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Heidi Grant Halvorson: The Incredible Benefits of a “Get Better” Mindset

About this talk

In this talk, researcher Heidi Grant Halvorson explores the mindsets needed to ensure personal growth. Mainly, we should avoid a “Be Good” mindset — one where we are constantly attempting to prove our superiority to the world. Instead, we should embrace a “Get Better” mindset — where we always perceive ourselves as having more to learn. When we embrace a “Get Better” mindset, we welcome risk and are less afraid of failure, both key to personal development.

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Associate Director, Columbia University Motivation Science Center

Heidi Grant Halvorson is the Associate Director of Columbia University’s Motivation Science Center, and a popular blogger for HBR, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Forbes, WSJ, and 99U. As a researcher, she studies goal pursuit, the obstacles that derail us, and the strategies we can use to overcome them.

Comments (13)
  • Janna Barrett

    I have seen tremendous improvement in my creativity and skill set since starting a daily design blog with a “get better” mindset. At the time I didn’t realize that was what I was doing. It’s inspiring to look at what I did six months ago compared to what I am doing now, rather than comparing my work to that of industry leaders. I am growing by leaps and bounds thanks to this philosophy.

  • Toon

    Great talk! Helps me to better understand the progress I have made the past year. While writing my master thesis I made an awful start and very soon started to get deadline-fever. I wrote it at the company I was investigating and felt like everyone was looking over my shoulder, disgusted with my ideas and the work I had done and, even worse, what I had not yet done. I did not dare to show any work because it was never ‘finished’. After a fairly shitty period of self loathing and sufficient self doubt to unsettle Mona Lisa’s smile, I came to realise that it was not my abilities for handling the thesis that lacked, but my abilities to focus on the work itself rather than the deadlines and delivering perfect and finished products. Wish I had seen this video when I started out, though I guess such personal developments will most often require a face plant before you can grasp what it is that causes the problem to begin with. Now, I am becoming increasingly able to deliver content in a format that I know is not finished but sufficient to communicate what I intend it to as a semi-product and except criticism; as guidance for improvement rather than confirmation of my inability to perform on the level that I think is expected from me. This change in mindset has not only improved my work ethic but also my confidence in general and love for the work I have done. I can acknowledge progress and find pride in it. I can now look at a piece and think “That’ll do for now”. Feels awesome.

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  • Chris Javier

    yes! for the past couple years now ive been an advocate of embracing the journey, the process… and not just the destination, the results.

    adopting the mentality of self improvement and development, i can say from experience, has changed my life completely in such a short span of time. the things people can achieve in this mindset are just remarkable!

    building an obsession for learning has me thinking we’re really in the matrix and that everything we do is an experience downloaded to the brain. you really begin to feel the effects of knowledge truly becoming power. these are the real properties of nurturing an “open mind”.

    once you recognize and continue to pursue this exhilaration, your creative mind, well-being and performance improves unbelievably.

    what a great talk! thank you 99u!

  • Chris Javier

    remind yourself that emotions do not project your reality, only actions do. embrace whatever emotions you are feeling because they remind you that you are still alive and still have the power to act. focus on what you can control and act accordingly so you can continue to achieve what you set out to do.

    emotional bumps are difficult to overcome but if you can remember that feelings don’t affect your reality nor harm your character, you’ve lost nothing and you only have everything to gain by moving forward.

  • Janna Barrett

    I’d love to! It’s Thanks for the interest!

  • Noa

    Great. This mindset changed a lot in my career.

  • matty

    great talk embracing the journey hopeful we are all going in the right direction

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