A new year means new resolutions, right? How about a new mindset?
We often, if not always, start the new year with new resolutions that we know most of us will not be able to keep up by the end of February, but why is that? Busy life? Laziness? New job? Moving house? Could we “blame” the wrong mindset?
A few years ago, before taking a job as teaching assistant in a primary school, I followed the head teacher’s advice to inform myself about education, psychology and mindset and I read a book that has really opened my mind: “Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential” by Carol Dweck.
If you have ever read it you know what I am talking about and how this January blog post will unfold, if you have not had the pleasure to own the book yet and see it on your bookshelf every day, I suggest you to start reading it.
This book has only been the start line of my mindset journey, it has been the instrument that forced me to start looking into myself and understand that we are not defined, but we continue to evolve, improve and grow throughout our lives.
As Carol Dweck brilliantly explains in her book, there are mainly two types of mindset: fixed or growth and they are outlined by our attitude towards life, how we face challenges or obstacles, how we receive criticism and how we behave in front of others’ success. If we want to describe them very briefly we would say that a fixed mindset is what holds us back, frightens when a new opportunity or challenge is ahead of us, makes us scared of the new and the unknown and let us believe that we have a certain type of qualities and skill sets that we have been born with and that we cannot improve or modify. On the other hand, a growth mindset is what pushes us to do more, to achieve more, to face adversities and learn from them. An individual with a growing mindset would go out of his/her comfort zone, developing him/herself and becoming a better person.
Thanks to my family principles and teaching, I have always believed that I have the right to pursue my dreams, directing my life in whichever directions I want. My parents have consistently given me advice and full support in my life choices, so I guess I have always been inclined into developing a growth mindset, but I have never stopped recognising the importance of expanding such a mentality rather than having a fixed approach.
Just imagine the huge difference this can make in our lives and our children’s lives: since we are young and at vulnerable age, we are forced to face reality and challenges and decide whether we are just not good enough and prefer to stick with easy tasks or, perhaps, we can learn new skills and improve our knowledge to overcome obstacles and to develop ourselves.
The position we take when facing a problem is easily replicated through our lives creating a massive gap between the two different mindsets once we reach the “grown-up age”. Also, the wider the break between them, the more difficult it will be to change our behaviour transforming our interaction with life, but not impossible.
Life is messy, complicated and beautiful at the same time. I strongly believe that we all face diverse challenges but what makes us so different is the capacity to adapt and develop. Having a positive attitude is extremely important because problems will always be there, this is the gorgeousness of it because it is thanks to them that we improve and transform in what we are supposed to be. It is so immensely beautiful to realise that life really is a journey and we can sit and watch it passing by or take charge of it and enjoy the ride in the best possible way.
One of my favourite yogi quote says:
“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they're meant to be.”
Change is a natural process that we find in all living creatures: a caterpillar will evolve in a colourful butterfly, a seed will grow into a majestic tree and a flower will bloom in a juicy fruit. We are surrounded by magnificent transformation and we cannot deny or avoid our own. I would like to invite you to join me in embracing challenges and new experiences that are presented along the way, even if sometimes those are hard lessons to digest, they will only make us stronger and wiser. Welcome new opportunities, evaluate them with a growth mindset and let them guide you to a newer and fresher you and I promise that when you will look back on the road that you had taken, it won’t seem so steep.
“Start changing yourself if you want to change the life around you”
Because if we were not able to achieve our 2016 resolutions we must stop blaming external forces, look inwardly and perhaps, decide to change our attitude and, more importantly, our mindset. The best gift that we could ever give ourselves, our loved ones and our children is the capacity to open our minds embracing who we are and who we could become, learning along the way and enjoy every single day.
I do hope that my post has either made you smile while you read it resonating with me and the undoubted science of the growth mindset or has opened your mind, making you realise that it is never too late to break the fixed circle that we have subconsciously created around us.
Now, look again at your 2017 resolutions list and starting from your first goal, break it down into little reachable steps and move closer to achieve your dreams.
Also, let’s schedule a “catch-up” in December 2017, I cannot wait to hear your successful stories.
Feel free to share your tips and tricks to stick with your new year resolutions and complete them and don’t forget that you can always reach out to me through my contact details, Instagram or Facebook.