting our run defense, I moved up. With about 2 games left in the season our run defense was much improved. I even felt more comfortable which led to more plays being made by me and you!

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  79. chapter 2
    One of my biggest fears is rejection or not being good enough. This fear stops me from doing somethings to my full potential or maybe not even at all. There have been countless occasions where "i gave it my all but it wasn't good enough." When i have problems i tend to ignore them and just pretend they aren't there so then i don't have to deal with them. This is my way of dealing with my problems. It is hard for me to open up to people therefore i tend to isolate myself hoping it with protect me from getting hurt.

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    1. this is an actual word for word representation of how i cope with my feelings too. I hide the fact that i may be good enough one day and instead of showing it i crumble it in a ball and act like it is not important to me. I am the only one that i tend to lean on in bad situations because i feel like no one is going to understand. so in the end i dont end up giving it my all because im scared of rejection and not being good enough.

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  80. CHAPTER ONE
    Freshman year I decided to take Spanish 2 as one of my two electives. I was nervous because the language was still relatively new to me as my old 8th grade Spanish teacher hadn't taught us very well during Spanish 1. Day one of the class, though, I decided that I was going to push myself and have a fixed mindset of determination and open-mindedness in order to succeed in the class. My grandpa had been from Mexico and had always tried to talk in Spanish to me, so I knew how proud I would make him by learning the language for him. As Binet mentioned, "With practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment, and literally to become more intelligent than we were before (pg 5)." I believe that because I'd always had a desire to learn the Spanish language, my grandpa had instilled a fixed mindset within myself to have the urgency to do succeed in the class. The class was a bit rough and all of the new language skills were intense at first glance, but as I continued on to Spanish 3 and 4, I discovered that Spanish had become a relatively easy language to learn. All the years I'd spent note-taking and repeatedly reviewing the different grammar skills had indeed increased my knowledge and successfulness in the classes, yes, but if I had never had that "fixed mindset" of /wanting/ to succeed in my Spanish class implanted in my brain from early on, I most likely wouldn't have had the drive to study so hard for the class. Without the desire to perform well at something in order to obtain my goal, I most likely wouldn't have tried hard to do well in the class and, ultimately, would not have been successful at Spanish as I am.

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  81. CHAPTER TWO
    Like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenburg, I, too, have been afraid to give something important my full effort. Doing well in school is important, and as I'd always had a fixed mindset to receive the highest grades possible since elementary school, this fact had not changed when I entered my junior year honors math class--first semester, that is. Math had always been one of my toughest subjects to understand; numbers just didn't click with me the same way words did. But that first semester of Algebra 2/Trig, after receiving a poor grade on a quiz, I pushed myself to the brink of tears nearly every night trying to understand what the heck was going on in that class. The amount of effort I put into trying to understand the concepts resulted in me always getting stickers on my quizzes--until next semester, that is. My next semester math class, pre-calculus honors, was beyond difficult. I wasn't understand anything, which was very odd to me because I was used to understanding most things. School came relatively easy to me--I wasn't used to not understanding things right away. And since I wasn't understanding what was happening, didn't even have a clue on how to formulate a question I desperately needed my teacher to answer, my instinct was to shut down completely. I wrote my notes haphazardly, getting confused on topics but no longer bothering to raise my hand and ask about them because it didn't matter--I didn't understand what was going on in that class, I felt like I'd never catch up. Shutting down and pretending like I didn't care about receiving very poor grades on my tests quizzes was a self-defeating way to try and protect myself from meaningful failure. I pretended not to care that I wasn't doing well in my math class because if I DID let myself care, I would cry and stress even more about the class. I would allow the self-hatred to sink inside myself and try to convince me that I was stupid--that because I didn't understand these things like I usually did, and everyone else around me was doing well, I was the dumbest person there. Academics had always come easy to me, aside from math, but Pre-Calc had been exceedingly difficult to the point where I basically stopped trying because it got to the point where if I even attempted to understand a math problem, my brain would automatically tell itself that it was useless to even try because I wasn't understanding anything anyway. I was afraid to put even an ounce of effort into my mathematical studies because I assumed that I just wouldn't understand it and, therefore, feel even worse about myself than I already did. So instead of learning from my mistakes and trying to catch up where I'd fallen behind as soon as I'd started slipping up, I talked to my friends and played the SIMS game on my phone all during class. Salerno-Sonnenburg adds, "Effort is for those who don't have the ability (pg 40)," and she's never been more right. I was used to putting in minimal effort in my studies because I'd never required a huge amount of effort to do well. I had gotten lucky in my previous math classes and flew by the seat of my stool in those classes. Now, in Pre-Calc, I was actually required to think things through myself and understand mathematical concepts that I'd never prepared myself to do so before. I never had the natural ability to understand math like I did my other classes--and, because I didn't understand an ounce of what was going on in my math class, I almost completely gave up in putting any effort into my math class just because I was afraid to accept the fact that I wasn't understanding things. I was afraid of failing, and in that fear lied the truth: I /was/ indeed failing nearly every math and quiz lol. LONG STORY SHORT, I ended up pushing through and persevering against my depressive episode brought on by calculus and passed the class with a B. The B was also new to me as I hadn't received a B on my final report card since 6th grade--in, what do you know, math!

