I love reading stories on the power of the mind - and we all "know" when you master your mind, you master your reality.
Bianca Andreescu, 19 years young had just won the U.S. Open - defeating long-standing champion Serena Williams. Yes, this is a remarkable result, and I'm more interested in how she got there.
Bianca credits meditation and the power of visualisation to her journey - something her mum taught her from around 12 years old.
Here is what she has to say:
"I think your biggest weapon is to be as prepared as you can. I really think that working your mind [is important] because at this level everyone knows how to play tennis.
"The thing that separates the best from the rest is just the mindset."
“I feel like a lot of people work on the physical part of things, but I think the mental part is the most important because it controls your whole body, right?”
Such incredible wisdom. I believe what separates those that are thriving in their lives and doing parenting, and those that are surviving in life and parenting comes down to "mindset".
Now, something you need to know about our mind.
The mind that creates the problem cannot be the same mind that solves it. This quote from Albert Einstein reminds me that when I'm faced with a challenge, the same level of mind cannot be the one to see a different perspective.... AND I don't know when I'm in survival - until I become the observer of my life.
When my mind is challenged, I have two choices:
1. Create a different level of consciousness and mind (if my mind is noisy, bring some stillness. If my mind is out of balance with my body/ spirit, create alignment)
2. Learn from a "mind" that empowers me.
Not all minds are equal.
If I wanted to learn how to run a marathon, I would learn from someone that has run numerous marathons - not from someone who "enjoys jogging 5 km per day".
If I want to learn how to be loving or create a beautiful relationship, I would learn from someone that has a great relationship with their spouse/ partner.
If I wanted to learn how to have a thriving family and be an empowered mother, I would learn from families, couples, and mothers who inspire me.
I am always looking to uplevel my mind by learning from those before me. This is what we call a "growth mindset". A willingness to be humbled by our limitations and be empowered to grow.
Nothing reveals the state of your mindset, like parenthood. The only other option to having a growth mindset is a fixed mindset.
Here's what I know for sure.
Enter into parenthood with a Fixed Mindset - you'll spend more time in frustration, resentment, doubt, anger, shame, guilt, pity, victim, martyrdom, suffering, survival than joy, thriving, feeling connected, empowered, clarity, and proud of who you are becoming.
Fixed mindsets are powered by Fear.
Enter into parenthood with a Growth Mindset - you'll see the challenges as learning opportunities; you're open to making mistakes and knowing that this is part of the growth; you're willing to question beliefs that no longer serve you; you do parenting from a place that is aligned with your spirit; and you're doing parenting with an open mind, heart, and soul.
As a result, you experience joy, you're thriving, you're feeling connected within yourself, you feel empowered.. and it is reflected in all area's of life.
Growth mindsets are powered by Love.
Cultivating a growth mindset isn't about perfection or having a life free from challenges. A Growth Mindset has nothing to do with perfection (perfection is a symptom of a Fixed Mindset).
Want to know whether you have a growth or a fixed mindset, here are some reflection questions that can bring some awareness.
(Summary of results are at the end of this post).
There are going to be moments where we will be in a fixed mindset over a growth mindset - and the key isn't to judge ourselves. The real work is to be aware and ask; "How can I do better? What can I learn from this?".
I have been known to let the unconscious need for perfection get in the way of experiencing joy. As much as I think I'm open to embracing the unknown - there are many moments when I want to control uncertainty, and the fear is debilitating. I hate to admit it - it takes some damn concentration and presence on my part not to take things personally and hear something like a criticism!!!
The goal is to bring awareness - not to judge ourselves when we fall short.
AND... the access to a Growth Mindset is learning to love the imperfect parts of ourselves, to know that we are learning and that there is something powerful in being a student of life.
It is a beautiful thing not to know everything.
So, is your mind working for you, or against you? When does your mind work against you - and what can you do about it?
...With awareness and knowing where you are, what is one thing you can do to cultivate a Growth Mindset? - What would it be like to be free from having to hold it all together?
PS - The Motherhood Mindset is opening up for enrollment later this month. I'm also going to do something new and offer a scholarship per month to a family/ mother that would love to participate in the course. Details will be in our next newsletter! If someone you know would love The Motherhood Mindset, invite them to subscribe and find out more about the scholarships on offer!
PPS - How did you go in answering the questions? Here's a summary:
Fixed Mindset: A fixed mindset is unconsciously addicted to perfectionism, control - and uncertainty is seen as chaos. A fixed mindset finds it challenging to accept all emotions and can perceive "crying" as a negative emotion that needs to be fixed and stopped rather than merely an emotion.
Asking for help is a sign of weakness and/or doesn't believe in asking for help. Fixed mindsets would pride themselves on finding a way to solve everything on their own - and is generally the default and preferred option. A Fixed Mindset tends to be reactive, defensive, and hear conversations as criticism or judgement or feeling that they are a failure or that they are doing something wrong.
Fixed Mindset parents rarely question inherited beliefs or their parenting styles.
Growth Mindset: A growth mindset regards perfectionism as inhibiting, and has a healthy appreciation for uncertainty and letting go of the need for control.
A parent with a growth mindset can create space for a child's emotion - as they understand that emotions are impermanent and a form of communication.
Growth mindset parents communicate their needs and have the courage to ask for help - they see asking for help as a sign of connection and empowerment. Growth mindset parents are also open to receiving new information and be challenged on beliefs and values - and see the discussion as a healthy way to expand and learn something new.
Growth Mindset parents are always looking to do better and grow. If you're reading this newsletter - I know, you're a Growth Mindset parent.