Growth is defined as the process of increasing. Some synonyms are: expansion, extension, development, progress, and advancement. We either live stuck or growing and both options are challenging.
Students often say, “I am not organized person” or “I cannot do questions like that.” The connection between thoughts and ability is enormous and often our own thoughts prevent us from growing in areas that would greatly benefit our loved ones and us. A growth mindset approaches problems and skills with the belief: I have the ability to learn and improve in this area. Research shows having this thought about any challenge increases motivation and resilience insurmountably.
Grit is the number one indicator of a person’s long-term life success. It’s not intelligence, looks, grades, charisma, or charm. It’s grit – and plucky character emerges from the cultivation of a growth mindset.
This week – I moved and swayed at hip-hop dance lessons with the thought – “I can grow in this.” The truth is – growth is struggle and it takes courage. Sometimes, I try new things in areas my natural talent doesn’t flow. Let’s just say, dancing is one of these areas. God must have smirked as he mixed the love of dance with two left feet in my make-up. This concoction makes for excellent conditions to practice a growth mindset – and for frustration to creep in along the way too! When I was practicing one move at a time, the great big mirror was my friend. However, as soon as teach decided to mix knee movements with hip thrusts and heel taps– my goodness! My reflection became my enemy and everything in me wanted to quit. It was good for me to feel like a fool and relate with frustrated students when we approach a new concept in class. It was good for me to choose to believe I could grow if I kept going, practicing, learning and trying … and I did. We all can.
The old saying, “You get what you expect in life” is tried, tested and scientifically true. Thoughts, actions and behaviors are all connected. As you choose to think and act today, your brain will be blazing a trail of neurons that are in alignment with those thoughts and actions – you get to choose how these trails are forged.
In her book, The Broken Way, Anne Voscamp writes, “What if the point of everything is simply this: change your life expectations to focus on what life expects from you – and your life changes.” In order to start focusing on what we can offer in life we need to step into novel situations with confidence that we can do everything God is asking.
The Bible teaches us to live with this kind of a mind. It says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” – 2 Peter 1:3. We have all we need to bring God’s life on earth in creative ways and unexpected places, as he leads us. As we learn to hear his personal instructions daily, a growth mindset allows us to adapt and keep going. This is not pointless advancement but is God-Guided growth and is the gateway to becoming more likes Jesus. The world could use a lot more of Him.