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    1. I don't know if this counts for anything, but I'm super sorry for my responses being so long! My brain is a big train of thoughts today because I pulled an all-nighter and received zero hours of sleep lol

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  82. Chapter 1:

    For most of the occasions that I am faced with a challenge, I have a growth mindset, or the mindset where you believe you can "cultivate your qualities through your efforts"(7). I take many challenges and strive to learn from the experience. However, there were several instances where my mindset had switched to a fixed mindset, or the mindset where you "try to prove yourself over and over" (6). One of these events was when I took the SAT. I didn't think of it as a test to help me develop and learn. Instead, I took the test in order to prove myself and my abilities to potential colleges. I strive for perfection instead of education. With a fixed mindset I didn't worry about increasing my knowledge on the material; I just wanted to show the knowledge I had. During this experience I was incredibly worried that my abilities weren't good enough. I feared that I didn't read, solve problems, or write fast enough to efficiently pass the test. I kept worrying about my scores and how colleges would see me. I didn't want my scores to negatively impact my future college or career. Having a fixed mindset caused me to stress more about my abilities and caused me to increasingly try to prove myself instead of trying to better myself.

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  83. Chapter 2:

    My experience in band is very similar to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg's experience with violin. From freshman year I had grown into a pretty good rhythm reader and percussion player. However, I was afraid to put this growth to the test with competitions such as districts or Solo & Ensemble. I feared that I would fail or mess up and be discouraged by my fellow band members or the band director. So instead of taking the risk and potentially bettering my performance, I played it safe. In order to preserve my self-esteem and my positive thoughts about my ability, I never did performances alone. I was terrified of "giving it my all but still failing" (42), of showing the judges all that I had to offer only to be rejected. Other times I will not even attempt an activity in order to protect myself from failure. For instance, during soccer and volleyball camp I would not put in my full effort because I felt that I would never be as good as the girls that had been playing for years. I would often quit and not even try out for the team so that I could avoid failure and feeling like a "loser". During these times, I had the mindset that "if I don't take the risk, I can't lose". Having this fixed mindset prevented me from trying new challenges and prevented me from possibly finding a new activity that I could excel at.

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    1. I kinda did the same thing during swim. I put in a lot of my effort, but started feeling doubtful because of all the better swimmers on the team. I was told I had potential to grow and join varsity the next year, but I ended up quitting because I was scared. I was afraid of continuing after freshman year because of the chance of failing somehow at the sport or academically. Challenging myself more felt overwhelming and I couldn't tell if I was still doing it at that point because I enjoyed it or to prove I could do the full year.

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  85. Chapter 2
    In the spring of my sophomore year I once again joined the school baseball team. The year prior I hadn't had the best season so in the offseason I decided to forgo many workouts and put very little effort into the upcoming year. I did this because I was scared of "trying and failing". If I put in work in the offseason and I was still unsuccessful all the work would have been for nothing. When the season came around I actually had a very good year. Looking back I believe that if I wasn't afraid to try, I could have been exponentially better.Other self defeating tactics I used to protect myself from failure would be ignoring the issue. Often I find myself in a bad situation and instead of facing the problem head on and trying to correct it the best way possible, I just let it be and tell myself," I didn't put effort in so I didn't lose anything. Today though, I have a completely different mindset. Now I give 110 percent to everything I do and never give up no matter how bad a situation is.

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    1. The same thing happened to me with track this year. The first semester of junior year I gave up on cross country after 2 weeks because I feared that I would be slower as a result of a torn ligament I had months earlier. I decided I would do track the next semester as a way to compensate. I still didn't give it my all and I had the mindset that I just was never meant to be a sprinter. I know that my diet had a lot to do with it but I just convinced myself that running wasn't my thing even though I enjoyed it sometimes.

