The Power of Believing You can Improve
People are too willing to give up on me.
As a child, I remember a teacher who told me I shouldn’t be in a dance performance that I wanted to participate in. In graduate school, I was encouraged by more than one teacher to drop out. They thought that because I struggled in the classes, that I didn’t have what it takes to get my Ph.D. I’ve been fired from jobs, and people who’s friendships really mattered to me, stopped returning my calls.
As painful as these rejections have been, I’ve always strived to learn from them. While my heart has been broken too many times, and much of that grief set me back for a long time, there’s been an important part of me that has been determined to learn the lesson from the experience, and resolve to do better in the future.
And I have. With my determination and the discovery of powerful techniques like the Emotion Code, the Body Code and EFT, I’m reaching goals that I couldn’t even envision in the past because they seemed so far away from possible.
So why have others been so willing to give up on me even when I haven’t?
This question plagued me for most of my life, until I saw Carol Dweck’s TED talk.
Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck is a motivation researcher who says that people
either have a fixed intelligence or a growth mindset. People with a fixed intelligence mindset believe that their character, intelligence and creative abilities can’t change. They believe that you either have it (intelligence/talent or personality) or you don’t. People with a growth mindset believe that challenges are an opportunity for growth. They believe that effort made to improve oneself will pay off, if they stay determined to reach their goal.
The Power of Believing You Can Improve
Believing that you can improve was so powerful, that when she taught this belief to school children, their performance changed dramatically. Students who didn’t take school seriously became determined, disciplined, focused and developed a passion for learning!
Teaching the growth mindset was so powerful, that it eliminated differences in groups that typically underperform in schools. In just one year:
- Students from a kindergarten class in Harlem, scored in the 95th percentile on the National Achievement Test.
- Fourth graders in the South Bronx who were struggling in math scored the highest in the New York State math test.
- Native American Students went from the bottom of the school district to the top in Seattle!
When I work with clients, one of the most important factors that determines their success, is believing they can improve. If they don’t believe in themselves, they don’t invest in themselves or commit to any strategy for success. If you want to change, you MUST believe that you can!
Why You CAN Change
And you can change! In neuroscience, the idea of neuroplasticity has shown that the connections in our brains can be strengthened with experience. At some point you learned to walk and talk. You didn’t come out of the womb with those talents. And there is a part of you that knows that you are older and wiser than when you were when you were just a few years ago! Harness that knowledge, and apply it to anything you are working on, regardless of whether it’s a goal at work, a personal goal or how you relate to others!
I recently took Dr. Dweck’s “Test Your Mindset” assessment. I got that I unequivocally have a growth mindset.
When I Struggle with Having a Growth Mindset
But my growth mindset hasn’t always stayed strong. When others have given up on me, there’s a part of me that wonders if they are right, if I’m really not worth the effort. I have to remind myself that progress occurs by taking many baby steps in the right direction, and that people who succeed, fail over and over again. But even if I change my mindset, the idea of pushing forward can sometimes feel like Sisyphus eternally pushing a boulder up the hill. At those times, I have to release the emotions, the sabotage and negative thoughts and other barriers that permeate my subconscious and keep me stuck. Only then can I fully embrace the growth mindset with charge and gusto.
What does it mean to have a growth mindset?
It means that regardless of my goals in my business, health, personally or in relationships, I’m going to keep trying to do better. I will probably fail again, but I’ll try to learn the lesson. And even though some people find my determination exhausting (and sometimes I do too), I know it will pay off. Why? Because I can see the changes. Bit by bit, I’m getting healthier, smarter, more productive, I’m having more satisfying relationships, and life is more fulfilling! And the better person I am, the more I’ll be able to help others, and do my part to make this world a better place. And that is what makes my life meaningful.
Do you find it hard to keep pushing forward and maintaining the growth mindset? Has life beaten you down? Listen to my interview Releasing Subconscious Barriers, the Key to Health and Happiness, and call me at 1855 ENERJOY for a complimentary consultation.