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Woman Thinking She Can, Woman Thinking She Can't

Posted May 07 2009 9:10pm

by Maria' s Last Diet

Do you believe in your abilities when it comes to losing weight? Do you think of your ability to lose weight as something that is a fixed trait or an ability that can be increased through learning and effort?

Interestingly, when beliefs like this were studied, it turns out that 40% of people believed their ability is fixed and 40% believed they could be increased (20% were undecided).

Given these two opposing beliefs, let' s think about what may happen when you have a setback during your quest to lose weight. If you are the kind of person who believes that you can develop your competence and increase your ability to lose the weight, then you are likely to work harder after a setback or a challenge, try to figure out how to do better, and construe it as a learning process.

But if you are a person who believes something like this: "I' m simply not good at losing weight", then the setback would signal failure and inadequacy on  your part. In this case, you might very well just give up.

As you can see, believing that your abilities and your competence are fixed leaves you stranded with no good recipe for success. You can' t pick yourself up and dust yourself off and try again, because you would feel it' s no use. You can' t change who you are.

Which of these two views of your own abilities do you hold when it comes to losing the weight?

If you see your abilities as being malleable, then you can go ahead and "grow" your competence.

If you see your abilities as fixed, then you may have a hard time getting to your goal.

You may not have realized that beliefs like these have so much influence on your life, but they do. It' s worth thinking about.

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