Do you remember the last time you faced a challenge or difficulty in your life?

Maybe it was a missed deadline. Maybe it was a rejection letter from a publisher. Maybe it was the feeling of regret after a missed opportunity.

I’m going to tell you a story, and as you’re reading, I want you to keep that challenge you faced in the back of your mind.

This is the story of a 5-year-old boy named Andy.

Every day at school, Andy enjoyed playing games like musical chairs and he excelled at counting. He was enthusiastic — always the first to raise his hand, always wearing a smile, and always an active participant. Until it was time to do arts and crafts…

Andy struggled to handle scissors and fold his paper like the other children. With a heavy heart, Andy’s smile disappeared and he slouched in his seat.

“I can’t do it,” he sighed.

Despite receiving the help of his teacher and classmates, he kept his arms crossed over his chest.

“I can’t do it,” he repeated. His mind was made up.

Now, I bet you’re thinking, Just keep trying, Andy! You CAN do it!

But I want you to recall that moment when you faced a challenge in your own life. Did you encourage yourself with a simple reminder that you CAN get through it, or did you respond similar to Andy?

Did you choose to view the challenge in front of you as an opportunity for growth, or was your mind set on believing you would never succeed?

Oftentimes, I think we find ourselves doing the latter. But I have to wonder how different our lives would be if we committed to treating every difficulty as a chance to learn. I wonder how Andy’s outlook would change.

Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University describes mindsets like Andy’s as a Fixed Mindset. It’s a method of thinking where we believe the difficulties we face in life are demonstrations of our incompetence, so we run away, and rid ourselves of the chance to learn. 

When we have a Fixed Mindset, we’re so focused on the NOW that we forget about the potential of the future.

And the way to overcome “the tyranny of NOW”, as Dr. Dweck describes it, is by adopting a Growth Mindset.

Dr. Dweck explains that those who have a Growth Mindset focus less on what they can’t do NOW, and more on what they CAN do in the future. In other words, it’s not that they’ll never overcome their challenges. They just haven’t overcome them YET.

What is the hurdle holding you back from achieving your goals and living your dream?

Which actions will you take to work towards that goal?

What can you do TODAY to practise a Growth Mindset?

You might not be living the dream YET, but I want you to know that you CAN and you WILL, as long as you take action and keep moving forward.

P.S. Is your dream to become a published children’s book author? I’d love to help you get there. Visit my Publishing Mastermind website to learn more:

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