This month, Fuller Life connected with first year pre-med students at Prairie View A&M University to discuss how to avoid burn out by working hard while staying true to one’s values.
Why A Growth Mindset Matters
Many high achieving students find it is easy to coast through school on talents alone. However, many experience burn out when their mindset and focus become fixed on maintaining labels like “smart” or “talented.” Dr. Carol Dweck identified the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. When one chooses to hold a fixed mindset, they give up easily, strive for success overgrowth, avoid failures, and ignore useful negative feedback. This is in stark contrast to a growth mindset. In her book Mindset, Dr. Dweck explained that “…people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
How Values Affect Growth
Additionally, students were encouraged to consider the importance of remaining true to what they value. If a growth mindset is the fuel that keeps a car going; then, staying authentic is the compass that points towards the destination. Values motivate us and living authentically to our values can lead to a fuller life. When we do not uphold the values we believe in, it can lead to lack of integrity, feeling confused about who we are, and a tendency to allow others to direct our lives. Taking time to identify the values that are most important to you can reinforce a growth mindset and help prevent burn out!
Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Robinson.
Leiter, M. P., Frank, E., & Matheson, T. (2009). Values, Demands, and Burnout: Perspectives from National Survey of Canadian Physicians. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi: 10.1037/e604522009-001