Please take a few moments. Consider all the people you know. Take your time!
Please focus on the person who, when you walk away from them, leaves you feeling drained, defeated, empty and/or depressed. What is it about them that makes you feel like that? Notice how you are even feeling right now, in your body and in your mind, just thinking about them.
Now please focus on that person who leaves you feeling upbeat and strong, gives you that ‘bring it on’ feeling, in fact who will have lifted you from feeling a bit down to feeling that the world is truly an amazing place, in the space of a few minutes. Notice how you feel now, as you reflect on that person.
Which person are you?
Which person would you like to be?
‘Growth Mindset’ has always been at the core of my work with young people and is now at the core of my work with adults. So many of us have become stuck in our ways, stuck in our habits and stuck where we are, all because we don’t believe we can change.
Possibly THE most amazing thing I have ever learned is that WE CAN TRAIN OUR MIND TO CHANGE OUR BRAIN!
“Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.”
Carol Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
The more we repeat something, the stronger the neural pathways become. It works both ways – Negative pathways can build up, just as much, but as we begin to view things positively, new neural pathways develop and get stronger. The old negative pathways then wither away because they aren’t being used, ét voila, our mind has been trained and our brain has been changed!
“You’re in charge of your mind. You can help it grow by using it in the right way.” ― Carol Dweck
When I heard the phrase ‘I can’t do that’, as a teacher and head teacher, I would always immediately add ‘yet’, with a smile on my face. Gradually the young people in school would complete the sentence with ‘yet’ themselves. Sharing tools that helped them complete the task in hand, encouraging them to keep trying and ‘do their best’, enabled them to complete the task independently and feel a huge sense of achievement. In turn, it gave them the determination to tackle other tricky tasks, as they moved through the school. Creating resilience is so important, especially just now. Not just for our children but for us.
Parents often want to protect their children from failure or from upsetting situations. Instead, it is much better to encourage children to see challenges as opportunities to learn and to be more inquisitive. If children are encouraged and supported through difficult situations, they will begin to gain in self-confidence, as they achieve success by persevering.
“The best thing parents can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.” ― Carol Dweck
At the end of a day, Carol Dweck also has some great conversation starters:
“What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today?
Everything I have said so far, applies to adults too. It is possible to turn around difficult situations by changing our mindset. A failure is an opportunity to change how we do something. It’s an opportunity to take a completely different path. It is a perfect opportunity to learn.
I have been there and know that it is possible to change those neural pathways. It is possible to come through difficult times and find ourselves in a much better place. I’m not saying it’s easy but it’s most definitely worth it!
I am now qualified to share the tools that helped me, including Mindfulness, EFT/Tapping, 16 Guidelines and the Outdoors, so that others can benefit. Please get in touch, if you are struggling just now. Please also get in touch if life is amazing! I love to share the good times too. 😊
Thank you for reading this far! AndBreathe... is a very exciting venture and I am glad you have joined me on the journey!