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  86. Chapter One
    I approached my junior year soccer season with a fixed mindset. I played on a few indoor teams over the winter and I felt that I was walking into the season well prepared for practices and games. We had new coaches coming into our program and I figured that I already had my foot in the door to be the goalie for the team. I knew that I had the skills I needed to play the way I played. What I didn't know is that I didn't have the skills that my coach wanted me to have to play his game. I walked into the season thinking I had already acquired the skills I needed to get by and that I didn't need to learn anything new. Instead, I focused on constantly trying to prove myself to the coaches and not trying to improve. The quote, "Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?" (page 7) reflects my situation perfectly. I could have benefited my team more if I had put myself and my pride aside and accepted that I could improve. If I had gone into the season with a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset, I think more favorable results would have come out of our season.

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  87. Chapter One
    I approached my junior year soccer season with a fixed mindset. I played on a few indoor teams over the winter and I felt that I was walking into the season well prepared for practices and games. We had new coaches coming into our program and I figured that I already had my foot in the door to be the goalie for the team. I knew that I had the skills I needed to play the way I played. What I didn't know is that I didn't have the skills that my coach wanted me to have to play his game. I walked into the season thinking I had already acquired the skills I needed to get by and that I didn't need to learn anything new. Instead, I focused on constantly trying to prove myself to the coaches and not trying to improve. The quote, "Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?" (page 7) reflects my situation perfectly. I could have benefited my team more if I had put myself and my pride aside and accepted that I could improve. If I had gone into the season with a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset, I think more favorable results would have come out of our season.

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  88. Chapter Two
    Junior year seems like it's all about testing. ACT, SAT, and AP classes cloud our minds. Everything revolves around those tests. We have class time dedicated to them, homework to prepare, and even study sessions at night to further prepare ourselves for the tests. As we were getting further into preparing for these tests, I began hearing about them from upperclassmen, people in college, as well as people out of college. Things like, "Oh those tests are hard," and "Oh man those tests sucked," and also "It doesn't really matter anyways." I began letting those thoughts get into my head and I got scared of putting a lot of effort into preparing for the test and not ending up doing well. I began not really trying to study because in my mind, not trying and getting an average score was better than trying really hard and getting an average score. The quote, "They gave this test the power to define them," applies to my situation well. I let the thought of this test give me a bad attitude towards trying to succeed.

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    1. CHAPTER 2 REPLY: Elizabeth--- I understand your struggles. I, too, got bogged down about AP tests, especially. In order to lighten the fact that I was going to totally fail them, I shut them out all together. I rarely studied for any of them and just said "French it!" Instead of even putting in just a smidge of effort, I didn't try at all. Sure, it lightened my load, but I failed because I didn't even try.

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  89. CHAPTER 2
    No I've never been afraid of giving something important my full effort. I'm not afraid of failure, if anything I would rather know I'm not good at something other than wonder if I could've. Like on page 43 "Without effort, you can always say, 'I could have been [fill in the blank].' But once you try, you can't say that anymore". I believe that there are other ways at protecting yourself, one of them being just to simply not even trying to do things you have never done. Now, there is no way of having the fear of failure. There is no possible way of failing you never try anything new.

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  90. Chapter 1

    Taking the AP US History test, I definitely had a fixed mindset. I believed I would fail because I took APUSH first semester, so I knew the material I learned in class wouldn't be as fresh as the semester two students. Weeks prior to the test, I began to behave like the students on page 9 who coped with unfortunate situations unhealthfully, like crying and complaining instead of studying. If I had a spent half the time I spent complaining studying instead, I would have felt more prepared.

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    1. CHAPTER 1 REPLY: I can completely agree with this response, Tauryn. Being a first semester APUSH student, my presidents and historical facts were not even the slightest bit retained in my brain. In addition to that, APUSH was my lowest grade ever and made my GPA plunge. Therefore when I went to take the AP test, I tried to go in and make excuses for why I was going to do bad. "Mr. Enstrom didn't prepare us." "I took it first semester and hardly remember anything." "I hate history anyway." I cried and complained more than I studied as well. I will definitely see this class as a struggle in the past, but a learning point for the future. I hope you can do the same :)

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    2. Chapter 1 reply: Tauryn, I can honestly say you took these words straight out of my mouth. I was in the same situation(we were in the same class so), and I acted the same as well. I just felt bad for myself and accepted the fact that since I had APUSH so long ago, I wasn't going to do well. Now I am slightly regretful of this because I think if I did study I could have preformed highly on the test.

