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So the question then is -- did you really often not try because you didn't care, or specifically because you were secretly (even to yourself) afraid of making a mistake and thus disproving everyone's beliefs about you being smart (being afraid of letting people down, or not living up to the expectations of others)?

This is exactly what happened to me. I often was thought of as smart, (though still to this day I don't know why), but nonetheless it affected me and led me to avoid certain challenges. To think that it was all a result of a belief in a "fixed/unchangeable intelligence/personality/self", as opposed to the opposite, is both incredibly enlightening and exciting and very frustrating that I allowed myself to form the mindset in the first place.

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