Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mindset



I have been thinking this morning about my own mindset.  I read a book call Mindset by Carol Dweck last year.  It is pretty powerful stuff. I was reading it in the context of my students and myself as a teacher.  One of the premises of this book is that when a student feels they can't do something, the response is "not yet", that everyone is capable of doing whatever they set their mind to as long as they believe they can do it.  As a teacher, I thought about how we (teachers) tend to have a closed mindset in terms of "I have been a teacher for a long time. Don't question my value, worth or effectiveness by suggesting change, growth, new learning."  This book really helped me open up to growing as a teacher by not feeling questioned or attacked by others when new ideas are brought to the table.

I am now thinking about this in others areas of my life - self esteem and relationships. I have had a closed mindset for a long time in these areas.  I always feel like I have to prove myself to everyone, that I need to make sure everyone knows where I am coming from all the time.  I fell I am a positive, kind person who truly, always has the best intentions.  I am never purposefully hurtful and am always aware of others' feelings. My problem lies if you ever accuse or even slightly insinuate otherwise.  I get so hurt and so defensive that I lose my mind!  I will argue something into the ground with someone until I feel that I am being heard and understood.  I am extremely sensitive to any negative comment made that could remotely be about me. I can stand sarcasm and negative people.  I have this need to convince others that my opinion is right or at least not wrong.  I am realizing I have a hard time accepting when others don't see things the way I do.  I just get so sick of other people.

This is something I need to work on.  I knew that the only person this mindset is hurting is myself.  I need to adopt a more open, growth oriented mindset when it comes to not only the way I feel about myself but also in the way I deal with others.  Have I gotten my drinking to where I want it to be? "not yet". Have I lost the 20 pounds I put on? "not yet". Have I been regularly been exercising and eating healthy? "not yet".  Many times I think my answer is just a big fat - "No, I haven't and because I have been trying for so long I feel defeated, like it will never happen, like I am a failure."  Maybe this is the reason I am so sensitive around others - because ultimately I feel like a failure in these.

I also need to work on understanding that other people's bullshit is their own that many times when they make some backhanded comment of judgement toward me, either I am taking it wrong or it isn't even about me.  When I quit drinking for those 8 months, I did notice that all of the insecurity and closed mindset got a lot better.  I can't explain it, just that all of those insecure voices in my heard got quieter and I gained a sense of peace.  Plus, I liked people a lot more - probably because I liked myself a lot more.

I think I will read the book again with this different perspective.

BTW - I didn't drink yesterday and I did walk the dogs and got 8 hours of sleep.

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