After studying the behaviour of thousands of children, American psychologist, Dr. Carol Dweck, coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. So growth mindset is the belief that you can get smarter and that the effort to do so makes you stronger.
Recent advances in neuroscience have shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever knew, and research on brain plasticity has shown how connectivity between neurons can change with experience. With practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones, and build insulation that speeds transmission of impulses. These discoveries have shown us that we can increase our neural growth by the actions we take, such as using good strategies and asking questions.
It’s not an easy thing to attain, or even maintain, a growth mindset. One reason is that we all have our own fixed mindset triggers: when we face challenges, receive criticism or considered ourselves to have fared poorly compared with others, we can easily become defensive - a response that inhibits growth. And even though it is a common addition to the primary school day in the UK now, there is a proportion of children who struggle to translate it into something that can work for them.
And that’s where EFT comes in. It works by tapping a series of acupressure points on the face and upper body with two fingers whilst focusing on a voicing our issues. This helps to “short-circuit” the fight or flight (stress) response and allows you to think more clearly about and release the problem.
Tapping is a gentle technique that the child can do for themselves, or with an adult, to enable them over time to get through difficult parts of their day and, in the long term, learn to improve their mindset to fulfil their potential.