The Blockers Negative attitudes

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Anxiety • Obstinacy • Arrogance • Dependence • Mediocrity • Apathy • Impulsivity • Laziness • Self-doubt

The Blockers: negative attitudes impede success

Whereas positive attitudes lead to success, we also should consciously recognise and explicitly teach learners there are negative attitudes that eat away at our positive mindsets, which the Cherokee’s called the black and white wolf.  These negative attitudes are blockers, and in the VAST framework are illustrated as slugs.  We all have them.


  • Confidence is undermined by anxiety, and arrogance.
  • Openness falls victim to blinkered views, such as racism, ageism, sexism, bigotry and bias.
  • Resilience is overpowered as a result of over-dependence.There is a growing concern of helicopter parenting, bubble-wrap children, and what Dr David Elkind termed, hurried childhood syndrome.
  • Excellence is eroded by mediocrity: near enough is good enough. For example, when we set a task and learners respond by saying “how long” or “how much” – as if quantity is quality.


  • Passion is diluted by apathy.
  • Patience is threatened by our impulsive indulgence, especially in our modern technology-rich environment where the focus is on instant gratification.
  • Positivity is darkened by negativity: criticism that is drawn on what won’t work rather than the power of possibility.
  • Perseverance is corrupted by procrastination, lethargy or laziness. Learners need to know that effort powers success.