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  91. Chapter 2

    During soccer tryouts, I definitely did not try as hard as I could have. I was embarrassed because I wasn't really skilled at soccer in the first place (mostly because I didn't take it as seriously as others) so I decided to make a big joke out of it instead of actually trying during tryouts. Joking around or acting as if certain actions are unworthy of my participation are definitely some of my self defense mechanisms. Like John McEnroe describes on page 31, I used defense mechanisms to reinforce my superiority and not feel bad about myself.

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  92. Chapter One (Lena Smith)
    I recently overcame a fixed mindset this summer. I was cast as the female lead in the summer musical. This completely terrified me. I had never been cast as such a significant role before, always in the ensemble with a line or two. Now I had to juggle (no actually, I had to learn to juggle and sing at the same time) memorizing what seemed like endless lines, rehearsing my solos and duets, and learning choreography that I had no one else to rely on for. We had two weeks to learn the entire show plus one more week for tech. For the first two weeks, I constantly thought to myself, “Why did the director choose ME of all people? There are plenty of girls here who could do this role with their hands tied behind their back,” or sometimes, “I don’t even deserve this role, how am I going to do this character a justice?” This fixed mindset held me back, and I put myself in a box. As a result, I had a challenging time letting my character grow. The quote, “I’ve seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves-in the classroom, in their careers, in their relationships,” (pg. 6) really resonates with me because I was constantly trying to make my friends, family and director proud, which is rather difficult to do when you put yourself in a box. Thankfully, about two days before show, I received some eye-opening advice from my director. She explained to me why she chose me for this part and what I needed to improve on, which helped to ease the unnecessary tension and built up anxiety I had. She helped me overcome that fixed mindset I had. I really grew as a performer from that experience and my character not only grew, but she flourished.

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    1. I relate to this a lot especially when I started stage managing at Beverly Arts Center. I constantly wondered why I was in charge and told myself that I criticized myself constantly. Three years later, I'm still working there and loving it. I hope that your experience has a similar ending because you deserve leads and you were amazing in Barnum.

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  93. I haven't been so much "afraid" to give something my full effort, it's just I didn't have the effort to give. So I didn't, school for a great example. I never studied and I'm trying to teach myself study habits because better late than never, right?? "In the growth mindset, it's almost inconceivable to want something badly, to think..." (page 44). I also realized that when I read this, I had a fixed mindset, which I'm working on a growth mindset and looking at things in a different way. When I failed a math test, my teachers would always let me retake them. But I never would because I thought if I failed the first time, I would fail the second so there's no point in trying. I regret this so much. If I would have just asked for help I would have known how to do it.

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  94. CHAPTER 1: When I was in Mr. Pembroke's class as an 8th grade skipper, I was unsatisfactory with my B+ towards the end of the semester. I asked him if there was any way to bring it up and he said that if I got an A on the final that he would round my grade to an A+. I studied a ton. When I took the test, I was on a roll for about the first half, but then I looked at the clock. I only had 23 minutes to finish the second half of the exam! At that point I determined myself a failure and bubbled in random letters for the rest of the final. Mr. P scored my test and I left in tears. After 3 hours of moaning and groaning and worrying that I would never ever complete a test ever again, my mom decided to email him and ask if there's a way to raise the grade. He said I could come in and retake the entire final, but by that point I had given up at all costs because I was a "loser" and a "failure" after the first attempt. I had "believed that [my] qualities [were] carved in stone (p.6)." The following year served as a way to strengthen my test-taking abilities. Mr. Smith gave us multiple timed tests. I eventually was able to manage my time during exams.

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  95. Chapter 1:

    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." This quote by A.E. gives perspective of the two types of mindsets, growth and fixed. I always try my best to keep a growth mindset, whether it be through times of prosperity or misfortune. Although, one time I caught myself having a fixed mindset. Freshman year, for P.E., we are required to swim. Now at the time, I was a terrible swimmer. I did't want to try because I was afraid of failure. "...they'd see what happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth"(Page 8). I hated that I couldn't swim well. I knew it, but I was just going to leave it at that because I was to ashamed to try. Looking back on it, luckily it wasn't anything to serious, and now I know how to swim, but since then, There has been very few occasions where I have a fixed mindset.

