The final thing I want to cover before diving into the workbook I’ve created (yes, I have been working on a workbook for us) is something a friend turned me on to about a year ago. It’s called “the growth mindset” and was a huge game changer for me. The concept comes from Carol S. Dwell, PhD who wrote the book Mindset: The New Psychology of success.
As soon as I began reading, I recognized that I approached my entire life with a “fixed” mindset. As I encountered problems, such as my educational, I would tell myself, “I hate math, I’ll never get through this.” “I’m never going to pass this test.” “I can’t wait until I graduate so I never have to deal with this again.” I was constantly judging my progress, and believed I never measured up.
Rather than working through a problem, seeking techniques to help me learn, or ask for help, I just sort of shut down, waiting for it all to be over, or I’d hurry though so as to spend as little time experiencing unpleasantness as possible. Only it was all unpleasant, and I began to think that that life was generally unpleasant. You might be surprised to know that even though I was’t putting much effort into my endeavors, I was a perfectionist. Yes, and a very overwhelmed one at that. It was pretty horrible being on the inside of me back then.
I told myself my dreams probably would never come true, it would hurt too much if I failed doing something I really loved, and I would never find my Prince Charming. I hunkered down to live a so-so life doing what others thought would be best for me, including marrying. For me, life was fraught with disappointment, feelings of powerlessness, anxiety and fear.
Somehow, I managed to attain some successes, but usually in service to something or someone else. I knew that a part of me longed to express itself, and flourish in the sunlight, but it seemed too scary to allow it. As life became more and more uncomfortable, I knew I would need to welcome change if I ever wanted to have a shot at the life of my dreams. And that’s when the growth mindset dropped in my lap. Blogging had forced me to begin developing a growth mindset, but The book, Mindset The New Psychology of Success took it up a notch for me.
So what is a growth mindset, you ask? People with growth mindsets use setbacks as feedback, they are willing to experiment and try things until they find what works. They don’t tend to judge their progress harshly and willingly embrace change. Because of their approach to challenges, they feel empowered to pursue their dreams and goals, and persist when barriers or challenges appear. If you are having struggles in this area, I strongly encourage you to read the book, and play with the concepts a bit. I’ve found it very empowering.
About the workbook: I’ve been working on a little workbook to go with this series. I find it so useful to write and organize my thoughts, especially when it comes to transforming my dreams into reality.