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Improv Develops a Growth Mindset

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we launched into an indefinite period of chaos and uncertainty. Things we thought were fixed have irrevocably changed. We have to continuously adapt, not just in school and work, but in life. Improvisation opens us up to a worldview that allows ourselves to move forward with confidence and optimism. The belief that we can learn new skills, think in new ways and relate to the world differently than we have in the past has become essential, now more than ever.


In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point.

Research shows that even seemingly small social-psychological interventions that target limiting, self-negating thoughts and feelings can lead to deep sustainable shifts in behavior. In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success - without effort.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point.

This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great lifelong achievement.



The first rule of agreement in improv gets improvisers to start from an open minded place. The second rule of improvisation requires the improviser to contribute. “Yes, and” means that the improviser should not be afraid to contribute, to always make sure they are adding to the discussion and that their initiations are worthwhile. Finally, in improv, there are no mistakes, only opportunities.


those with a growth mindset view failure and mistakes (key components of improv) as proof that we are moving beyond what is safe and known, trying out new information and developing skills that require practice and diligence

Those with a fixed mindset perspective believe our potentials are predetermined, failure and mistakes are viewed as very discouraging signs that we are inadequate, unlucky, or just not cut out for success. Conversely, those with a growth mindset view failure and mistakes as proof that we are moving beyond what is safe and known, trying out new information and developing skills that require practice and diligence. Additionally, with a growth mindset, we can achieve emotional, psychological and cognitive growth that results in enhanced stress resilience, greater overall well-being and even heightened intelligence.



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© 2020 The Unscripted Project, Inc.