The “Power of Yet” is NOT Just for Kids!
It is not too late to work on your brain and improve your mental health. Mindset studies have shown that fostering a growth mindset helps to increase self-confidence, train your emotion regulation capacity and helps to build resiliency. To me this is so inspirational and true in my own life. The concept of a “Growth Mindset” is making human growth and learning attainable. The brain LOVES to learn and when my brain is learning new things it is a happy brain. Seeking out learning opportunities is what I do as a common practice in maintaining my positive mental health. I can’t think of many times that I was actually fully successful when I was learning new things. It has always been a process of learn, try, suck at it, try again, suck less at it, try agin…getting better! Voila! Mind blowing mind-shifting in progress! Love this process now 🙂
I know you are SUPER curios about what this fantastical and magical Growth Mindset I speak of is, well, keep on reading and watching the video below.
Just a reminder that this post is part of a 10-part series designed to help you get out and do things that improve your mental health and wellbeing. #PsychoSocialMentalHealth
Series: 10 Things You Can Do to Be Nice to Your Brain
- Learn to Tolerate Ambiguity
- Be Open to New Information
- Learn to Reframe Adversity
- You Don’t Have to Act the Way You Feel
- Zone in on Your Purpose in Life
- Mastering Motivation a.k.a Setting a Fire Under Your Butt!
- Seek Out Peak Experiences and Give Your Brain a Little Party!
- TODAY! Apply the “Power of Yet” in Your Life! Yes, Trix are for Kids, but a Growth Mindset is Not Just for Kids!
- Learn the Art of Balance
- Stay True to Your Values – Who do YOU want to be in this world?
What is the Growth Mindset?
Well, Dr. Carol Dweck is the leading researcher on this subject. She describes each as the following:
- Fixed Mindset: in a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and therefore cannot change. According to Dweck, when a student has a fixed mindset, they believe that their basic abilities, intelligence and talents are fixed traits. They think that you are born with a certain amount and that’s all you have.
- Growth Mindset: in a growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. When people believe they can get smarter, they realize that their effort has an effect on their success, so they put in extra time, leading to higher achievement.
So, to summarize her research findings, check out the following cool benefits of learning more about shifting your mind style to more of a growth mindset:
- Importance of Focusing on the Learning Process: The brains and talent, that we are born with, do not necessarily equal success, but rather research shows that these attributes can actual get in the way and stop your success. Why would you keep trying if your genes are stopping you from improving?
- Fixed Mindset Negatively Affects Your Self-esteem and Risk Taking Ability: Did you know that if all you focus on is what you were born with, “how smart you are”, you actually interfere with your self-esteem? True story! Yeah, well if all that you notice about yourself is what you were born with and not what you have learned to do, you leave all your success and failure up to your genes. Terrible idea! People are learning beings and brains are happiest when they are learning new things. Brains grow when they learn. Problem is they learn negative things and positive things, so try and have your brain spend time on the things you want to grow.
- Growth Mindset and Motivation: a growth mindset actually helps you to remain motivated in the face of adversity. You exclaim, “darn it! It didn’t work” and then you say “You are not going to beat me!” and then you roll up your sleeves and create a plan to try again. All because you are not your genes, you are a learning HUMAN!!!
“People with a growth mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work with brains and talent being just the starting point” – Dr. Carol Dweck
The Power of Believing You Can Improve
Dr. Carole Dweck
Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet?
Believe me, I was not ever described as an outstanding student. I only stood out because I was chatty…a.k.a “annoying” to teachers. Yup, even at an early age, I loved to hear people’s stories and understand why they do what they do. What I did learn is that I could, when I put my mind to it, try something, fail dismally, feel sad and avoidant and then put my big girl pants on and try again. Here is a little secret, it is way easier to actually face your fears than avoid them. Facing ends the battle and a decision is made, avoiding means that “it” actually follows you around like a creepy little shadow reminding you that “you are a failure”. Oh, man, I hate that. So here is my advice for starting to work on your own growth mindset by actually growing your brain:
- Instead of avoiding, lean in, reframe your thinking to “I haven’t figured this out yet, but I want to take on this challenge” and go take it on! Yes, super scary, but way better than the creepy shadow bully in your head.
- Please know that your mindset shifts from Growth to Fixed easily throughout your day due to many factors, like the context you are in or being…
- H: Hungry
- A: Angry
- L: Lonely
- T: Tired
This is your chance to be kind and compassionate to yourself and understand that you just need to HALT the high expectations and just let it “be” for the time being. All kinds of things affect your mindset. Work on shifting it when you can and being understanding and kind to yourself when it is harder to do.
Growth Mindset and Psychotherapy
*a.k.a PsychNERDY time!
I wanted to take a moment to say that the counselling and psychotherapy process is premised on the belief that people have the ability to grow and that psychotherapy actually changes the brain. What makes psychotherapy work well for people is having a sense of hope and a belief that they can change. I have seen it for over 23 years! People can change if they put in the time, the effort and the work, with a therapist that they have a strong relationship with. Mindset is everything in counselling. All worth the effort!
A 2017 research study, found that one form of psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) changes the brain structure, positively. Here is some of the cool stuff they found:
- People with social anxiety, who took an online CBT course for nine weeks, reported fewer symptoms of social anxiety, and this reduction was correlated to less volume in the amygdala, the part of the brain that that is associated with fear.
- In this study, there was a comparison between people who continued to take medication and participated in CBT and another group who only took medication. The people who had medication + CBT experienced positive mental health improvements and structural changes in the brain, whereas people in the medication-only group didn’t experience the same changes.
“And it’s not just CBT (although that is a very effective and well-studied method): studies have shown other forms of psychotherapy may also be at least as effective as medication in treating mental health problems and preventing relapse in the future”
If you are tempted to say “I can’t”, have the courage to add “Yet” to the end of that sentence.
Tell me about your journey!
#YouGotThis #LiveFully #MentalWellness
Dr. Heather Drummond, C.Psych.
Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through
The future is YET in your power the past cannot be changed.
The difference between not knowing and not knowing yet.