Growth Mindset.

Blogmas Day 10. Sorry – 11.

Your girl is SHEEPISH.

You see, what had happened was…

I will not list excuses.

I will not list excuses.

I will not list excuses.

Ok, it’s out there. I missed a day. I set myself a writing challenge to blog every day of advent – 24 days – and I missed a day. I set this task to challenge myself, flex my creative muscle, practice consistency (oops!) and find my written voice.

Everything else in life remains the same. I’m still working full time in secondary schools. I still have my weekly radio show. I still have a home to keep and relationships to maintain (I will not list excuses. I WILL NOT LIST EXCUSES) but I knew I was going to fall short of my daily goal when I could barely support the weight of my own head at my friends dinner party yesterday evening. When we retired to the lounge, I stretched out on their sofa, pulled a gorgeous, warm blanket over myself, feigned conversation for a bit before promptly drifting off. Game over.

On the way home the thought of “Well, it was a good run. Nine days ain’t half bad…” passed through my mind but then (surprisingly) quickly, I figured, “Had I really failed by missing one day?”.

“Not yet” vs. “Fail”

I’ve heard the term Growth Mindset increasingly over the last few years. Working in education it’s so important that young people are raised with a growth rather than fixed mindset. Not only will they learn more and be more successful , their self esteem and life outlook will be greatly improved.

Listen, I’m no expert on this but do you know who is? Professor Carol Dweck. Professor Dweck (I’ll call her Carol from here on. I reckon she’d be cool with that) has written a book called “Mindset” and has given many talks and lectures on the subject which can be found on YouTube.

Watch at your leisure!

Now Carol speaks on this mainly from the perspective of application to children and young people but I’m going to loosely apply this to my own current situation.

This writing challenge is a stretch beyond my current experience and capabilities. Prior to the 1st December, I’d written 8 blog posts this whole calendar year. I’d already doubled that number in the last 9 days. By missing a day of this challenge, my ‘Fixed Mindset’ would say I didn’t make 24 days in a row and I’d therefore failed and there’s therefore no point in continuing. A ‘Growth Mindset’ wouldn’t say I’d failed, but that I haven’t reached the requirement ‘yet’.

It could be argued that the 24th of December isn’t moving so if I don’t have 24 blog posts by that date, that’s a hard fail. But is that right?

Going back to my aims and goals of this exercise, I am, indeed, challenging myself, flexing my creative muscle, practicing consistency (VASTLY improved) and finding my written voice. That’s growth.

Carol says that one way to change from a fixed to a growth mindset is praise. I think I’ve sufficiently bigged myself up on my achievement so far but it won’t hurt to reward myself further with my tea of the day.

Ahhh… just the ticket.

One of the students who benefitted from this mindset change said “I don’t fear setbacks and mistakes anymore”. Can you imagine how amazing our lives would be if we lived like this? I want to adopt this in every area of my life. In fact, I’m glad I missed a day now. This is a life lesson I would’ve been sad to miss.

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