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  96. chapter 2
    I always feel like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg when it comes to failure. I'm always afraid of how others view me and what their expectations are of me. Growing up I've always been compared to my older sister based on our physical appearance like the way we dress, how we carried ourselves, and most of the time just compare our “beauty” and let's just say she's always been the more attractive one, but anytime people would talk to us they would always assume she was the one that was going to make it in the “real world” or just go farther in life and I would always watch her struggle with everything like friends, sports, relationships, and certain subjects in school. So I always back away from things and push important people away from me because I thought wow if she's struggling with these types of thing why should I even bother trying them if she's the one “going far” I'm just gonna embarrass myself and at that time I was too afraid to actually do the things I was interested in and just be horrible at it. everyone else thought I was basically a joke at that time and I was too afraid of it being true and it is one thing to have people tell you these things but it's another to actually fail. I was scared to admit "I gave it my all and it wasn't good enough''. (pg. 42) I ended losing a valuable person that was really important to me not long ago due to an illness that I didn't know he had and it was devastating and it made me think about how he never gave up on anything. He always put his best foot forward and gave everything 100% even though everyone would tell him to slow things down and to be cautious with almost everything but he never cared about what they said and it made me want to be like him, not caring about what other say and I could let them compare me to whomever they wanted but at the end of the day that was their opinion and I wasn't going to let them continue to make me more insecure than I already am . Eventually, I had to struggle with things like sports and relationships with others just because it is a part of life (also because sports and communication skills are basically what they make you do in gym class and that's a requirement to graduate). surprisingly I've been doing pretty good so far because I have things to distract from comparing myself to anyone like music and literature and I know I have a lot of improving to do but I'm okay with that. I just hate that someone's death was what made me want to start enjoying my own.

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  97. Chapter 1. All throughout elementary school I was good at math until 7th grade. I didn't catch on as quick as a few other kids and I struggled a lot with things like geometry. My teacher never slowed down either even when many others didn't understand. In high school I continued to struggle with math. By 10th grade, I didn't put anymore effort in. It seemed that it was something you either understood or you didn't. When I failed, I blamed it on myself. I recognized my attitude but I still didn't believe things would change. “I...thought human qualities were carved in stone”.(pg 4) These feelings continued until earlier this year when I took PreCalculus. Some things slowly began to make sense. My outlook changed as well, and I completed 100% of my homework assignments that semester and passed with a B. I got a D on the final, but this time I recognized that I could've done more instead of believing that I couldn't do it at all.

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  98. Chapter 2. When I was in the 8th grade I began applying for high schools. I was in a CPS school, and in that school system you have to fight to get into a good high school. The one school I really wanted to to get into, an art high school, I was so scared to apply to because I felt that my friends were just more advanced at drawing than me. I pushed art out of my mind and accepted that I would go to a school I didn't want to go to. When I was creating pieces for my portfolio, I kept telling myself it was no good after I completed a drawing and I would get stuck in a rut for a while where I was too upset to draw. I feared that at the audition the judges would just smile in my face and then I'd be informed a week later that I wouldn't have a call back. I convinced myself that a nine hour school day was terrible to make myself feel better about not applying. As Nadja said, “You have to work hardest for the things you love most.” I realized that I had to try and that even if I didn't get accepted, there was no harm in trying and it wasn't the end. I stopped beating myself up by over examining my work and I completed my portfolio for the audition.In the end, I did get accepted. Even though I knew I would be moving to EP by that point, I would've felt bad if I didn't try.

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    1. Something so similar happened to me in grammar school. My art teacher told me he wanted to publish my art into this art show at a library and my name would be written on the work. I told him I didn't want that because I didn't think my work was good enough and I was embarrassed of what people would think. He finally talked me into it and all of my friends complimented me on my work and it gave me confidence to have confidence in myself !

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    2. I can completely understand how hard it is to put yourself out there as an artist and try and have faith that your skill level can compete with someone else's. It is so much easier to not try then to just not be able to draw good enough as someone else. I feel as though it is extremely hard at times to reflect on how much growth you’ve already made from your previous failures to get where you are now especially when it concerns something you are passionate about . When reflecting on the past nobody really thinks of the failures as good things. However, looking back on it even though being criticized is one of the worst feelings if nobody would have told me I was drawing hands incorrectly when I drew people they might still all have 7 fingers to this day.

