We often hear about “Growth Mindset” from super positive and friendly Americans (which, by the way, I think their spirit of hospitality, friendliness and generosity is really cool!) and sometimes us Brit’s can question “Is encouraging a Growth Mindset really possible here?”
I first heard about a “Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset” concept from one of my Yoga students. He explained to me that a Fixed Mindset is thinking that everything will stay the same and you can’t change anything whereas a Growth Mindset is thinking that anything is possible. I loved hearing this! He’s been learning about it at school, in the UK, in little old Norfolk so it must have been translated successfully by his teacher.
When I looked into this concept I found it very similar to personal development I had been doing as an entrepreneur – things like unlearning all my false beliefs that mistakes should be avoided……
And then it hit me, the rise in anxiety and depression in our children here in the UK is rising at a catastrophic rate. The pressure in school, exams, the bombardment of “how it should be”, reduced playtime and freedom, coupled with the parents own anxiety about being judged for EVERYTHING is really not a good mixture today and feeds into this constant fear of doing things wrong.
So maybe a Growth Mindset approach is what we all need to stop and look at regardless of whether we live in the UK or America?
•Mistakes are part of life, part of the process, they are an excellent learning tool.
•Many successful people had fears of failure but they took risks anyway.
•Everyone is scared of the unknown but we are all capable of learning new things.
•No-one is a master at the beginning; we are all in the same boat until we try!
•Failure is NOT the end. It’s often the beginning of something better!
There are many, many resources out there to help children and adults practice a positive approach to overcoming anxiety through developing a “Growth Mindset”—the tool we love to use because of it’s engaging design for children, stories, poems and activities is the Big Life Journal and we are an official UK supplier here at 123 Yoga Tree because of this. I have personally seen a HUGE rise in parents looking for non-medical approaches to behavioural issues stemming from anxiety – the need today is unlike anything I’ve seen in 5 years of teaching children. I have also seen the positive impact a “Growth Mindset” alongside my Mindfulness based approach teaching Yoga in schools in the UK has had.
Equipping children with understanding, techniques and concepts to avoid anxiety becoming an issue is such a necessary key skill nowadays.
So whether or not our social cultures are the same doesn’t affect how much impact a Growth Mindset can have on a child who is struggling to believe he/she is capable of overcoming crippling anxiety. I believe the concept is very much applicable to everyone young and old to help them manage anxiety. We all suffer anxiety to some extent and having an awareness of Growth Mindset concepts can really help determine who avoids becoming overwhelmed by it.
I teach both physical techniques and mindset concepts for recognising, acknowledging and overcoming anxiety in ALL my classes because I believe no child should ever have to suffer from it.