A recent study on BUD/S students looked at the roles of mindsets around stress, willpower, and failure.
The primary focus of the study was "stress mindset." This is whether you view stress as either enhancing (stress helps me perform) or debilitating (stress is bad and should be avoided).
Those who view stress as a necessary and welcome part of coping with challenges did better. They had greater persistence through training, faster obstacle course times, and fewer negative evaluations from peers and instructors.
A second focus was on the perception of failure. Researchers made a test with questions like “Experiencing failure improves performance and productivity.”
Students who scored highly on the "failure-is-enhancing" assessment had lower persistence, were less likely to complete first phase, and were slower on the O course.
That second finding may seem odd - that people who thought of failure as a helpful tool didn’t perform as well in BUD/S. In most settings, those who seek to learn from failure and embrace negative feedback are more successful, especially in the long term. However, when we look at a career, most of the time we're not in a testing setting. We're practicing, training, and developing. We can learn from failure, come back, and try again.
Embracing failure is beneficial in *learning* environments. But, it can be harmful in *testing* settings.
In this episode, we discuss differences in psychological strategies depending on your environment - whether you're in a setting of testing or training.
We look at this through the lens of an idea we've been talking about lately with our clients, that pain during intensely difficult events comes in three stages, and that how you manage those stages plays an important role in your mindset, coping mechanisms, and resilience.