Our beliefs about the nature of our ability affects how we learn and perform when faced with a challenge.

If we believe that our abilities are innate and immutable, we give up when faced with something we cannot immediately solve.

If we believe that our abilities can be honed and improved and built upon, we are more likely to rise up to a challenge.

Apparently there is a gender difference here too - it arises from the feedback parents give their children. Read The Trouble With Bright Girls on Psychology Today. Via Tanneke Zeeuw.