During the first few days of the ABA’s 21 day Grit and Growth Mindset Challenge, we are directed to assess our grit and determine our mindset. Key phrases that resonated with me:
- Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance (described in Dr. Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk on Grit).
- The Power of Yet. Professor Carol Dweck labels Growth Mindset as “the power of yet” because you believe that you can improve. She adds that people with growth mindsets are “luxuriating in the power of yet” while those with a fixed mindset are “gripped in the tyranny of now.”
Both phrases remind us to value and reward effort, strategy and progress as we evaluate our students’ current performance. Helping our students push themselves out of their comfort zones in healthy directions allows them to learn and develop in new ways.
Fear of failure and rejection can often be a barrier to new learning and a growth mindset. In Chapter 7 of Fundamentals of Lawyer Leadership, we offer a reflection exercise for students in a leadership class or program designed to help them normalize failure as an acceptable aspect of learning and growing.
You’re Not Perfect and That’s Okay!
Think about a mistake you made in the last couple weeks, preferably one that is not too emotionally charged. It could be anything – a mistake you made while learning something new, maybe you misunderstood the instructions for a task at work and did it incorrectly, or maybe a social faux pas where you said something you wish you hadn’t, or you snapped at someone and regretted it later.
- What happened? What were the consequences? Did you have the opportunity to correct the mistake? If so, how did it go and how did it make you feel?
- Create and complete a reflection chart: