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Your answer to this question depends on whether you have learned helplessness or industriousness.

The term learned helplessness was first introduced over 50 years ago by psychologist Martin Seligman. The concept refers to a person’s tendency to stop trying when they don’t see positive results after repeated effort.

When people don’t see the connection between their effort and their outcomes, they will eventually stop trying at all. “They actually learn to be helpless when they feel their work is hopeless.”

The opposite effect is learned industriousness. People who have learned industriousness try harder for longer periods of time when they see even the smallest positive results. The willingness to keep trying creates an unstoppable loop of increased effort and positive outcomes.

Confidence Connection: Both learned helplessness and learned industriousness behaviors will transfer from one activity to another. When you see your efforts pay off, you are more likely to try hard on new tasks. Be industrious, not helpless.

Yancey Sanderson
Follow me on Twitter @YanceySanderson

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