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“You can do anything if you set your mind to it.” Chances are, you’ve heard this simple, yet encouraging phrase before. Maybe you’ve even disregarded it as overly simplistic, or even a bit naive. However, there’s real science behind the idea that you ultimately have control over your ability to master new skills, no matter your age. So if you’re feeling stuck or frustrated when studying business English, maybe the problem is your mindset!

First, a Little History

The term “growth mindset” was coined over 30 years ago by Dr. Carol Dweck. When studying a group of students, she noticed that some rebounded quickly from failure, while others stagnated. Her stab at explaining this phenomenon led to her popularization of what is now called the growth mindset. It is the opposite of the “fixed mindset,” which believes that people’s skills are “set” at birth, or are limited by age or ability. Have you ever said something like “I’m not good at math?” That’s the fixed mindset at work.

Understanding the difference between the fixed and growth mindsets is a major key toward unlocking your hidden abilities. Here’s a quick introduction to these two fundamentally different ways of looking at self-improvement:

Fixed Mindset

In general, people that have a fixed mindset believe that abilities are determined at birth. These people believe that you’re either good at something or you’re not, and there’s no way to change it. This mindset turns out to be self-fulfilling, as the fixed mindset puts a mental roadblock in the way of learning a new skill. 

Since we’re an online business English school, fear of language learning is the “roadblock” that we most commonly encounter. There’s a widely-held misconception that only children can easily learn new languages. Although there is some truth to this due to the larger number of synapses in a child’s brain, age is not a factor that can prevent you from improving your business English skills. The only true limiting factors is you: and the best thing you can do to improve yourself is to start believing that you can.

Growth Mindset

The “fixed mindset” idea that the adult brain is incapable of learning new skills is scientifically inaccurate. According to several studies, experiences are able to change the brain’s physical structure. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. Besides giving stroke and brain damage patients the ability to recover from their injuries, it allows people to continually develop and retrain their brain. Best of all, this ability is not just reserved for children; people of all ages can harness this power. 

If you’re interested in shifting your mindset, a good place to start is by fearlessly pursuing new skills. Good examples are learning new languages, reading, or creative hobbies. Also, make sure you’re getting enough rest and exercise. Research shows that getting enough sleep can actually improve brain health and performance, so make it a priority. Overall, a healthy body feeds a healthy brain, and if you’re feeling good, chances are you’ll have more energy to devote to learning.

The takeaway is this: the brain never stops growing or learning. The only thing that can get in the way of this scientifically proven fact is your personal mindset. The fixed mindset is limiting, but the growth mindset is liberating. Choose wisely!

How This Relates to Business English

Thinking that you’re “bad at business English” can hold you back personally and professionally. Verbalize Now believes in you, so maybe it’s time that you started believing in yourself! Our online business English teachers are strong believers in the power of the growth mindset, because we know it leads to success. Our positive and encouraging teachers will help you develop the confidence you need to ace your interview with an English-speaking company. Don’t let a fixed mindset hold you back. Contact us to schedule a lesson with our online business English school and start growing!

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