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Confidence means something different for everyone, but can generally be defined as “the belief that one can accomplish what they set out to do” and becomes visible when people take actions towards their goals, despite obstacles (Kosterlitz, 2015).

Self-confidence is an important aspect of living a happy life. Being confident in one’s self reduces fears and anxieties, increases motivation for learning and relationships with friends, classmates, co-workers, and family. Self-confidence will also increase resilience when things go awry and it strengthens the sense of self and thus the authenticity of oneself (Markway & Ampel, 2018).

Akey (2006) states: … student’s perceptions of their capacity for success are key to their engagement in school and learning, schools should be designed to enhance students’ feelings of accomplishment.

A negative mindset, such as a lack of self-confidence needs to be changed and can be done with the help of an educational professional (Akey, 2006). This change starts with efficacy, the feeling that one can achieve their goals (Gardner, 1998).

Mindset & Goals

The degree to which students believe in their talents has important consequences for how they experience studying and how they respond to setbacks. For students with a negative (or fixed) mindset, education can look threatening because they may worry about proving their abilities or “looking dumb” (Romero, 2015). They feel like they are “just not good enough” and might avoid challenges or give up in the face of struggle (Murphy & Thomas, 2008; Dweck, 2017).

Students with a growth mindset experience school as exciting, see it as a place to learn and opportunities for development. Having a growth mindset increases passion for learning and personal development and as a result, people experience increased confidence, self-esteem, creativity and perseverance (Wignall, 2019 ).

Dr. Carol Dweck (2017) states that a growth mindset can be accomplished when the person of influence focuses on praising process, the effort that went into something, not the outcome. Changing “just not good enough” to “not good enough yet” (Dweck, 2017). Schools for Higher Education Program (2020) says, praising effort and strategies should relate to specific processes. It is also important to let students set learning goals for themselves and for the teacher, to be a role model with a growth mindset and to encourage thinking outside of the box. Zimmerman (2002) also stated that when students create and reflect on their own learning goals, they will experience an increase in their sense of self, self-confidence, and motivation

Odette Jansen

Odette Jansen

Autism Coach | Teacher | Dungeon Delver