If you’re reading this, there’s a high chance that you’re interested in programming.
But, are you suited for it? Shouldn’t you just choose something easier? Some people are just built to understand programming, are they not?

My first hand at programming was senior year of high school.
It was C++.

I didn’t have a healthy social awareness as a teen, and being from a very low percentage of girls in the class, I instantly felt out of place. In this particular group, the people who showed an aptitude for the material were male. This reinforced the perception that I wasn’t “built for programming”.
With this self-imposed ceiling in place, every mistake I made was another nail in the coffin. After I scraped a passing grade, I gave up.

But….what if?

Let’s say we have two people, I-Can and Maybe-Not.
I-Can has a growth mindset. I-Can believes they have unlimited potential and can learn anything with enough effort. I-Can is tenacious!
Maybe-Not knows they are not useless but believes there are certain things they are just not good at. They’re not “built for it”.
Maybe-Not fears mistakes.

Jason Moser and his colleagues proved, through MRI scans, that your brain grows more after a mistake than after a positive result. More synapses fire. Even more so, people with a growth mind-set( I-Can), achieve even MORE growth after a mistake than people with a fixed mind-set(Maybe-Not).

What we learn is linked to our feelings.

In school, the best teachers I can remember always had one word on their lips – “Why?”. However, we tend to follow processes and don’t ask why – or think “why” is too tedious when the process just “works”. I can tell you the process-only approach did not follow me from school into the workplace. Struggling through a problem, asking “why”, and welcoming fresh ideas does so much more.

If you’re wondering about my choice for a blog title, I invite you to watch the two TedxTalks linked below.

Become an I-Can.



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