Last night in a Wisdom Circle I am part of we were discussing the growth mindset.
This month we are reading Mindset by Carol Dweck who coined this term.
I had already read the book a couple of years ago, so as a refresher I watched her TedX Talk.
“Growth mindset describes a way of viewing challenges and setbacks. People who have a growth mindset believe that even if they struggle with certain skills, their abilities aren’t set in stone. They think that with work, their skills can improve over time.”
I shared with the group that whlie I highly value continuous learning, I tend to stay within my comfort zone and choose experiences and topics that are in my wheelhouse.
Like many of us, I don’t want to put myself in situations where I will not excel, or even potentially fail. And as we’ve heard, getting outside of our comfort zones is often where the magic happens.
One simple recent example of this for me is the NY Times mini crossword puzzle. I’ve been doing the Wordle for awhile and I was recently introduced to the mini and added it to my repertoire of daily word games which I swap with a friend (good for the mind!).
I’ve never done crossword puzzles before. I love a good word scrambe or Scrabble game, but crossword puzzles challenge my brain in a very different way.
Each day we exchange our result times and mine are often three or four minutes longer.
Being a word person, I find this frustrating. I also don’t like coming up on the short end time after time (yes, I am a tad competitive).
To cultivate a growth mindset it is imortant to see your challenges as opportunities (damn it, I will keep at these crossword puzzles and I will get better!). It’s also helpful to reflect each day on what you’ve failed at and learned from (this is a question we are doing daily journaling on).
So while it may not be my strong suit, I’m going to keep doing the mini crossword each day.
As Dweck points out “Success is not about being your best
If the next crosssword calls for a six letter word for success….GROWTH will be my first guess!