January! You have to love it! Not just another month, the start of another year. The calendars way to prompt us for new beginnings, life changes and goal-setting. For many of us, it’s a chance to push the re-start button after we’ve evaluated the things we’ve been successful at and the things we’ve learned from. Notice I left the “F” word out and here’s why!
For years, I dreamed about what I’d do with my life if. If I was good at math. If I could fit in the desks at our local community college. If I had the money. If I wasn’t such a…here it comes! The F-bomb of all F-bombs…FAILURE! I lived life in the land of the “if’s and buts” and I remained in a holding pattern, hovering over that dream for twenty years!
No doubt about it, I had what scientists are now calling a “fixed mindset” as opposed to a “growth mindset”. My wheels were turning in the right direction, but I wasn’t getting any traction because, deep inside, I believed change wasn’t possible. Period. Fortunately, behaviorists, psychologists, teachers and healthcare professionals are taking a closer look at how we can change our minds so that we can get ourselves ready to achieve what we want in life rather than getting stuck in places we don’t want to be.
Simply put I shifted from having a fixed mindset to a growth mindset:
In a fixed mindset, “your qualities are carved in stone.” Whatever skills, talents, and capabilities you lack, you will continue to lack.
In a growth mindset, “your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts…everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” Qualities like intelligence are a starting point, but success comes as a result of effort, learning, and persistence. (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success; Carol Dweck; 2006)
So maybe this year, try changing a fixed mindset about “life,” (you can substitute any of the following topics for the word life…school success for kids and diets, work-related, or relationships, for adults) to a growth mindset about “life”. The earlier in life a growth mindset is cultivated, the more dynamic its impact will be.
We’ll be right beside to give you tips and resources that build resilient kids, create strong families and grow thriving communities.
It’s a new year, so get ready, get your growth mindset and GROW!
About the Author: Deb Timmerman is a Registered Nurse and Stress Management Specialist. She is the Co-creator of Simply Successful Kids, and Co-Host of The Simply Successful Program podcast on Radio for Divas.