by Alyssa Exposito
We have all felt it one way or another, that all consuming pressure in which every situation we are apart of is evaluated- where every evaluation is fixated on determining our intelligence, personality, and/or character. We fill ourselves with the questions that ultimately prevent us from growth. We associate our “best selves” with our most perfect selves. But what if we had it all wrong? Last week, Dr. Cecilia Dintino, co-founder of “Twisting the Plot”, a science-based creative solution for women over 50 that provides practical guidance for understanding, reevaluating and repurposing one’s life, discussed the concepts of how one can connect the body and mind by exploring fixed and growth mindsets. The best way to describe a fixed mindset is being dealt with a hand, and spending the entire game (life) convincing other people that you have THE BEST hand, in hopes no one calls your bluff. Where as growth mindset, one takes this hand and looks at it as a starting point for improvement. The hand you are dealt with is not the end-all-be-all, instead we can see it as an opportunity to “embrace the NOT YET.”
INTROSPECTION: HOW CAN I TURN MY LIMITATIONS INTO MY ASSETS.
It is incredibly empowering to share and be vulnerable about the aspects that we find ourselves in constant evaluation of- Will I fail or succeed? Will I look smart or dumb? Will they accept or reject me? Most of the times we answer these questions without attempting to try. I found myself thinking how often I have placed situations and experiences into boxes that were either “good” or “bad,” which meant I did the same for my traits. What Cecilia taught us about fixed mindset, is that it is very detectable and we can return to our bodies to show us: strength, peace and calm, and delight and connection. How does one do that? Simple. Breathe. Place your hand on your heart. There is your choice.
Like most things, our mindsets are a process, think about the amount of time it took you to learn a certain skill, now think on why you would ever miss the opportunity to learn? This is what growth mindsets can show us and we can shift our fixed mindsets by:
1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset voice- the one who feels the need to be perfect, where failure cannot exist.
2. Recognize you have a choice- Breathe. Do not give away the rights to your present and future to others.
3. Talk back to your fixed mindset, with a growth mindset. Remember: It is not about NEVER. Reframe it to not yet.
4. Take growth mindset into action- get creative and curious. “ How can I make this playful and light?” “What if I challenged myself, without judgement, to do ‘x,y.z’?”
The best way to truly adopt more of a growth mindset is to ask of others and MOST importantly of yourself is for feed(forward) not feedback. Continuously ask “What is next? How can I do this differently?” When you catch yourself asking these questions it only means you are getting better, you are expanding. This means you are embracing the growth, potential, awareness and curiosity of your life.