‘Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are probably right’.
Such a thought provoking couple of Happy Café’s recently.
After introducing the idea of Growth Mindset, a concept developed by educationalist Carol Dweck, I’m still thinking over what we discussed.
‘I can’t add up’. ‘I should be better at maths than I am’. ‘Everyone else is better than me’.
Well, I’m not a natural mathematician for certain, but are all those statements so true or have I created a self-fulfilling prophecy?
So maths may not be life changing, but what if a fixed mindset is having a more serious negative effect on your wellbeing. Perhaps around health, ‘I’ll never get better’. Or relationships ‘I’ll never be happy here’. Or career ‘I’ll never find a job I enjoy’.
Happy Café conversations helped me realise that I’d started to wear my mathematical inability as a ‘badge of honour’. It has become a part of my ‘truth’.
Nothing is going to change if I keep telling myself that and avoid trying. Sure, some people have a better brain or had better teachers but, what is possible?
What can I think differently, say differently and ultimately do differently?
At Happy Café Ely we discussed the impact of a Fixed Mindset language. All those cant’s, nevers, musts, shoulds, encourage limiting beliefs. Then we tried out language that could encourage us to think that something could change.
In Growth Mindset, Carol Dweck suggests that the effort is the key. That if we recognise and celebrate the efforts of children, that the child will try more things out and have improved self-esteem.
‘I wonder how I’ll do if I work out how to split the bill?’
‘Who can I ask to give me some tips to get better at maths?’
‘I think I could get a bit better at addition, if I practiced’
‘I had a really good go at checking through that invoice’
Such, kinder, more flexible language.
Language can encourage a certain way of thinking. And our thinking is reflected in our language.
If we break this cycle by trying flexible, more optimistic language, there is an opportunity.
An opportunity to think differently about something.
This may encourage a new way of approaching something.
Which could…maybe….potentially, change your life.
Not necessarily an easy shift, but I think worth a go and I’ll reward my effort (probably with chocolate!).
“It doesn't matter where you've been, only where you are going.” ― L.M. Fields.