Are you prepared to sleep, rejuvenating the tireless cells you take for granted, or are you bombarded from sleep, wrestling with the hopelessness of the day's efforts? The calm represented in the banner picture, which I took after a long day of canoeing in Algonquin Park, is what I visualize in challenging moments. It's a soft breeze, and quiet release of the day that's passed. Fostering calmness in the face of fear is, to me, resiliency.
Is there something in your past that you think measured you? Now put it in a growth-mindset perspective. Look honestly at your role in it, but understand that it doesn't define your intelligence or personality. Instead ask:
What did I (or what can I) learn from that experience? How can I use it as a basis for growth? Carry that with you instead (Dweck, Mindset, p.53)
Next time you feel low, put yourself in a growth mindset - think about learning, challenge, confronting obstacles. Think about effort as a positive, constructive force, not as a big drag.
Is there something you've always wanted to do but were afraid you weren't good at it? Make a plan to do it!
Other quotes from Mindset by Carol Dweck to reflect on in terms of explicitly teaching growth mindsets in our classrooms:
"The bigger the challenge, the more they stretch" (p.21).
"Fixed mindset thrives when things are safely in their grasp" (p.22). "Challenge and interest went hand in hand" (p.23).
"Can tests/experts tell us what our potential is, what we're capable of, what our future will be. The fixed mindset says yes" (p.27). Potential is somebody's capacity to develop their skills with effort over time.
"Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn't define you. It's a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from" (p.33).
"...this mindset gives you no good recipe for overcoming it. If failure means you lack competence or potential that you are a failure - where do you go from there?" (p.35).
An example is the differences in approach to depression: "When people believe in fixed traits, they are always in danger of being measured by a failure. It can define them in a permanent way" (p.39).
Resiliency: "the growth mindset does allow people to love what they're doing and to continue to love it in the face of adversity; the growth mindset allows people to value what they're doing regardless of the outcome" (p.48).
"Even when you think you're not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it" (p.53).
Dweck asks: "Should they confront their shortcomings or should they create a world where they have none"? We each need to decide how to engage students in their growth as humans each and every day.