I need to stop sleeping with Keith Morrison. But I can’t just yet.
Keith’s that guy from Dateline whose soothing ship-sway voice lulls me to sleep faster than Ambian ever could. Recently I’ve tried to give up listening to episodes of Dateline on YouTube as I fall asleep.
All those stories of rape and murder? Affairs and stalking? It can’t be good for my sleeping psyche, right?
Instead, I’m switching to Ted Talks. Might as well try to learn something more useful than the fact that sweet tea disguises the taste of anti-freeze.
So, last night I heard Carol Dweck: The Power of Believing that You Can Improve.
And boy did it make me think of Emmi! And all the times I let her win at Candyland.
I might’ve warped her little five-year-old brain by not letting her try and fail. Get out of her comfort zone. And succeed through trial and error. Yikes!
And more recently, the other day when I was praising her for getting an 87 on her math test?
Well, not entirely. I am proud of her for that but, turns out, I really should’ve been praising, not just the outcome (which rocked!) but also for the process. The effort she put in to getting that grade, the strategy she employed to get there and the progress she’s making in her overall GPA. Because, you know what? That rocks too.
Listening to Carol Dweck, I thought about how often Emmi say “can’t”. “I can’t do math.” “I can’t play the guitar.” “I can’t wear tampons.” (We overcame that one, though – a tale for another time.)
Carol says we could overcome all our “can’ts” simply by changing our mindset from Can’t to Can’t Yet.
Doing this gives you permission to try … and keep trying. To challenge yourself. To take baby steps if you need to and be proud of yourself for each inch, and eventually each mile you move forward. Other students are achieving amazing results by simply focusing on progress, strategy, and effort. They’re killing it at Candyland and beyond!
So while, it’s amazing that Emmi made an 85 on her math test, the really awesome part is that she went to her tutor, turned in all her homework, reviewed her notes each night, studied hard before the test and tried her very best.
Oh, and there’s a bonus: According to Carol, your neurons get stronger and you get smarter when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. Effort and difficulty actually help you become smarter.
That rocks, too!
Watch the Ted Talk. No, I mean put down your phone and watch it and then think about how you can celebrate not just your successes or the things you do easily, but also celebrate your progress and how you pushes yourself to do better. I’m going to adopt this strategy for myself. (I can quit you, Keith Morrison!)
I’m excited to see how it works for both of us.
What about you? What can’t you do YET?