201 What is Growth Mindset?

Episode : . A Blue background with a yellow neuron with a body the shape of a star. Words say Ex-gifted podcast. Helping exceptional kids become functional adults. A Yellow stripe across the bottom reads With Raine Eliza from chaoticorganized.com

In this episode I answer the question “What is growth mindset?” and challenge you to ask yourself if you might be wrong when you believe you can’t improve in some area of your life.

Welcome back to season 2 of Ex-Gifted - now a Chaotic Organized podcast!

In this quick dip back into the groove, I introduce you to the concept of chaotic organization, and also the concept of growth mindset.

Us former gifted kids have a very difficult relationship with growth mindset, because we were so well conditioned into a fixed mindset when we were kids in the gifted program. To just dip your toes in a bit, I recommend trying to ask yourself if it's possible that you're wrong when you believe that you can't do something, or that it's too hard, or that you're just naturally not meant for that.


Not believing we are capable of improvement

Us former gifted kids have a very difficult relationship with growth mindset, because we were so well conditioned into a fixed mindset when we were kids in the gifted program.

What we can do about it:

To just dip your toes in a bit, I recommend trying to ask yourself if it’s possible that you’re wrong when you believe that you can’t do something, or that it’s too hard, or that you’re just naturally not meant for that.

Join again in two weeks where I’ll not only give some more actionable advice on how to form a growth mindset, but also rant about why I think so much of the discussion around the topic is absolute bullshit.


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About the Ex-Gifted Podcast:

If you are a former gifted kid who grew up to struggle with basic adulting, then you need the Ex-Gifted podcast.

Host Ren Eliza talks about gifted kid burnout, and the damage that lasts long into adulthood. Damage like battered self esteem, decimated internal motivation, and a continued failure to live up to expectations even while we were placed on pedestals and alienated from our peers.

Ex-Gifted will cover failure, procrastination, imposter syndrome, and chronic anxiety and depression, and a whole lot more.

Each episode also offers suggestions to deal with your executive dysfunction in adulthood so you can rebuild the systems that allowed you to shine so brightly in childhood.

We’re making exceptional children into functional adults.



If you were the child who heard nonstop compliments about how smart you were – and grew up thinking hard work was only for people without enough talent, then this is the show for you. This is Ex-Gifted.

Welcome my friends – welcome back to all of my Ex-Gifted Season one listeners and welcome for the first time for anyone who has found me through Chaotic Organized! If you haven’t heard, Chaotic Organized is my all-brand-new business name meant to unite the Ex-Gifted Podcast along with the Roleplanning System (which PS will be available to ALL just in time for you to get 2022 chaotic organized) and my blog and executive dysfunction coaching.

So if you’re wondering what happened to Chaotic Organized, it has been subsumed into the new brand. In celebration of this new venture, I’m offering everyone who follows me on Ko-Fi the opportunity to watch the video versions of the episodes this month. That’s not just for donors – anyone who visits ko-fi.com/renelizawill be able to view the videos for the month of october. Remember that come november 1st video versions will still be available to anyone who kicks me three bucks.

So what does that mean for this podcast? Ex-Gifted is still ex-gifted, but now it is a chaotic organized podcast. After the final three episodes of season 1 – talking about organizing your stuff, your time, and your mind, the concept of chaos kept coming up, and I got the impression that I’m not the only one who resonated with it.

Some of us hate or fear the chaos, but can’t seem to escape it, getting stuck in burnout because of this disconnect. Others love and embrace the chaos but have a hard time moving forward because they’re afraid that too much structure and planning will blunt their unique edge.

In both cases, these chaotically-aligned people often think that organization is something they can never learn, can never come to terms with. That is to say, they have a fixed mindset around organization.

You’ve probably heard all about growth mindset already, but just in case here’s a brief definition. Growth mindset refers to a belief that you’re able to grown and improve and learn. It’s in contrast to a fixed mindset where you tend to believe your skills and success are a circumstance of your birth. Like you may believe that getting organized is a circumstance of your birth.

Of course, chaotic organization doesn’t look like typical type-A container store organization, but that’s okay. Part of having a growth mindset it understanding that your growth might look different to someone else’s. The point is to embrace your own strengths and grow toward them instead of pruning yourself back to fit into a space designed for someone else.

Because here’s what’s not talked about as much. Growth mindset isn’t all-or-nothing. Everyone has a growth mindset about some thing and a fixed mindset about others. And what’s more, it’s very common to have a growth mindset about something, but only to a certain extent.You may know that you can put on a little muscle if you start working out more, but think there’s a limit to how muscular you could get. Or think you can improve your C grades to a B but believe an A would be impossible.

When you have an unlimited growth mindset about something, impossible never even factors in.

Don’t get hung up on thinking “well maybe it really IS impossible” because that’s not really the point. Even if it were mathematically impossible to improve to an A, there are other options like speaking with the teacher about extra work, or taking the class again.

When we’re talking about growth mindset, the question is never “is it true that I can improve?” Especially because as rational as we tend to think we are, we can almost never answer this question with any reasonable level of certainty. There are always variables being influenced by our own flawed beliefs, and others that we’re not even considering at all.

Remember the entire point here is that when you’re working with a fixed mindset, you DON’T believe that you can improve areas that others have already shown that it is possible to improve. So just stay curious. Instead of thinking to yourself “Well I can’t improve this” or even asking “Is it true that I can improve this?” Ask “Is it possible that I’m wrong to think I can’t improve.” When you’re starting out, curiosity will be your greatest ally.

So that’s your brief overview on what growth mindset actually is. For the rest of the second we will be expanding on how growth mindset applies to a whole host of topics and how you can start to develop a growth mindset around the things that matter most to you, but next episode, I’m going to let you know why I think the conversation surrounding growth mindset is fucking bullshit. I’ll see you in two weeks my little chaos demons. Until then – byeeee…

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