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this is the classic trap of mindset. Serena is facing the problem athletes can get where they think they are something right now, the amazing athlete, the star of it all, the best. When you think like this, it clouds the judgement of reality and makes it hard to react in consistently contructive ways according to Carol S. Dweck.
This might a tough spot in her career, but she can change how she thinks of herself. I think this is no big deal, it happens all the time in sports, and all the time for business executives, everyone really at some point.
Being told you were good for what you could naturally do rather then encouraged to work hard fucked you up. Happened to me too. Check this book out. It's based on research into that.
I'm guessing it's the one by Carol Dweck. /u/blinkingsandbleepings, please correct me if I'm wrong. What I've read so far discusses the difference in joy and performance in people who work on something out of curiosity and the desire to learn from the experience vs. those who are trying to avoid criticism and the fear that they will be proven incompetent.
You sound like you are defeated even before you get started. I also picked up on your first statement. "I'm not that smart". Did you have an exhaustive mental capacity study done to determine that your ability to learn is any different than your class mates? Or did you come to that conclusion based on some bad tests.
I am currently reading this book to help my son improve in school and as I read it I begin to draw so many parallels to my own school career. I was a D student in school, never had the capacity to study and thought I was just dumb. It was only after a few years working that my mindset changed naturally that I started to move ahead.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success -
Just wanted to throw an update in here:
My company is having everyone read about mindset and, to the extent that this particular pop psych / management theory book is true, my point of view on this issue may have a lot to do with how "fixed" my mindset is.
I.e., the expectation that "as a man" I have to get everything right the first time, whether I have the necessary experience/training/understanding or not, and that if I don't then I'm a failure--Dweck identifies this way of looking at things as "fixed mindset," vs. learning mindset. I do think that probably I got a lot of this from societal expectations while I was growing up; however, the important thing to note is that I've since picked up that torch and am continually levying those expectations on myself.
If you are up for some reading & watching, here are some resources I recommend:
Pretty much, the concepts above boil down to this:
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If you've decided that it's safer to feel trapped because that relieves the pressure of trying to change and potentially failing, there's your answer.
Trying-and-failing repeatedly at a task that matters to you is threatening and uncomfortable, especially when you feel like nothing you're doing is making a substantial difference and you're just going to end up hurt anyway. Intentionally-failing or failing-by-not-trying may suck too, but at least it's predictable and controllable. I think a lot of people underestimate how intensely aversive disappointment and uncertainty can be.
You're allowed to decide that you're happier where you are and that the end result isn't worth the amount of stress it takes in the short term to get there. That's valid if it genuinely makes you happier. You're also allowed to pick your battles strategically and you're allowed to rest for a while when fighting your own brain/body feels like bailing out a sinking ship with a teaspoon. I live with a psych disability and if nothing else, it has taught me that there are times when taking a step back from a goal that matters to you can be a self-care decision.
That said, if you ever decide you need a community that believes in your ability to change even when you're struggling to believe in yourself, you know where to find us.
And on the off chance that this is a cry for help, this book may be helpful. It's not about weight loss and it's significantly cheaper than the therapy you mentioned in another reply.
I had a really hard time when I was a kid with piano lessons & ended up quitting. First, it was really boring & I had trouble handling boring things when I was young. Second, I absolutely loathed recitals because it was the only time I played in front of people & it was maybe twice a year & I had really awful anxiety. So I felt stuck with a boring hobby & would get all stressed out up & to during my recitals, which meant that it was not a very fun pursuit for me at the time, lol.
As I got older & into my 20's, I took it up again as a hobby & also ended up taking a public speaking class in college. We had to give a public speech in front of 30 people every single week for the entire semester, which was nerve-wracking. However...I eventually got used to it. I mean, that didn't completely remove my anxiety, and didn't make it "easy" by any means, but it went from something where I'd just completely choke, where I'd lose my voice, where the rush of the fear would make my mind go completely blank, and so on, to being able to do it & get through it & even have a little fun with it. So kind of like practice makes perfect in playing a particular song, that applies to practicing in front of real, live people as well - it's not just about mastering the song or the instrument or the technical stuff, there's also a lot of psychology involved as well!
I don't know if you're a reader or not, but here are four specific books that helped me understand myself & how things work in real life a bit better:
I really enjoy digging into the mechanics of how life works, because it gives me a lot more confidence in my actions & my path when I understand how and why things operate & and not be winging it for reasons unknown, you know? Having a growth mindset, having a positive attitude, focusing on specific repetitive actions to build your mindset, and being gritty are kind of the core mix of things I've found to help me get good at different things & also enjoy doing them along the way. Anyway, just some thoughts, and thank you for sharing what you learned - that's a brave thing to do!
Do check it out, I bought the kindle version here: [link]
You could also check out this other book that summarizes and analyses Dwecks book, and its only $3: [link]
You can also check out this website for general referenxe on different types of intelligence: [link]
I hope you find your way and get to feel more comfortable with your thoughts and how you feel of others! Don't hesitate on contacting me if you need to talk!
Sure. First, let's start out with how I personally define productivity, so that you know where I'm coming from:
So that's the basic 3 steps to living a balanced live, productivity-wise: stay on top of what you're on the hook for, make progress on your personal plans, and then goof off stress-free because you're on the ball. Second, we'll divide the books into three sections:
Starting out with practical applied psychology (i.e. the "mental" stuff), in order:
So the takeaways here are: have a growth mindset, have a positive attitude, realize that thoughts create emotions, and audit your inner voice (aka your "thinking" voice) to support your productivity actions. This is really important stuff & I feel like the psychology of productivity is often overlooked, when in fact we're all emotional beings & are driven by various things such as motivation, willpower, determination, commitment, pride, and so on. Getting your mental game in check will enable you to do virtually anything you want to go after.
Next up is the practical implementation (i.e. what do you actually have to DO?) of productivity:
Sit in your room and read GOOD books. If anyting, they are missing own by not doing the same thing. Try mindset by carol dweck- [link]
p.s. I also recommend this book