The End Of Your Comfort Zone

 Today I'm thinking about mindset after reading this special delivery that arrived in this afternoon's mail.

Click the image for purchasing information.
It's a little newcomer from Boys Town Press
with huge potential to make a positive difference
as our learners struggle to unlock their thoughts of "I can't." 

Not only is second-grade Amelia at a pivotal developmental age
as she vacillates between industriousness and inferiority,
{Enter Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development}, but 
she's also battling thoughts of frustration and self-doubt.
When she's tempted to quit after a setback while building a swing set 
with her dad, he seizes this teachable moment by asking:
Do you want a Down-in-the-Dumps mindset or a
Gonna-Get-It-Done mindset?
It reminds me of Dweck's work on growth v. fixed mindset.

Use this treasure as a springboard for a discussion about
perseverance, stick-to-it-tiveness, resilience & grit.

In the back of the book, find six strategies for parents and educators that will help you as you nurture a growth mindset in your superheroes. Need more ideas? Click {here} for a post I wrote for Free Spirit Press last year.

Make a bulletin board like this one that I saw at 
North Point Elementary this spring. 

Download these freebie Growth Mindset mini-poster reminders
by clicking the image below.

Or make a display like this one posted at Ross Elementary.

Start Growth Mindset journals using Composition Books.
Or buy them from Really Good Stuff {here}.

Dweck suggests encouraging your students to name their fixed mindsets and talk about them in the third person to help them separate what the thoughts are from who they are. I've been trying to adapt that success strategy, too. 

Posted with permission by AP Basil Marin in VA.

Help students (and staff!) goal set for things they can't do ... YET! 

Finally, though it seems so counterintuitive,
start celebrating mistakes as opportunities for growth.
To learn.
To stretch.
To get better.

Step out of that comfort zone and come to life.


  1. I needed this!! Thank you once again, Barbara!!! I think we all (adults) need a ton more attention on the whole mistake-making thing. So many of us have been locked into safety mindsets that shun the creation of and/or admission to mistakes. I say that today after cleaning a desk drawer with old performance reviews and feeling that hot flash of shame & embarrassment after reading the parts where I didn't "shine". Did I react equally strongly to the positives? No.

  2. Great reminders that as students and adults, success is sometimes right outside of our comfort zone. Success is not about who is the most fit, or who has the most money. True success is about resiliency and focusing on a dream or passion and going after it 100%. GRIT + Determination= Success



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