Out of the Mouth of Babes…Comes a Growth Mindset

emotional intelligence family goals mindset Mar 08, 2023
Out of the Mouth of Babes…Comes a Growth Mindset

About a year ago my wife had to give a presentation for work. It was a pretty big deal so she was understandably nervous and we set some time aside for her to practice. 

Our oldest daughter was nine and in third grade at the time. Her third grade teacher had them giving powerpoint presentations once a month and part of the exercise was that she needed to practice at home and we had to evaluate her progress. There was an evaluation form and everything we had to fill out. This is leading somewhere so stick with me. Since we sat in on our daughter’s practice and evaluated her, she returned the favor when mommy practiced her presentation. 

When my wife finished the first dry run our daughter had some feedback. In the most matter of fact, calm, gentle, and almost clinical way she told her mother she needed a growth mindset. She encouraged her mommy to build off her success and have confidence that she could do it. The enlightened child who now stood before us went on to explain the problem was that she was stuck in a fixed mindset and it was keeping her from growing. She went on to tell us that this is what Mrs. Redlin, her third grade teacher has been teaching them. 

I was not quite sure what to do next, I felt like prayer hands, a bowed head with no eye contact, and slowly exiting the room not daring to turn my back to her would have been appropriate. I don’t know if you have ever had one of those moments when your child says something to you and you feel like the child and they the parent but, that is how we felt. I remember we just nodded our heads in agreement and said, “ok” as if we were getting this from a career coach. The feedback was helpful to both of us so, I thought it would be good to share some of her insights with you as well.

Your mindset plays a critical role in your personal and professional growth. A growth mindset, characterized by a belief in your ability to grow and improve, is essential for achieving your goals. On the other hand, a fixed mindset, characterized by a belief that your abilities are set in stone, can limit your potential for growth and success.

Here are some ways to cultivate a growth mindset:

  • Embrace challenges: View challenges as opportunities for growth rather than as obstacles.
  • Embrace failure: Recognize that failure is a natural part of the learning process and can lead to valuable lessons and insights.
  • Focus on effort: Instead of focusing on results, focus on the effort you are putting in to reach your goals.
  • Seek out feedback: Seek out constructive feedback to learn from others and improve your skills.
  • Surround yourself with positive people: Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who encourage you to grow and develop. 

Our daughter learned this in third grade and I am sure there are great things ahead in her future. For the rest of us mere mortals who may be learning about this much later in life, this is the secret sauce and it is never too late to start cultivating a growth mindset approach not just at work but in every area of your life. 

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