The power of believing that you can improve

And a happy new year from us all here at the Purple cow collective.

This is a time of the year, when many of us reflect and think about what we would like to achieve or improve on over the upcoming year.

We recently have had a few conversations with our eldest who loves dancing. A discipline in which she is incredibly talented in, however she feels that the only way she will improve and be the best is if another child, lets call her Millie (not their real name) leaves the dance academy as she is the best dancer and wins frequently. Its really funny how kids think, don’t you think? How can someone improve if they have set up these mental limiting constraints around their dancing ability? With great difficulty. Our child has completely set themselves up quite nicely to achieve the complete opposite of what they desire and is operating from a ‘fixed’ mindset model.

The power of believing that you can improve comes from developing a ‘growth’ mindset model. Believing that your abilities are not fixed and that you can improve and get better with effort, practice and perseverance. The following TED talk given by Carol Dweck describes this very clearly. The language we use with our children when we encourage them to try again or want them to develop the intrinsic motivation to even want them to try again is important. The power of saying to a child ” your not there yet with…….. as opposed to you didn’t get that right”, speaks volumes to a child when the first phrase is encouraging as opposed to the second phrase which shuts down any further trying.

What type of mindset’s do you and or your children have? Fixed or growth?

Our dancing child currently comes from a ‘fixed’ mindset when it comes to this area of her life. Clearly this is not helpful to her which she is slowly beginning to see. We have started with a couple of family conversations where we have supported her to visualise what it would look like, sound like and feel like to be an amazing dancer, just to make those images really clear in her mind. Even just believing in your own mind that you are capable of and worthy enough to improve and reach a desired destination is an achievement.

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