Joshua was a typical firstborn child.
He approached life cautiously, didn’t stray far from mommy, and was ever observing. His young parents (my wife and I) reinforced these tendencies. Despite our fears of the hazards he may encounter, we chose his name because we wanted him to be a courageous leader, like the Joshua who led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
Names tend to significantly shape those who possess them.
Joshua grew, and as we spoke words of courage over him, he began to believe that he was indeed courageous. Spoken words hold great power.
There are other words we flippantly speak (or yell) to our children. Many of us hide deep wounds from harmful utterances said intentionally or unintentionally during formative times. As author John Eldridge suggests, we begin to “make agreements” with these labels. We accept thoughts like I’ll never be good enough, I’m not a creative person, or math just isn’t my thing...
Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck suggests that the most successful leaders (and learners) possess what she calls a “Growth Mindset.” In contrast to those with a “Fixed Mindset,” these individuals don’t accept defeat, but rather press through obstacles. They change their language from “I cannot,” to “I will keep trying.” They assume that “the only way out is through.”
To cultivate creativity and innovation, one must embrace a growth mindset. Consider these suggestions for alternate language in your pursuit of growth:
I’ll never be good at this I can learn to do better
I give up I’ll keep trying
I fear other’s feedback I learn from feedback
It’s good enough Is this my best work?
I keep failing Failure is an opportunity for growth
Today, our son Joshua is 13. He seems to excel at any task he sets out to do. We suspect he became convinced that he indeed was both courageous and capable. Only God knows the remarkable things he may accomplish!
What fixed mindset agreements have you made, or been wounded by? In what ways might you reclaim ownership of these in pursuit of a growth mindset?
Daniel Gluck serves as Lead Faculty for Jessup’s B.A. in Christian Leadership program.
October 31, 2018 at 10:10 am
Excellent post Daniel! (I’m not sure if you remember me from WJU & Bridgeway, but I had a car accident which ended up putting me in a wheelchair for a while & I had to stop school & the prison ministry…) But – I went on to go to the Chaplain Academy with Mark O’Sullivan & I definitely kept reaching for “more” – even though the Dr’s continually tell me I’ll be in a wheelchair for life ( haven’t been in one since 2012 👍) & being told I need to check myself into a nursing home & living in an assisted living place – & I keep living alone & asking the Lord for the strength to get me through each challenge (even when it’s something non-disabled people highly might take for granted, like the overwhelming task of brushing my teeth or hair…)
I wake up everyday, with the determination & conviction, to think outside the box & find solutions rather than complaints… (I do need to ‘vent’ at times, but I must move past that frame of mind & into a “God’s blessed me” state of mind.)
Thank you Daniel for reminding me of the CHOICES I can make each day. As a leader, a disabled leader now, people are ‘watching’ to see if I’ll “crash & burn” it seems. And I feel a bit of responsibility, as a “Living it” Christian, to show those ‘watching’ – I can overcome… And God gets all the glory! Praise the Lord 🙏🙏🙏🙏
Very great post, thank you.
October 31, 2018 at 11:00 am
Hi Heide – Yes, I do remember you! Thanks so much for chiming in here and wonderful to hear that you continue to thrive and apply the “growth mindset” principle with your calling, disability, etc. Praise God that He continues to show his glory through your story! Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings, DG
November 15, 2018 at 6:35 am
my views on growth mindset
November 15, 2018 at 9:32 am
Very interesting and thorough review. Thanks for sharing!
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