We are currently reading 'Mindset' by Dr. Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
There is so much wisdom in this book, but as a parent in a culture that generally tries to protect children from failure, I was struck by the chapter on messages we communicate about failure through our action/words. By avoiding our child's immediate disappointment, we often cause more harm in the long run.
If your child is participating in an individual tournament and does not place or receive a "prize" and you communicate, "well - I thought you were the best...you did amazing - you should have won"... you run the risk of insincere messaging.
Your motive may be encouragement, but the child knows that he/she was not the 'best' and so your words are empty. The message is not, "how can you improve?" or how can I validate your feelings of disappointment? The message is denial and ultimately communicates that YOU are not comfortable with disappointment/failure and imperfections/not being on top/not being #1 is not Ok...
I apply these teachings in our the office. There is a fine line between insincere praise and shame. If a client does not prioritize all of their health goals (for any reason), our job is to both celebrate the positives and look honestly at the hurdles to come up with easy scaffolded steps to change the behavior/outcomes without getting stuck in the shame cycle, "I am so unworthy." "I suck." "I should move to Mars..."
Can we stay objective and observational without the inner critic casting hard blame and shame- throwing mud balls;)
Here is what positive self-talk looks like, "Ok self - you did not prioritize your health goals. What mindset or habit got in the way of executing? You had the intention of carrying a water bottle at work to increase daily hydration but you did not carry one at work. Do you need to read more about the importance of hydration to value the behavior? Can you schedule a water bottle fill-up in the morning at work on your task list? Do you need an app to track water?
This may seem like a trite example, but habit change is HARD. We have patterns and behaviors that are deeply ingrained in our psyche and many of us avoid change because we fear failure! Changing behavior starts with intention and mindset. We are here to provide accountability but ultimately, you will only change habits when you ready. Part of being ready is embracing discomfort and the risk of falling and failing and having to get-up and try...try again!
If you are comfortable – you are not growing/expanding. Please know that we understand the difficulty of the journey and we are here to hold you up! You can not fail if you show up. If you have ever canceled an appointment out of fear of "not succeeding," you have missed the point of what we do! Please see us when you are down – we are here primarily to help you find your feet again!!
- Coach Sarah Lynn