The possibility of change

In last week’s newsletter I wrote about how I love lists, but no longer let them rule my life. I receive a lovely short email from reader Alice in response which said:

Love this email as I can totally relate. It has been really interesting to see you change over the last 4 years I have been reading your blog, which I discovered after getting your book out of the library! Being present is huge for me too. I love hands free life book right now.
Keep up the good work.
Alice

It made me happy to read this and it made me reflect on how much I have changed in many ways since I have started the blog in 2008 (and well before that too).

As I explain in my book, I was not always organized, in fact I was the complete opposite. I was not always into health living as I am now, in fact the complete opposite!

This would be a quick snap shot of me at university:

  • Leaving all my study commitments to the last minute.
  • Living pay to pay.
  • A regular cigarette smoker who enjoyed partying pretty hard.

My husband has been the person who has had the most positive influence in my life by far. He taught me to save, supported me to stop smoking and encouraged me to take time out to exercise. I became fitter with each child and I laughed recently when I read these words of mine on the blog which I wrote in September 2008:

Now it is my turn to support him, as he builds up his training program. Mr I is going to run the Melbourne Marathon this October (yes I do think he is crazy too!).

I have now run four marathons including the prestigious Boston Marathon this year, as well as doing CrossFit five times a week pretty much year round. Something which I could have never, ever imagined 10 years ago.

My diet has changed from being pasta and bread heavy to a wholefood diet, where I make many things from scratch including fermented foods and drink like kombucha and kimchi.

give way to possibility shoes

I share this for one reason only. To highlight the possibility of change and the benefits it can bring. I am a creature of habit. I love my routines, my plans and my spreadsheets, but I also believe in self-improvement.

My being open to the possibility of change and trying new things, my life has improved dramatically. I am not always open to the possibility of change though. I can get stuck in my views and be blind to the options open to me. Being open to change requires me working on my mindset.

I recently listened to the fantastic book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. Dweck talks about how important it is to have a growth mindset compared to a fixed mindset. She defines a growth mindset as:

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities. {source}

And a fixed mindset as:

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong. {source}

It is possible, Dweck notes for us to have a growth mindset in some areas, but fixed in another. I can see this in myself. Currently I have a growth mindset around parenting. I know I am far from a perfect parent, but I also know through reading, listening, research and talking to other parents I am improving and continue to become a better parent. When it comes to fitness though, I have a voice in my head that repeats to me constantly I am uncoordinated and inflexible as I try my hand at new gymnastic skills and yoga. This could also be called self-limiting beliefs.

Regardless of what it is called, this type of thinking will hold me back and it is something I am working on. Being open to the possibility that I am coordinated and flexible and not expecting the opposite is a good starting point for me.

These photos are taken on the walk to school. Someone has made some additions to the give way signs and I love them. They make me smile and I make sure I read them each day as I pass. Give way to possibilities is my favourite and it makes me think about my current mindset.

Give way to drop bears just makes me chuckle.

drop bears

And dragons is pretty good too!

dragons

Are you open to the possibility of change?

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