Growth Mindset, or why I'm not giving up.

I spent two Fridays this past month in a rather intense leadership institute for my work. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other educators, to learn new techniques for working with my students and to discover a bit about myself in the process.

During the trainings, we discussed fixed vs. growth mindsets. If you're unfamiliar, the two mindsets vary in that fixed mindset believes that intelligence is static while a growth mindset states that intelligence can be developed over time. (This infographic summarizes the two quite well.)

I think I have tended more towards a fixed mindset, unfortunately. When I try something new, I often believe that if it doesn't go perfectly the first time then it must be because I am just not cut out for whatever it is I'm trying. I am lucky to have Adrian who continually reminds me that not everything can be mastered in one try. 

While I still hold to the belief that natural talent is necessary for some endeavors, I am working on cultivating a growth mindset. A mindset where I don't shy away from challenges or difficulties and I don't give up after one try. Where I embrace failures and take learning slowly. Easier said than done.

This past year, I have put a lot of time into learning the ins and outs of my camera. My goal was to be able to capture photos just as I saw them or, often, as I had envisioned them. And while I certainly have a lot to learn, I feel so much closer to my goal now than I did when I began. And it is so wonderfully encouraging. One of my resolutions for 2014 is to take my time with my photos. Not allowing myself to rush or to not set up a shot perfectly. To work slowly and intentionally. And I have been so pleased to see my photography skills grow and develop as I work towards my goal.

Lately, my straight out of camera shots require little editing afterwards. And that, that makes me absolutely delighted. I am proud to have put the time into developing these skills and am so excited to see how much better I am today than a year ago and how much better I will be a year from now.

But most of all, I'm excited for what this means for me in other areas of life. To hopefully continue seeing each challenge as a chance to develop new goals and to not shy away from a few failures along the way.  Here's to working hard, taking chances and building new skills along the way.

(Linking up with Treasure Tromp's Treat Yo Self Thursday)


  1. I for the one have been super impressed with your photography! I have a lot of similar goals, esp. as I hope to open up my own little photography business later this year. The manual setting on my DSLR still scares me (as I haven't even come close to mastering it), but I can't wait until that moment when I too barely have to edit any of my photos!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you!! It's been a work in progress for a while now but I feel like every time I take my camera out, I'm learning something new. And that's exciting.

    What kind of camera do you have?

  3. I totally get having a fixed mindset.. I think it can come from being a bit of a perfectionist so when things don't go perfectly we think well I'll never get better or good enough at this. Your photos are beautiful! (:

  4. Thank you! But yes, I think perfectionism plays a big part in this. Wanting everything perfect and giving up when it's not perfect on the first try.... So here's to making changes and not giving up when it's not perfect!

  5. A Nikon D3100. Nothing too fancy :)

  6. I am always blown away by your photos! You make it look easy, though I know I couldn't do half of what you do :)

  7. Thank you so much! It's been a lot of nights studying and practicing and I still have so much to learn. But it's so exciting to see the progress I'm making!


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