From the Editor / Health & Wellness / Mental Health

Changing Your Mind – Its Not a Bad Thing

When it comes to changing your mind, do you view that as a negative? In other words, do you have the perception of someone changing his or her mind as being indecisive or weak? Well, there are several reasons why changing your mind can, in fact, be a positive event.

From childhood, there are many stories we tell ourselves as we absorb the environment around us. For some of us, we might believe that our siblings are older, wiser, and smarter, and that we simply cannot match up with their intelligence. For others, there may be a mindset of living small because every time we did not succeed we were praised and accepted anyhow instead of encouraged and motivated to do better. Doing better may have somehow been viewed and interpreted as wrong and unacceptable.

We all want our children to succeed and, as such, we may or may not set the bar too low and not encourage a growth mindset. We may instill in them that they are set in their ways and there is no chance for growth, and by the way, we do this inadvertently.

Labels

Sometimes we are given labels and, all too often, we have no clue that we do not have to accept or even identify with those labels. We may be taught that Johnny is the math genius while Suzy is the musician in the family ñ a limiting mindset that is more or less fixed. Did you know that you could change those labels by working harder to be whatever it is you wish to be in the world of academics? How is this possible?

* Start with recognizing that you are capable and have the ability to change your mindset. This is the first step in changing your mind.
* Recognize that you can change your label at any time. All you have to do is choose to do so.
* Next, it’s time to get to work. No change comes without work involved.

Practices to Adopt

If you are a parent, there are certain steps you can take in order to facilitate a growth mindset. Start by giving your child a way and a means to reach higher goals rather than labeling them as “not good in math,: or “better in art.”

* Don’t set the bar too high, as unrealistic expectations and goals are not beneficial.

* Don’t set the bar too low so that no challenge or growth is initiated.

* Offer constructive criticism in order to have your child reach and grow, which sends the message that they are most certainly capable of doing great things as long as they choose to. A growth mindset is for everyone.

If you are a teacher or coach, it is better to facilitate growth by motivating rather than labeling or viewing your student or athlete as someone who is, “not as good as” someone else or”ìnot as talented in a certain area or skill.”

* Consider each member of the team as an individual. Seek to discover their weaknesses. In this manner, you can then concentrate on how to challenge them.
* Challenge them to reach greater heights by motivating rather than considering them to be “as is” in any arena.
* Give them the belief that they can and will work hard to achieve greater results; that they can be stretched to grow.

When it comes to changing your mind, you have a choice. Face the areas of your life that are your weakest; avoidance doesn’t work, work hard in that area to excel, and never stop learning.

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