Being a mom teaches me a lot – living the moment is one of the things and to be driven by fun and opportunities is another.
Just recently, we had one of those moments again: One of my kids fell out of the trampoline because they had left the zipper open. (By the way, I did tell them to close it, but listening to Mom isn’t always cool.) So, I had just finished tending the scraped knee and – guess what: They went right back into the trampoline, and they closed it. That’s learning at its best – and of course a big relief for me. Sometimes you have to fall down and literally scrape a knee for a lesson to sink in.
At their age, learning and growth come naturally. Really though, we’re learning all the time, whether we realize it or not. The big task is to be conscious about it, to remain curious, to be open to exchange with other people.
For me that’s what it means to have a growth mindset: Pausing for a minute and asking myself if there might be a different way of doing things and being generally open to new possibilities.
I guess that’s why I love the movie Dead Poets Society and especially the scene when the teacher jumps onto his desk to show the class how easy it can be to look at things from a different angle. I know: If it were only so easy in real life…
But I have found some ways to foster a growth mindset in my life. Let me share them with you:
Share with others
Before the pandemic, a group of friends and I got together regularly. There was always laughing, good food and good wine. Our conversations revolved around everyday life, but we also talked about big ideas that were turning around in our minds. Those casual chats helped me in so many situations: they made me re-think and adjust decisions or behaviors – just by sharing and listening to other perspectives. I’m so looking forward to resuming these get-togethers in person.
Explore the unknown
I had a similar experience a couple weeks ago when I attended a conference about ecosystems – a topic that comes up again and again. The participants were diverse in their roles, industries and company sizes. I so much enjoyed the dynamic during that event – as everyone was driven to learn from each other and bringing in different point-of-views. Believe me, this growth mindset was contagious. I still have some of the ideas floating around in my head.
Get up and keep going – the power of yet
When we learn something new or explore new territories, we might get loss, or fall and scrape our knee. I read a book in which stumbles are called learning moments. The key in those situations is to add a short word at the end of the statement “I can’t do something.” That word is YET. Which gives you: “I can’t do that yet.” I’ve adopted this way of looking at things in my own life – especially in challenging situations. It opens me up to the possibility that I will succeed at some point, which is a good perspective and a reason to keep going! You may want to try it as well!
I know establishing a growth mindset depends on various factors: the most important one though is ourselves. Opening our horizons requires finding methods that work for us. Nothing happens overnight – neither does a growth mindset. It takes time, “training” and sometimes a mom to take care of the scraped knee…
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