Hey Team! Happy New Year to you all! How did you guys get started? My year started with a nice bike ride to the beach, where I met up with my friends and a whoooooole lot of other wild people. We had all decided to start the New Year with a plunge into the North Sea, off the Dutch coast.
This marked 30 year in a row of the famous tradition of the “Nieuwjaarsduik” in Zandvoort. Of course nothing goes down in the Netherlands without a live DJ, so it was a party all the way in and out of the ice-cold water. You can check out my experience here if you want. Indeed, I am one of those people with an orange hat on!
Jumping into that cold water sure got my brain awake! Another great thing to do for your brain-health is exercise. You need to get your heart rate up and get some sweating going to get the most benefits.
Turns out a bit of sweating will immediately help your mood and focus. It will also help to protect your brain from conditions such as depression, Alzheimer and dementia.
So many good reasons to pick a workout and just go for it! Check out this excellent TED talk by neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki to learn more.
As I am in my 4th Year of Osteopathic Medicine Studies at the same time as I am finishing up my second degree in Nutritional Therapy (to become an NTP – Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) the “seemed like a good idea at the time” feels more like “what the *beep*was I thinking, doing this at the same time?!”
The pressure of passing all the exams, does indeed get to me. Being an A-type personality who feels the need to do everything (very) well, it does take its toll. Failing is like the worst case scenario that is just not allowed to happen. Sometimes the pressure builds up so much that I don’t even want to start on a project because I am so worried about failing. Right then it seems better not to do it at all. Does anyone recognize this?
What if there was a way to take down this pressure and anxiety of failing a notch? And, what if, in doing so, we could remove a couple of stones in that barrier of “I will not start because then I cannot fail”.
So, when I came across this TED talk by Carol Dweck, it really resonated with me. What if, instead of just using pass/fail, we could allow ourselves to add in “not yet”.
I really thought about this and played out a couple of scenarios in my mind where I imagined myself getting a big fat FAIL slapped in my face – and then changing it to a NOT YET instead.
It is just a tiny word play, but I could feel how my brain relaxed immediately. “Not yet” has air around it. “Not yet” means that there is plenty of room to improve, to evolve, to work on things. OK, so you were not as awesome as you would have liked to be in this very moment, but you are allowed to work on it. Where as FAIL is just a dead end, on a long one way street. No fun going down that road again, is there.
Did you know that when your brain is in a growth mindset (not yet), there is a tonne of activity going on. Verses almost no activity at all in a fixed mindset (fail). When you are in a growth mindset your neurons are firing up and your brain is developing.(1)
OK, so you were not as awesome as you would have liked to be in this very moment, but you are allowed to work on it. There is air around “not yet”.
Of course it might not be possible to implement this one hundred percent of the time, and that’s not the point. But, I bet you could use this a lot more than you think. I would like to challenge you to use “not just yet” instead of “I’m failing” whenever possible. Do you have a chance to implement this at home, at school or at your work? Why not? No, I’m serious -Why…not?
Check out the video and if it flips a switch for you, your kids, your co-worker, or your partner – how cool would that be?!
Failing? – Not Just Yet! Wishing you all an amazing weekend! 😉