Confidence is a funny thing. Too much of it and you’re cocky. Too little and you end up talking yourself out of something that you probably could have done. In order to challenge and change your current state, you need to develop a growth mindset. The belief that no matter where you start from you can change and improve. The key to developing a mindset for growth and success starts with your own belief in yourself.
If you’re anything like me, I used to try something and if I was not good at it, I would want to give up. I would tell people, ‘I am just not good at…..blah, blah, blah’. This is our fixed mindset – generally having the belief that your abilities are fixed and you are either good at something or you’re not.
As Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right’, or something along those lines. This is where our growth mindset springs into action.
In fact, failure is the opportunity to begin again – only this time you will have more knowledge and intelligence to actually grow and develop your skills. In my other life as a high school teacher, I am consistently encouraging my students to try something new, develop themselves as humans, to not be afraid to fail. So why do we find it so difficult to do ourselves?
If we constantly protect ourselves from failure, we are never getting the chance to grow or succeed at anything. We sit smug, secure in the knowledge that our safety blanket hasn’t had a chance to slip. I’m not great at yoga. Years of weights and group fitness have wound my body into a tight ball. When I can fit it in; however, I try and try again because I know, I’m never going to get any better if I just give up.
As anyone who has tried something and failed will know, belief in yourself is important – belief in the ability to change, to achieve something, that improvement takes hard work. Maybe the first step is to change your mindset and the rest can flow from there? Previously, I have written about tenacity and that drive to succeed. This links so well. If you were never to try anything new, you would stay stagnant and stuck. You might be okay with that – personally, I know you can do better. Even if we just look at the benefits to our brains.
That challenge of trying something new is fantastic brain training to keep our minds active, particularly as we age. No matter where you are starting from, you can definitely get better. That doesn’t mean perfect. Improvement is superior to perfection – if you’re perfect at something, you’ve already achieved the goal. Even the most amazing athletes never stop learning and striving to improve.
This week, I challenge you to try something new. Check out a different type of training from what you are used to, poke your head into a new group fitness class or stretch it out at yoga. Guess what? You might suck at it! How will you know you don’t like something if you never try? How will you get better at something if you never put in the effort?