Growing and Glowing

I’ve decided that this part of my life a season of growth and not just because it’s summertime where I am. There has been a good amount of work behind the scenes with me—both internally and externally. As a result, I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of the year.

Student teaching is ramping up. Graduation is looming. I have a potential new career path on the horizon. My book is out in the world. Busy is not the word.

At the same time, I’ve been having a hell of a time writing for my blog lately.

I have some ideas lined up—a few topics that I would like to address within the next month. But, sadly, I’ve been so exhausted at the end of my days, I barely have enough energy to crawl into bed.

I’m sure I’ll get back on track at some point.

Tired is the Word

For now, my thoughts are scattered. It’s hard to focus for long periods. I bounce around between projects for work and tasks for all the other things I’m doing. My time management is either excellent or terrible. My inner perfectionist is raging nearly all the time. There’s always something I could be working on.

I just want to rest.

A spa day would be amazing! Photo by Monstera on

My body is tired. This week, I took a trip to the gym that resulted in soreness in my core and thighs that I haven’t felt in years. My days are very long, and I don’t always get a good amount of sleep at night. My brain reminds me of all the critical tasks and suppressed memories I need to be dwelling on instead of sleeping.

Nothing new there. I like to keep myself busy.

I’ve got a bunch of irons in the fire. I’m trying to create a life that I love for myself. This requires a lot of work. But, I don’t mind because I know that the struggle is part of my process. I’m still moving forward.

I’ve heard that struggle does not have to be a part of success, and I believe that. However, my brain is not in a healthy enough place to allow that to be my reality. So if I’m not suffering, is it really success?

Growing Pains

Neurosis aside, I can attribute all my progress to my new growth mindset. Having a growth mindset means that you believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Change isn’t petrifying for you. You can adapt to different situations without much effort. A knowledge gap is a chance for you to learn a new thing. It’s exciting.

You were never stupid and everyone can learn! Photo by Katerina Holmes on

This new world of infinite potential is new to me. Since the pandemic started, people have been changing society’s rules, and I decided that I wanted to change as well. This change required a giant leap away from my usual, fixed mindset.

A fixed mindset is a belief that most things cannot or should not change. People with a fixed mindset believe that most of their abilities and intelligence is innate and can’t be altered. This mindset includes people that question why things are being done differently now. The old ways were doing fine before.

They weren’t grandpa. That’s why they had to change.

I used to rest on my laurels and blame others for my problems and shortcomings. Taking action was never an option until it was practically too late to make a difference. I hated trying. It bothered me even to consider leaving my comfort zone to try and make something of my life. I had dreams, but they were too hard to achieve. It was easier to do nothing and feel sorry for myself.

It felt terrible, and I felt awful. I’m glad I stopped living like this.

Growth or Fixed

Not sure which of these camps you fall into? Ask yourself a couple of these questions.

  • Have you recently tried to learn a new skill or improve a skill you already have?
  • Do other people’s successes inspire you?
  • Do you see the connection between your day-to-day tasks and your larger goals?
  • Are you afraid to admit when you don’t know something?
  • Are you okay with taking risks and possibly failing?
  • When you fail at something, do you reassess and try again?

If the answer is no to most of these questions, you are firmly camped in fixed mindset territory.

Grow Your Mindset

It can be challenging to leave this vast countryside, but it is possible. First, you need to believe that you can change. Without that, all your “effort” will amount to a waste of time. We’re growing, remember. A slight change in perspective can be enough to get you going.

Try to learn from your failures. They happen to all of us. Making a mistake is not a reason to throw your hands in the air and declare yourself to be a hopeless failure. Stop being so dramatic, bubbie. Instead, give yourself a little grace. Mistakes happen. That’s part of life. The key is to find something useful to take away from the situation. Try to learn something new to make things better the next time.

While on the subject of giving yourself grace, be patient with yourself. Learning a new way of thinking can be challenging, and it won’t happen right away. You will stumble along in the beginning. Actively changing your thoughts and actions takes practice and dedication. You didn’t get to be the way you are now overnight, either. Developing a fixed mindset took time. Heading in the other direction will too.

Change can be difficult for everyone to accept but even more so for people with mental health challenges. Remaining positive can be a herculean effort, and I know that. But, every day you still try to battle the monster is a victory. No matter what. The beast may get some small wins, but the long-term fight is yours, friend. Keep trying. Baby steps are still steps. Keep moving forward.

You got this. I love you. Take care.