During our new IDentifEYE workshops that have just been launched in Poland this week we talk a lot about the importance of having dynamic identity traits using literature by Dylan Wiliam and Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen. The less we use static labels to define ourselves, the more we are open for feedback. And the more we see problems as challenges to overcome rather than frontal attacks on ourselves.
It turns out that these identity traits are also helpful in avoiding symptoms of depression. Linda Searing writes about a recent study on the theme: “students were randomly assigned to participate in one of two classroom exercises during the first few weeks of school. One group studied how people’s personalities, including socially relevant characteristics, can change and how social adversities — such as being “a loser” or not likable, or being bullied — need not be permanent. The others studied athletic abilities. About eight months later, at the end of the school year, teens who had learned about the possibility of change in personalities and social situations were 40 percent less likely than the others to have symptoms of depression — negative mood, feelings of ineffectiveness and low self-esteem — even if they had been bullied.”