by Mel Blackwood @troubleon8wheels
I used to always think I was right. As a primary teacher, I was happy to hone my craft, go to training sessions to tweak and improve my delivery, but in my heart of hearts, if I didn't agree with the trainer, no amount of evidence would sway my thinking. I knew that making mistakes were important for learning, so my classroom was a place where mistakes were celebrated, yes, even mine, but I'd already put so much work in that the mistakes were pretty minor. (They didn't feel minor at the time).
Fixed mindset. I meet many people with a fixed mindset, who think they have growth mindset. Fixed mindset assumes that life happens and you have little influence or control over it. Fixed mindset goes along with majority thinking and social views. Fixed mindset had me filtering my social media photos and making sure I take photos of 'my good side', then counting the likes on each post.
Fixed mindset had me feeling very trapped.
The Black Lives Matter 2020 movement was the major catalyst. Once I started reading and unlearning, I realised that I had been allowing life to be done to me, rather than realising I had control. That I had been following fixed pathways, because they are easier. That I needed to grow in every part of my life. Growing mentally is hard. Think about a seed. It survives cold conditions, and pushes through soil to flourish. We don't see those moments when it is below the surface of the earth, but it is there, already pushing out roots and shoots. Does it give up?
As Roller Girl Gang became a much bigger online shop during 2020, I made a lot of mistakes. It was a tough time for sure, but also, I made a lot of mistakes. I had to learn to put my ego aside and apologise. I can remember writing emails to customers, apologising profusely, and owning the mistakes. The thing that shocked me was the compassion that came back. I was expecting people to walk away, and they didn't. New pathways were being formed in my brain.
I continued unlearning what I thought I knew and challenging my belief system. I consumed a lot of podcasts and read a bunch of books to support a growth mindset - Chris Voss, Gary Vee, Brene Brown, Priya Faith, Sonya Renee Taylor and more.
Throughout 2021 I re-framed how I viewed making mistakes in business as necessary learning. These were much bigger mistakes, that were expensive. (More on the mistakes to come I'm sure) Wisdom is hard earned!
In 2022 I started working with a therapist to really make sure that old patterns were in the past. After all, if I don't change what I put into my life, I can't change the outcome. I didn't know how much more I had to unlearn! Taking feedback that gently challenges you is so supportive. I can't choose the feedback I receive, but I can choose how I react to it. Thank you to the friends who stuck around and supported me during the seed phase. I still don't feel fully emerged!
I'm so pleased that it was this year we filmed our Learn to Roller Skate course, and it wasn't earlier. Spending the time to work on my mental health has allowed me to clarify the journey we take (as adults) when starting to roller skate, and I know our approach to learning this skill is a truly holistic one. I'm really proud of what we created.
Are you cultivating a growth mindset and how are you doing this?