Click this: “The Trouble With Bright Girls”
It’s an article that was posted to Facebook by one of my friends — a true friend and someone who has a penchant for sharing intelligent news on a site littered with selfies and self-absorbant observations.
This article strikes a chord with me — because I am a Bright Girl, in the sense of this psychological study.
The study explains that girls and boys are (generally) conditioned differently as children, and that creates a difference in how they approach challenges later on in life. Girls are praised when they do something smart or clever — basically implying that those are qualities that you either have or do not have. Boys, generally being more active and less focused in youth, are told to “try harder” and to “pay attention” — implying that with more work, they’ll achieve.
“The net result: When learning something new is truly difficult, girls take it as sign that they aren’t “good” and “smart”, and boys take it as a sign to pay attention and try harder.”
According to the study, this perspective that’s sculpted in childhood carries over into adulthood. As a result, “bright” women tend to throw in the towel quicker when faced with challenges — conditioned from childhood to believe that ability is fixed, and that they don’t have the “smarts” to overcome and achieve in those situations.
While I don’t give up on things that easy (I think), I am guilty of being way to harsh on myself and carrying a high degree of self-doubt — it’s especially pronounced right now.
Maybe being that A+ student wasn’t such a great thing after all?