May 17: Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
As we all roll along with things, the accumulation of challenges over time can get heavy even though we have an accumulation of growth as well. As we move through this month, we wanted to refresh things on an idea that we find really powerful: the Growth Mindset.
Anyone else noticing that heaviness? How some of the same challenges we face and overcome every day can paradoxically seem to get harder and harder to overcome?
Why is that?! Shouldn't it get easier to face them over time?
If we're not paying attention, it's easy to start carrying a few of those challenges around with us, even after we overcome them in the moment.
It starts to make us question the growth we're capable of. "I'm trying, maybe I'm just not cut out for this?"
I've done six Damn Early Days, shouldn't this be easy by now?
If we create a story about not wanting to get up in the mornings, even when we are still doing it anyway, we subtly start layering more and more of our limited f***s on top of the very thing we are trying to overcome.
Imagine every time we complain about waking up in the morning as a thin lead blanket you are laying down over top of your duvet. It won't be long before those layers of what it means to be tired in the morning become impossible to lift off, even with a solid amount of motivation.
How to let it all go? To get lighter again?
Pay attention to the thoughts you have about the parts you find challenging - are they focused on the reality you will actually experience in that moment (feeling the sensations of tiredness) or are they focused on a subtle mental story (being tired and struggling)
It will still probably come up - but just watch it and let it go.
Shed those layers.
Get back to reality, the simple feelings and then make a choice.
Choose the person you are becoming, and let go of your old stories. It will start to get easier and easier.
Even though we are challenging ourselves, "the challenges" don't have to come with us. They can be addressed in the moment and left behind in our wake.
We'll touch deeper on the different kinds of mindsets later, but this morning, we want to introduce you to Carol Dweck and her two mindsets: the "fixed mindset" and the "growth mindset".
Take a read through the chart below and familiarize yourself with the differences between each.
Your Challenges Don't Define You
Just the way an illness isn't who we are, we also aren't someone struggling to wake up in the mornings. We have struggle and challenging moments in our lives, always. But the simple choice to let it be there, see that challenge as merely a situation to be addressed, on our path to growth, repeated again and again, is the secret to coming out of day 21, day 42, day 365 or day 2100 significantly larger as a person, who is even lighter than when we started.