Personal Growth Journey

In recent years, “self-care” has been a buzzword or phrase that is plastered just about everywhere! Literally, every other Facebook article, blog post, and self-help video is about the importance of self-care. These articles tell us the hows, whys, and whats of self-care that are supposed to help us to lead happier, less stressful lives. I totally get it; do a couple face masks, get a massage, take a weekend getaway, polish your nails, curl up with a glass of wine and a good book whilst taking a night off from your usual work.

Administrators always love to remind stressed, overworked, overwhelmed, teachers to “do something you enjoy” or “spend time with family” during the tough times throughout the school year. I mean after all, bosses have to say encouraging things to keep their employees and acknowledge their pain, right? However, what I’m not quite buying is the whole “self-care yourself through the toxic situation” mindset especially when the to-do list feels absolutely never-ending.

I don’t have a problem with the actual act of being kind to yourself. We should be gentle with ourselves, love ourselves, and most importantly treat ourselves well. We only get one mind and one vessel. It is soooo important to heal ourselves from our every day emotional labor and physical work. There is space for this kind of self-care. Self-care is important and that means something different to everyone. I can’t deny any of that. In fact, I believe all of that.

Here is where the issue lies. The issue lies in settling for a life you don’t want and coping with your choices by practicing “self-care”. If you continue to stay in toxic situations and forcing yourself to be content by going to a weekly yoga class or treating yourself to a massage, you are making a huge mistake. I don’t hate self-care by itself. But, it is absolutely gut-wrenching that people use self care to cope with their lives.

Self-care is not a band-aid for your toxic flesh wound of a relationship, job, or family issue. Self-care is not a remedy for having the life sucked out of you at a job you hate, being unhappy with someone who you have settled for, or continuing to have a relationship with a family member who turns your life upside down every time you speak. Self-care is not any of those things and self-care doesn’t

1. solve issues that exist in your life or

2. breathe life into dead situations that make your life less enjoyable.

Sometimes, self-care isn’t a facial, manicure, or binge watching a show on Netflix. Sometimes self-care actually presents an inconvenience to others and sometimes it makes others uncomfortable. Sometimes, it makes you unavailable for a while. Sometimes self-care is ceasing to feed dead situations. Sometimes self-care is travel.

Sometimes, self-care is walking away.

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Personal Growth Journey

   Growth Mindset Vs Fixed Mindset is Nothing New

We float along in our careers, relationships, and personal matters subconsciously writing a narrative for our lives. We paint our strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, and quirks through these stories. Then one day, something happens that totally rattles the foundation of everything we believed that story to be.

Recently, as I gave thought to the shift happening in my life and the long overdue career shift that needs to happen for good, I had a conversation and an epiphany. The conversation was around growth vs. fixed mindset and how we do or do not limit ourselves in everything we do based on our adoption of one or the other. As I started to discuss what growth mindset meant to me, I realized that I have been limiting myself for so long based on the idea that I am not “good” at certain subject areas or things. I had subconsciously floated along with the attitude that I couldn’t do something because I wasn’t good at it. The problem with that attitude is that it implies that in life, we are what we are and we get what we get. It implies that we, as human beings cannot grow, cannot change, cannot learn, and cannot master new things. This simply is not true. 

Knowing about growth mindset and living it are two completely different stories. I have always known the definition of growth mindset, but I have never truly lived it. If for just one week, you adopted a growth mindset about things and changed some of the limits you have placed on yourself, your life could change in measurable ways. However, imagine if we changed many of those limits over the course of our lives. Our lives could be written completely differently. We could be living more abundantly, learning more, growing more, and more quickly finding our purpose through challenging ourselves.

How to Fix your Mindset to Promote Growth

For 10 years, I told myself that I couldn’t pursue a career that had anything to do with science or math because I was never “good” at those subjects. I placed educational and career limits on myself. When I look back and think about where I could be if I allowed myself the space to grow and be fearless in the pursuit of my purpose, my only regret is not truly believing in the power of growth. Growth mindset in action can change your life. Fix your mindset to promote growth by:

  • remembering that it is never too late to do anything
  • having faith that skills and strengths can be learned and developed
  • being willing to put in the effort to see results
  • avoiding thought patterns that tell us we are born with the skillset we will have throughout our lives

I have always been a person who says “if you don’t like something, change it”. One of our truths is that we can change the things about our lives that we don’t love and we are powerful beyond measure. We have the power to paint our lives the way we want them to look, using vivid colors in some areas and neutral tones in others. Love yourself, but also grow yourself. The only limitations are the ones you put on yourself. The sooner you realize that, the more you can accomplish.

Sincerely,

Lacey Alanna