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Am I weird?

Kirsten Goodwin | Naked Confidence Coach

“Yes, you are weird” a friend said to me this week.  “But GOOD weird”.

I’ve been watching my daughter do sport this week (my husband is away so I’ve been Cheerleader-in-Chief at a hockey match, a swimming gala, & the annual torture of the cross-country run 😱).

And I’ve noticed uncomfortable feelings among the parents on the sidelines – anxiety about how their child is performing, competitive comparison with other children 😬

This is something I don’t have 🤷‍♀️  (Which is why my friend called me weird!)

It might be because I’m not that bothered about sports – as long as she’s enjoying it, that’s what matters 🥰

But I think it’s also because I’m hyper-aware of trying NOT to put that type of expectation on my daughter…

I am a Recovering Perfectionist.  For many years I was ruled by that feeling of being driven to do everything perfectly, and anything less than perfect was a failure 😔

And it was very debilitating for me – it definitely led to my panic attacks, chronic fatigue, Imposter Syndrome and eventual burnout 😩

It’s hard to say where this came from – I’m not a psychotherapist, and in any case I’m always more interested in how to solve something than what its cause is 😉

But there is clearly a link between external expectation – whether parental or not – and one’s mindset.

Dr Carol Dweck defined the powerful concept of the Growth Mindset having studied groups of school children, trying to understand why some keep going in the face of challenge and others give up.

➡️ Those children who believed their skills and talents were fixed gave up more quickly – why bother trying if you can’t do it, because you either can, or can’t.  That’s the fixed mindset.

➡️ Those children who believed their skills and talents could improve with effort and practice would keep going, because this was an opportunity to learn.  That’s the growth mindset.

As Dr Dweck says:

In one world—the world of fixed traits—success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other—the world of changing qualities—it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself’.

And something that can make a difference between whether you have a fixed or growth mindset is what you are actually REWARDED for.

🤔 Are you rewarded for EFFORT?  That choice to try hard, to learn & grow?

🤔 Or are you rewarded for RESULTS, which are far more binary (you either succeed or fail), and could stem from natural talent without any effort?

How we – as parents, managers, co-workers or friends – acknowledge and reward success DOES make a difference to other people.

I slipped up this week and called Jemima a “good girl” 🤭

She noticed immediately because it’s something I never say – having felt like I needed to live up to the label of “good girl” definitely was part of my Imposter Syndrome & perfectionism, so it’s banned in our house.  (As is the word “perfect”!)

Instead I say “good job” 💪

And that’s the crux of it: praise the effort, not the person’s innate qualities, or the result.  Praise the input, not the outcome.

I’m trying not to sound holier-than-thou here – I definitely don’t get it right all the time!  (And it’s certain that Jemima will never become an Olympian with me as a mum 😂)

But I do know how strongly (and unhelpfully) I was ruled by this perfectionist Imposter way of thinking – and it’s something I really want to help others avoid 🧡

So it’s worth noticing, whether you have children or not:

🔥 what kind of expectations are you placing on the people around you?  What are you rewarding them for?

🔥 and more importantly, what kind of expectations/ rewards are you giving YOURSELF?

Do you see a challenge as an opportunity for you to learn?  Or as a way to validate that you’re either a success or failure? 🤔

Remember, practice makes PROGRESS 💪

Perfectionism is not the goal!  GROWTH is 🔥

Whether you’re talking to your actual child, or your inner child, it’s worth remembering… 😊🧡

Wishing you a positive, productive, and GROWTH MINDSET-filled week! 😄🔥💪  

with much love 😊🧡

Kirsten xx

Kirsten Goodwin

The Naked Confidence™ Coach

Hired to help female leaders feeling the pain and pressure of their position. Transforming your Mindset AND Skillset 🔥 Banish your Imposter, and find your way, your confidence, & your edge.

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