Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Spreading Wellness: Do you create an environment where mistakes are learning experiences?

Over the weekend I learned a new skill. One that I've been asked to help volunteer to teach, however, I didn't feel comfortable teaching it, when I didn't know how to do it myself. It is a skill that my husband has talked about learning ever since I met him 5 years ago. And, although it has been 5 years, this weekend, we both learned the basics and beginnings of sailing. Out on a little one person sailboat, on a small inland lake, we took sail. Full of laughter and excitement. One of us was behind on a peddle-boat, ready to help rescue, while the other one figured out how to turn. Yes, I capsized once, and I learned from my mistake. :)

E3's Weekly Spreading Wellness Blog. This week, "Growth Mindset"
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Reflection is powerful, and if you are regular readers of this Spreading Wellness blog, you probably know that I do a lot of it. This weekend, I reflected on the hilarious, laughter filled time out on the sailboat. The feeling of "getting it" sent a flood of visceral joy through my body, as I flawlessly turned the boat around, and I knew there was hope. I knew there was a time when I get this down every turn, consistently, as long as I keep practicing. I just didn't have it down consistently "yet." After reflecting on this experience, I realized that one of my absolute favorite things in life, is learning new skills, talents, research, etc., in all aspects of life - family, fun, and career. And this revelation, reminded me that I should blog about the growth mindset, and share some powerful research by Stanford researcher, Carol Dweck. She gave a Ted Talk in 2014, has written books, and published numerous scientific articles in the psychology of the growth mindset. Being an exercise scientist myself (which includes all of the sciences of movement based behavior change), I think in terms of muscles. Maybe it is a little to general, but I think most people can relate. A growth mindset is a learned behavior, which means the more you practice it, the better you get. Or in relationship to a muscle, the more you train it, the stronger it gets. The neural pathways are strengthened every time that you use a growth mindset tool, phrase, action. Carol Dweck talks about using the word "yet," and teaching students this skill to improve the equality of education. If you are a teacher (and truly most of us are in some capacity), I encourage you to watch this 10 minute Ted by Carol. And then, ask yourself, how can you apply this to your own personal life, and how can you share this in your organization? Yes, I believe we need to start with ourselves, before we can teach it. Just like I needed to learn how to sail, before I can teach it to others.

How can you relate this growth mindset, "yet" mindset into your personal well-being? How can you relate the "tiny habits" and the growth mindset, to make positive personal growth? The first step to change is knowing and understanding yourself, so I ask you to be mindful of your own words. Notice your self-talk. Do you tell yourself phrases such as: This is too hard. My friend can just do it. I made a mistake? OR, do you tell yourself phrases such as: This may take some time. I will learn this from a friend. Mistakes help me to learn?

I urge you to go one step farther. How do you use words in your organization? As a parent, leader and/or a teacher? Do you limit your children, employees, students, etc., by creating an environment where mistakes are bad, OR do you empower your children, employees, students, etc., by creating an environment where mistakes are looked at as learning experiences? Lastly, can you improve your personal self-talk? And, can you improve the environment in which you lead children, employees, students, etc.? I enjoy creating an environment where mistakes are learning experiences, because, it is how we grow personally and professionally. I believe it empowers my clients, myself, my hubby, and our little one to be the best we all can be. The result of a mistake is not yelling and punishment, rather, what we learn from it, and how can we prevent it from happening again. Using a scary word to some, how can we change it the next time, to make it better and more successful.

Self-talk is something that I discuss with most of my wellness coaching clients, because, believe it or not, many people who seek coaching, have poor self-images on some level - maybe they aren't good at cooking (instead of willing to learn how to cook and eat a variety of foods), maybe they don't have the body shape as all of their friends (instead of loving themselves for who they are), or maybe they aren't morning people (instead of learning to become a morning person so that they can get their work-out in at a time where nothing else will interfere with it).

If you are looking for personal/individual/couples wellness coaching, please send me an email to schedule your free initial consultation. From my experience, coaching does work better when two people are in it together - whether that be two friends or partners. That is why there is a significant discount for the second person. If you are interested, check out my website, and send me an email. I look forward to meeting you.

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E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise (education and meditation outdoors)
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, MS, CSCS, WFR, Yoga Instructor

Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Helping people to lead healthy, happy, & meaningful lives, while promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation, fitness, yoga, individual wellness coaching, and interactive educational presentations.

Website: e3twinports.com
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