Confession Time

First confession: I did not read Mindset by Carol Dweck, PH. D. until last week.  Yes, I know it came out over nine years ago.   I can’t give you a reason why it has not been on my list until now.  I am glad I read it, but I came to an awful realization which leads me my second confession.

I-do-not-have-a-growth

Second Confession: As I read the book, I came to realize I do not have a growth mindset, yet.  This isn’t to say that I didn’t praise students and my children for effort and work ethic. I’ve always believed that intelligence is flexible.  I like to believe that I help nurture the growth mindset in others.

As I was reading the book as they described the fixed mindset person.  I felt like Carol knew me personally.  (Yes, I know I should call her Dr. Dweck, but it’s like she was reading my grade school diary.)  I was that student who everything came easy.  My identity was the smart one.  High school was a rude awakening.  I went to a school where everyone was the smart one at their old school.  I coped by not trying and procrastinating.  My B average was good, but I always said I could have done better if I tried.  This attitude continued through college.

I did figure out that hard work should pay off so I work hard.  Unfortunately it took me a while to figure out what happens when it doesn’t pay off.  It rocks my world.  I can describe the time I worked out hard, ate right and the scale did not budge.  Ben and Jerry’s became a close friend for a portion of time.  I have many other examples of this sort of behavior. I’d like to think I am getting better at when things don’t work out.  I use my analytical skills and create a plan B or C.

Here’s my last step to changing my mindset is my conversation with myself.  I judge myself.  I blame myself for setbacks.  My self talk is appalling.  I would not tolerate anyone to talk to me the way I talk to myself.  I can guarantee that some of the things I judge myself on, no one even notices.  I make assumptions that everyone else is noticing that the copy is not perfectly straight or I gained a little weight.

So yes…I may not have completely shifted my mindset YET, but it is coming.  I will be brave and begin to not judge myself so harshly.  The reasons to embrace this mindset is many.  I ask teachers every day to open their classrooms to other teachers to grow and learn.  I want student to see that the outcome is not fixed, but they have the opportunity to grow everyday.  I want my children to not be afraid of mistakes.  In order to accomplish any of these things.  I need to change my mindset.

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5 thoughts on “Confession Time

  1. Megan, really nice post about mindset. You go deeper and talk personally and that’s what makes this post so effective. Most people just blab on about mindset – I wonder how many have read the book? And your personalization of it makes it powerful. It makes me think too. All the best on your personal journey to more of a growth mindset.

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  2. I’ll echo Sue, here: great post, and how many of us actually have read THE Book? I also appreciate your candor in recognizing how we can do so many wonderfully kind, helpful things for others while consistently undermining our own furtive efforts to do better. You are definitely not alone. Thanks for sharing your confessions that many of us would be too chicken to speak.

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