Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stumbling Blocks-Beware!

Today, my son was spelling a word incorrectly and after I gently corrected him he slumped his shoulders,  bowed his head and walked away defeated.   He went on to say that he does not ever want to make mistakes and he wanted to give up.

He wanted to opt out of the challenge of writing because it seemed just too difficult.

We often feel this way , we opt out of life challenges to avoid failure.  However, our fear of failure can not motivate our life decisions.  If we do not take the time to embrace challenges we have created a roadblock to fulfilling our life's purpose.

How could I motivate my little guy to put forth the needed effort and keep trying?

As an educator, I am familiar with the ideas of Efficacy- "work hard and get smart"
but there is more to this then saying ," keep trying"  isn't it?

I have had the pleasure of working with Lakisha Covert,  an educational guru on changing student mindsets. Lakisha is a student of Carol Dweck's Mindset research. She has built her school culture firmly on the theory and is experiencing dramatic positive improvement  in  her students' academic progress and self concept . Through her recommendation, I have incorporated the mindset theory in my work with students and at home.

  Carol Dweck's Mindset theory states that we can have either a growth or fixed mindset.

(A quick summary)
In a fixed mindset, people believe that their intelligence or talents are fixed.  They highlight their intelligence and they believe talent alone creates success.  Therefore, if faced with something that they can not do with ease,  a person with this mindset will most likely give up.

Adversely, with a growth mindset people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.  This view creates a passion for learning and hard work. It exemplifies the idea that to fail is another way to succeed. The growth mindset creates a "Go Getter" mentality- a highly motivated individual.

Biblically speaking,
Jabez was said to be blessed more than his brothers but his name meant one born from pain,   His prayer was not,  God keep me comfortable ....keep me  in a box let me not be challenged but his prayer was instead for God to enlarge his territory.

In the old testament, Jabez, a young men whose mother named him “ one bore out of pain”  calls out to God.

 "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain."  And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV

Faith in oneself, a commitment to growth and a resilience to deal with the obstacles of life are essential keys to success.   Coupled with-  Faith in God,  fervent prayer for God’s will to be done in our lives and his strength to rest within us makes us unstoppable.

When we  WANT TO GIVE UP,  It is a blessing to be able to stand on  God’s strength and not solely our own.

Remember Philippians 4:13 " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"!

Keep Striving.

For more information on Carol Dwecks' mindset theory check out  www.mindsetonline.com

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