“Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people…change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth takes plenty of time, effort, and mutual support.”
― Carol S. Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Ever since I read the book Mindset, I’ve thought a lot about learning. In the health world professionals refer to learning as behavior change. And I think that’s a big mistake.
The problem with change is that is says we have to be different than we are — we need to change. Change is almost always focused on something we don’t like about ourselves. This applies to our kids — picky eating, poor school performance etc. Because the intention behind change is tied to who we are (not being good enough), it creates tons of resistance.
But a learning mindset says something different. We don’t change who we are, we take a step back and consider how we learned this behavior in the first place. Then, if we want, we can learn a new behavior. Heck, we don’t even need to give up the old one. We can learn the new one and then decide which one is better, or do one more or less. But these behaviors don’t define who we are, they are simply things we learn, or have learned, that make our lives better or worse.
With a learning mindset we expect setbacks because that is vital to the learning process. We also need to refine and modify things as we go along. Maybe we took on too much responsibility and need to scale back or we need try out a different strategy. The key with learning is to challenge yourself just enough so you don’t feel overwhelmed but not so little that learning becomes stagnate.
So this week, let’s be mindful of how approaching behavior from a learning versus change mindset helps us achieve our goals (or not). How can becoming better learners and teachers improve our family’s health and well being?
Willpower: The Biggest Mistake in Behavior Change (Mix wantpower with learning and you will be unstoppable)