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  99. Chapter 2 Response
    Like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg I, with almost everyone else in this world, have been afraid to give my 100% at some point in time. This point in time for me when was I walked into band camp for the first time in high school my freshman year. I was nervous as you would expect, and after the first full day I realized how bad of a tuba player I really was. In middle school I loved band, but I didn't feel like I learned anything and after the first day I knew something had to change. "Failure has been transformed from an action(I failed) to an identity(Im a failure)." Pg 33 Chapter 2. After that first day my fixed mindset I had told me well I'm already a bad player why try to play loud or find help? I thought this class would humiliate me if someone heard me play. My mindset had me fixed on well I am already bad so there is no point from me to try really hard because if I tried really hard my mistakes would be noticeable. Band was and is still very important to me, but at that first camp I felt like it would have been an awful experience for me. Eventually I sought for help, by going earlier to band and seeing upperclassmen to help me get a better player. I wanted to help myself from being exposed to more frustration and failure, by doing things I would consider "self defeating". I would have rather tried to work by myself with someone I knew well, not with a senior in band I never new that would tell me that I was a bad player. I didn't like it one bit, but I'm glad I got the help I needed. Now I not afraid of band, and I practice more often so I get better to the point where I'm not playing wrong notes and saying I'm a failure because I couldn't play something. I have come a long way despite the fact that it was a rocky road to where I am now musically. This has changed my mindset on failure as well, because as I learned from many times in band, school, and sports is that there is always something to learn from a failure or setback, and this instance in particular has really made a significant impact on my overall mindset or failure. I see that it is okay to fail, and now I won't fail something I do on purpose, I am always going to give my 100% on anything I do and accept my failure when I do fail.

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  100. Chapter 2

    Leading up to my junior football season, I had always started. I was always "that guy". But I found out pretty quickly into our season that things were going to be different. We got a new coach and he flat out told us that all the seniors were going to get first looks. Now I did not think much of it, but after about 2 weeks, I realized that he was not kidding. I was doing everything right those first few weeks, but he wouldn't put me into the starting lineup. Instead, there was people getting the starting reps that I KNEW I was better then. After that, for about the next week, I gave up. I was mad, frustrated, and I really stopped trying. I went from being in front of everything to just messing around. I would think to myself, "If he starts me, he starts me. No point in trying for no reason." As the author says, "I gave it my all and it wasn't good enough" (Page 42). I was just going to do the bare minimum because I didn't want to try my hardest and still end up not starting. Now I am not the type of person to not give 100% in something I do. I snapped out of my little "mood", and got back to doing what I love to do and play, no matter what. It payed off, I started every single game of the season, I eventually even started both ways. I rarely ever not give my all in something I put my time into. I don't try to use a defense mechanism to make myself feel better. Instead, I see it as it is and learn from my failures.

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    1. David, I understand how you felt during your football season. I understand how frustrating it is when talent along with hardwork goes unnoticed and it feels like there is no point in trying anymore. I'm glad you found your way and continue to start both ways. Continue to play the game you love and you will continue to see results.

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  101. CHAPTER 2: Fasten your seat belts for this story, folks... because I think it's actually so funny now!!! When I was a wee little second grader, I was petrified of gym class. But probably not for any reason you would think: I was afraid of it because one of the boys in the other class, Abel, had a crush on me. There was this one game called "steal the bacon." And here's how it worked: the two classes would line up across from each other all the way on opposite walls. There was a rubber dog toy in the middle that you had to try and bring back to your side. The gym teacher would call a number from each side and that person would have to run and try to get the rubber toy before the other person did. BUT! If the other person tagged you then you were out. Simple, right??? Not for me. I was so so afraid that the gym teacher would pair me up with Abel and then the whole class would make fun of me because he liked me. To prevent this from happening, I would purposely forget my gym shoes every Monday and Wednesday (gym days). Because I was afraid to give gym class any effort for fear of embarrassment, my grade ended up being a bad one and I considered myself one of the "un-athletic kids." This affected my likeliness to participate in sports and clubs down the road. People eventually called me a quitter because I did not stick to any sport I did until high school. It was definitely poor for my self-esteem, but I've learned since then. Just as Nadja feared trying and failing, I did the exact same. I was scared to even bring my gym shoes to class. "Everything I was going through boiled down to fear." (P.42) This quote was a mirror image of my thoughts during second grade gym class.

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  103. Chapter 1:
    When I first began golfing seriously I approached the situation with a fixed mindset. When I began to take golf seriously I saw the potential I had, through the hours spent at the range. However, I became," consumed with the goal of proving my ability" (pg 6). This lack of concentration led to promising rounds ending in frustration, due to one bad hole. I began to doubt my golf game, I thought I wasnt good enough to competitively golf. Changing my mindset as mentioned on page 12 led to me becoming cool under pressure. As a result, my golf game improved tremendously and I began competing with some of the better golfers. Whenever I get into a bad round where things just aren't going my way, I try to analyze my swing. Then I fix what I'm doing wrong instead of getting frustrated like I used to.

