(Excerpt from my monthly article in The Today Paper)
The Mindset Resolution
Happy New Year! With a new year usually comes resolutions. Many of these resolutions have to do with exercise, diet, finances and more. However, how often, when it comes to resolutions, do we think about mindset? Recently, I came across this infographic while participating in an educational Twitter chat.
This made me reflect on the difficulty in making resolutions about mindset. Too often, I hear students (and adults) say things like: this is too hard or I did enough. Many times it’s not that they don’t want to advance themselves, but it’s too difficult to leave their comfort zone. Let’s be honest, who likes change? Change can create fear. It creates the fear of failure, which causes us to retreat back into our comfort zone. Too often, we allow this fear to prevent us from reaching our greatness and allows us to reach our mediocrity. Worse, sometimes we will never know the greatness that lies in each of us because we won’t step outside the comfort zone.
However, nothing great in history has happened from people staying inside their comfort zone. What if Dr. Martin Luther King decided to stay in his comfort zone? What if Marie Curie followed the easy path? Or Rosa Parks? Abraham Lincoln?
These are just a few examples. As we turn the page to 2017, I present this challenge to our students: Step out of your comfort zone to:
- Spend an extra day preparing for an assessment
- Stay for extra help even though your friends are asking you to go to D&D
- Push your off-season training as an athlete
- Consider moving to honors or AP next year
- Stand up for someone who may struggle to stand up for themselves
Regardless of what you choose; and it may not be on this list, realize that stepping out of your comfort zone even once makes it easier to do it again. You will be less and less afraid of failure because you will appreciate the attempt, not the result. So, as you consider your resolutions, don’t be afraid to adjust your mindset. You never know, by stepping out of your comfort zone you just may make history!
Happy New Year and all the best to everyone in 2017!