Embracing your own growth mindset journey
One powerful thing you can do as a mentor to support youth in adopting more of a growth mindset is to begin emphasizing the relevant principles on mindset in your own life. Mentees can really benefit from hearing about the way you approach challenges, how you emphasize effort and continuous improvement, and the strategies you use for motivation. This is a big chance to role model some key behaviors and show the value of a growth mindset.
How have you emphasized a growth mindset in your life?
We’ve all had things in life that we’ve struggled with before finding success — learning a new skill, addressing a personal challenge, mastering a task. Take a minute to think about a few of these things and remember what those struggles felt like and the strategies you used to eventually get better. Chances are that you will see many instances where you applied a growth mindset, even if you didn’t call it that at the time. Keep these examples in mind for when your mentee is facing their own challenges. Your mentee may benefit a great deal from hearing thoughtful, self-reflective stories from you about challenges you’ve overcome, especially if you make the connection that being challenged is what led to your improvement.
How can you emphasize growth mindset moving forward?
In addition to reflecting on the past, you may want to do some more intentional role modelling in the present! Consider identifying something that you’d like to improve on over the course of the year. This can help you become more familiar with applying growth mindset to real life situations and can even provide opportunities to talk explicitly about growth mindset with your mentee. So spend a moment thinking about something you’ve always wanted to be better at, a new thing to learn, or a lingering issue that you finally want to address. Try and pick something that’s a bit outside of your comfort zone, since expanding that comfort zone is one of the key principles of growth mindset. Your mentee will start valuing growth mindset if he or she sees you embracing challenges and pushing yourself in new directions.