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  104. Chapter 2:
    Yes I have been like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. When I began high school level baseball I had a fear of swinging and missing. For whatever reason I hated that more than anything. As a result of this fear I struck out even more because I would just watch strike three go by. Just like Sonnenberg," everything I was going through boiled down to fear. Fear of trying and failing" (pg 42). Other self-defeating ways used to protect oneself from meaningful failures included ignoring the problem. In the cages I didn't have that fear, therefore I would swing at nearly everything producing good results. This allowed me to continue to deny my fear of swinging and missing in game because during BP I hit well and swung at everything. It wasn't until I addressed the problem did I begin to alter my at bats.

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  105. Chapter 2 post
    Up until my sophomore year of high school I was always afraid of being who I am. I dressed the way everyone else did and I listened to the same music as all of my friends even if it wasn't what I liked. I wanted to fit and I was too afraid to try and be myself in fear of failing or getting shut down by my peers. On page 43, Nadja Salerno Sonneberg shared her idea that "showing any effort robs you of any excuses you have in failing." I refused to express myself and indulge myself into activities and styles that I liked as my own person. I thought I would lose all of my friends and that most of all they would lose respect for me. My sophomore year of high school I began buying my own clothes and expressing my own style. I started listening to and finding new music that appealed to my liking. Everyone accepted the person I was and I felt so much better with myself. I'm glad to this day that I learned that putting effort into something even if you're afraid of failure can pay off.

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  107. Chapter 1
    When reading this question, my mind immediately went to my most recent hurdle: the SAT. My grade was surprised with the SAT instead of the ACT this year and I was less than thrilled. Having been given a much smaller time frame to study for this test made my mind began to wander to negative thoughts. This test would be a major factor to where I could and could not attend college. I knew after studying that I would most likely do well on the reading section but the math section was another story. I always believed that I just simply was not skilled in math and that I have more success in creative endeavors. After sharing my worries with others, I noticed a common thread that almost everyone I talked to had a negative outlook on the test, almost as if it was considered to be "cool" to have to mindset of failure. This isn't the case with just this test but in any kind of aspect where students are putting their skills and aptitude to the test. This mindset does work with others whether it just be a facade or just keeping low expectations to surprise oneself, but this is detrimental to others who have worked hard for this test to convince themselves that they will fail. After cramming as much information in my head about the SAT as possible, I entered the gym with not necessarily confidence but more so the mindset of simply trying my best instead of the black and white pass and fail to a test. I received my scores and decided that I did not need to retake the SAT and that I was proud of the improvement I had made, not only from the obvious studying but also that mindset gave me the perseverance to follow through on a problem instead of dismissing it immediately because “I am bad at math.” This test broadened my horizons of colleges and I have to give credit to that mindset. “It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.” (pg. 6)


    Chapter 2
    In 8th grade I had found out that from my older brother that the high school was searching for a new oboe player next year for the concert band. Since I had played the same flute for four years, I felt that a change might be refreshing and that playing the oboe could potentially earn scholarships when I go to college due to the sparse numbers of oboists. I started taking lessons and very quickly realized why there were so few oboe players: it’s known for being one of the most difficult instruments to play. After a couple months of struggling I started to understand it, concert band began. It was difficult because I was surrounded by musicians much more experienced on their instruments when I only had a mere 3 months of learning. As soon as I became comfortable, my director decided to bring out songs with oboe features and solos and being the only oboist in the band, I had the responsibility of those solos. If I was in 5th grade, being a beginner with the rest of the band, I would have jumped at the opportunity, but with several years of learning habits of self doubt and judgement, I was terrified. My body would respond to the moment when I had to play on my own by completely shutting down, leaving silence behind. I would also try to shield myself with self deprecating humor at my novice skills. I pondered what I was protecting myself from. Accepting that I will not be perfect when I am only starting out on an instrument? That I “sound like a beginner”? After realizing these answers I realized that it truly does take time to build that confidence by going to my lessons and “sound like a beginner” because that’s what I was. Instead of being a nonlearner I decided to become a learner. (pg 16)

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  108. Chapter One:
     
    Often as a kid in fourth and fifth grade you are more sensitive to events that don't necessarily make up who you are as a person. Being a kid who very easily got A’s and B’s on my report card I often believed that school and grades were “a direct measure of [my] competence and worth” (page 8). For me this event was when we had to do minute math. In my earlier years of education I had always enjoyed math. I clearly remember singing school house rock songs constantly and playing counting games for entertainment with my mom. What started out as a miniscule inability to perform well under pressure quickly translated into a dislike for anything math related and timed. After failing a multitude of minute math tests my classmates pointed out that maybe math just wasn't my strong suit. I soon after developed a fixed mindset about math in general. Math was something I couldn't grasp. After that I didn't challenge myself to improve. Instead of viewing my lack of initial math skills as something to work on I decided that I should apply my “certain amount of intelligence” (page 6) to reading instead of applying it to math. This fixed mindset that started in fourth grade has affected me all throughout my high school experience and has made me doubt my abilities on the Sat and other math tests (especially if they are timed).
     

