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Primary schools these days are adopting an exciting model in the classroom to weave through their learning and experiences, called Growth Mindset, which can build more confidence than having a Fixed Mindset, even – possibly especially – during these challenging times.

Energy is needed to get through difficulties and it can be interesting to note how our energy levels respond to what we tell ourselves and what we are feeling. I work with emotional pain and spend time healing emotional wounds, this is more head-based information but can have an impressive effect on your energy which can help promote resilience.

What is a Growth Mindset?

It is simply the belief that our abilities or emotional growth can be developed and improved through persistence and effort. With a fixed mindset we don’t put in the effort and are likely to remain stuck.

Growth; emotional or otherwise, often comes through discomfort (or even pain), so when you feel triggered here are a few ways to adopt a Growth Mindset to promote more resilience in your life.

  • Acknowledge and embrace imperfections in yourself and others – there’s no such thing as perfect so don’t strive for an illusion

  • Reframe challenges as opportunities

  • Pay attention to your words and thoughts – “I can’t do it” will have an effect on how energised you feel to tackle it. Simply add a “yet” on the end of that sentence and see how your energy shifts.

  • Trust yourself – don’t put your value and worth in the approval of others

  • Start small – don’t leap for the big goal but break it down so you cultivate a ‘yes’ energy.

  • Recognise what you learn when faced with tough experiences – how have your relationships grown (including with yourself)? How have you gained strength or perspective?

  • Practice optimism. This is not a denial of the bad. It is an acknowledgment of the good and what is possible in your life.

  • Practice self-compassion, get some exercise, learn something new, and spend time laughing.

The phrases the kids learn in the classroom are relevant for all us big kids too. My favourites are; “Mistakes help me grow!”, “I’ll use a different strategy”, “This may take some time”, and “This may take some effort”.

Jacqui Manning

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