There is a pervasive narrative that minorities in America have little or no chance of success. The system is rigged against them, everything is racist, and many doors are closed. However, people of all backgrounds do succeed, and they all have one secret superpower in common: They know the liberating power of personal responsibility.
Psychologists have studied the effect of belief systems on behavior for a long time, and they have found a strange pattern: People who do not believe in free will tend to behave less free. They give up more quickly and have less success because they won’t even try.
Child psychologists have found that children who were told that they could not succeed did worse than children who were told the opposite. In general, children who internalize futility tend to chain themselves inside a mental prison that has detrimental effects throughout their lives.
The process is analogous to what horse trainers do when they “break” horses. Horses start as wild and individualistic creatures and will resist any attempts to ride them. One traditional method of taming them is to give them a sense of futility, the notion that resistance is pointless. Once horses internalize their master, they are far easier to control.
Sticks v Carrots
Unfortunate souls are told they live in a mental prison with impenetrable walls of systemic racism and general inequality on all sides.
Psychologists teach us that behavior induced by only fear and negativity is uns...