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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Self-Compassion and Growth Mindset: Don't Be Afraid of Mistakes

Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

The following post is adapted from Nothing You Can't Do! The Secret Power of Growth Mindsets by Mary Cay Ricci, and is published here with permission from Prufrock Press.

Remember that many things we use every day of our lives were invented because a mistake was made or another invention failed. 
Post-It Notes. Chemist Spencer Silver was actually trying to invent a mega-strong glue, but he made a mistake and invented a super-weak one instead. Thus, post-it notes were born! 
Popsicles. In 1905, Frank Epperson mixed up a fruit-flavored drink and accidentally left it outside on a cold night, with the stirring stick still left in the cup. In the morning, the drink had frozen around the stick. He popped it out of the cup and licked it — a popsicle!
Can you think of other inventions that were originally mistakes? (How about chocolate chip cookies and potato chips?)

Also, remember that many famous people have failed before they succeeded. 
Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player, didn't make his high school team when he tried out as a sophomore. He used failure to motivate him to practice.
J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 other publishers before she was able to get the first Harry Potter books published. She wrote it when she was a single mom on welfare. She said in an interview, "It is impossible to live without failing at something."
What other famous people can you think of who failed before they were successful? (How about the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison?)

There are things you might not be able to do, no matter how hard you work and practice — like being a famous athlete, singer, actress or basically a famous anything! Maybe you will never be a famous singer, but that doesn't mean you can't work on your singing skills and have fun singing in a choir or starting a band or auditioning for your school musical.

If you have a fixed mindset about a skill, situation, or activity, then you believe that your abilities cannot improve very much or change, and because of your thinking, you may choose not to participate, not to learn, and just give up.

growth mindset is when you believe that you can get better at or achieve something. This means that you are willing to put in the time, the perseverance, and the effort to do it.

We all (kids and adults) need to get out of our comfort zone. This means that you should take advantage of opportunities to try new things that you might think you can't do. 

Become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Try something new every day (okay, how about once a week?). 

Are you worried that you might make a mistake?

We all make mistakes. When you make a mistake and really think about what went wrong, this is a valuable process. 

Adapted from Nothing You Can't Do!: The Secret Power of Growth Mindsets, by Mary Cay Ricci. © Prufrock Press, 2018. Used with permission.


related posts:

How Growth Mindset Complements Mindfulness (interview with author Mary Cay Ricci)

Next Time, I'll Do Better: Recognizing and Learning from Mistakes

7 Ways Our Thoughts Deceive Us

Harnessing the Four Elements: A Mindfulness Activity for Facing Challenges