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  109. Chapter Two:
    Throughout my childhood I had always loved to draw and create. Drawing was a beautiful escape and extremely fun to me. My parents cultivated my drawing as well by buying me a variety of drawing books, colored pencils, and many other art supplies. I was truly excited to have all the tools available to me to explore drawing. My friends and family began to see my skills grow and they would tell me that I had a real talent for drawing. I was always doodling  and in art class I would put my all into it. Because of the efforts I put into drawing during school others started noticing my talent for art. My classmates would say “oh she’s a natural at it”, or call me an artist which put pressure on me to perform and live up to the expectation of having a talent for art. This pressure became somewhat crippling to me eventually. I stopped doodling in class and didn't try as hard as I could have in art class because I was so afraid of appearing as a failure to others and failing to myself that I stunted myself as an artist. I truly believed that “showing any effort robs you of excuses you have in failing” (page 43) and I didn't want to fail and have people’s view. One day our art teacher announced that the best drawing of Abraham Lincoln would be showcased in the principal's office. I distinctly remember my thoughts racing about the possibility of failing and how hurt I would be if I gave it my all and it wasn't enough to win the competition. I realized though that I finally wanted to win more than I cared if what I drew would live up to everyone else’s expectations. Furthermore, I also realized that if I struggled struggled drawing things correctly my teacher could help correct it so I would win the competition. Once I changed my outlook I did give it my full effort all my fears were unnecessary. I ended up winning the competition.

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  110. CHAPTER ONE:
    When I began my first season on varsity softball, I went into it with a fixed mindset. My two years on Junior Varsity, I had confidence in my skills and believed I was as good as everyone on the team. Going into the new season with girls who have already played on the team, I couldn't help but doubt myself. In the article it says, "Believing that your qualities are carved in stone-the fixed mindset-creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over"(page 6). In the beginning in the season, I thought I had to prove myself to everyone. If I made an error during a game or practice, I automatically thought as myself as a failure. But as the season progressed, so did my mindset. I began to realize that the more effort I put in, the better I would become. I slowly began to step out of my comfort zone and was more myself. I had confidence when I was on the mound and believed in myself. I thrived off of the control I had in the game and was excited for the new challenges being thrown at me. I was sick of wasting my time worrying about proving myself to everyone, so I spent my time working on bettering myself.

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  112. Chapter 1:

    When I was younger I had a few friends who wanted to drive including myself, but I felt a little indifferent about the whole ordeal. Then when I started driving, I just wanted to get everything over with although I started procrastinating since that's what I tend to do best. I kept doubting and judging my driving skills from every mistake made. Because I wasn't a perfect driver I began thinking thoughts such as, "If at first you don't succeed, you probably don't have the ability" (page 9-10). I felt that I was a failure at driving because I didn't know everything about it and that I was progressively getting worse as I continued practicing. The week before my permit expired I was having little break downs because i was scared of taking the driving test and I thought I had to take the written test (in which I took online practice tests and bombed all of them). The last day I had the option of taking the test I talked to my friend who took it the day before. She talked about her experience and helped encourage me for when I had to take it (I also found out that I did not have to take the written test that sealed the deal to go out to the DMV that day). I cleared my head and thought "what ever happens, happens" and ended up passing with flying colors.

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  113. Chapter 2:

    Like Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with her violin, I have been, and a little still, scared to excel at playing clarinet. I have been in band since 5th grade and I'm now a senior and one of the section leaders. Because of my lack of effort to improve as a clarinet player and constantly bringing myself down, I am stressing about senior band finals and what qualities I can bring as a leader to the section. I want my fellow clarinets to succeed and surpass me if they haven't already but then I'm scared of loosing respect as a leader or not being a necessary part of the section. I have had opportunities to get a private teacher, try districts, a solo at solo ensemble, but I have never liked to play by myself and, like Salerno-Sonnenberg, I was afraid of failing. "Everything I was going through boiled down to fear. Fear of trying and failing... Nothing is harder than saying, "I gave it my all and it wasn't good enough" (page 42). Because of this final push of realization this past year, I have been wanting to find a private teacher soon and have started looking at duets with a friend for solo ensemble.

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