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Bring hidden talents to the surface

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

You’re giving a presentation to a group of fellow admins at a Lunch ‘n’ Learn, and it’s going as smooth as butter.

Now, fast forward to the next week. Once again, you’ve been asked to share your knowledge with a group. Only this time, you’re nervous. You’re convinced that you don’t have the ability to do it.

Why? Because, according to dozens of studies by Jason Plaks and Kristin Stecher, the idea that you might be getting better at something can be anxiety-provoking.

Roughly half of us believe that our abilities are fixed. The other half believe that talent is malleable and with practice and learning, we can improve.

That’s why, when someone who believes his talent is fixed finds out he’s getting better at something, it freaks him out.

Next time you’re trying something new, ask yourself, “What if I believed I could improve at anything?”

Instead of writing off your ability, you might discover that with practice you actually can teach a class, learn a complex computer program, be creative or even speak in front of a large audience.

When you think, “But I’m just not good at this,” remember: You’re just not good at it yet.

— Adapted from “The Belief That’s Sabotaging Your Career,” Heidi Grant Halvorson, Fast Company.

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