I have been swimming for the past 20 years, but I never consider myself a swimmer. To my mind, swimmers are people who were on a swim team when they were young, know how to gracefully flip around at the end of the lane, and when they get out of the pool, don’t look ridiculous hopping on one foot trying to get water out of their ears.
I swam 2K (1.2 miles) as a part of the Kinneret Swim4Sadna last Friday. And I am finally starting to shift my self-perception.
There are so many things that we tell ourselves we are not.
We are not sporty. We are not good with numbers. We are not decisive.
We might have many things in our family realm that we say we aren’t good at either. We are not patient enough with our kids. We are not great cooks. And when it comes to helping anyone with a technical problem they are having on their computers, best pass that assignment on to someone else.
We might have a fixed sense of who our kids are and are not, too. While they might be gifted in lots of different ways, they are not serious enough, compassionate enough, and thank goodness the school year is over, because they aren’t very good at math.
On the one hand, becoming soulful parents is about embracing who we are and the God-given qualities we were born with. When we grow in that awareness, we grow in self-acceptance. And that helps us come to terms with all the things we might not naturally come by.
But on the other hand, becoming soulful parents doesn’t allow us to stay fixated on who we are not. Becoming soulful parents and people is about potential, opportunity, and growth. It’s about becoming.
For us parents it means to not refuse the invitation to go on a camping trip because we have the fixed perception we are not the outdoorsy types. It means taking a long and deep breath before reacting when something sets us off at home, even when we peg ourselves as short-tempered.
For our kids it means to continue to invite them to take part in the activities we may have given them a pass on. Invite them to take a bit more responsibility with a task at home, even though they don’t always follow through. Invite them to be the ones to give you exact change at the store, even though they find math hard.
Becoming means the possibility for growth and reacting differently the next time around. It means setting a goal for ourselves and then slowly, slowly (lap after lap, in my case with swimming) growing in the confidence to move ourselves out of who we never thought we were to who we may still become.
While we can’t be certain what will impact our kids and their growth, our attitude toward them, and moving from a fixed mindset to a becoming one is a great place to start. And summertime is the perfect time to embrace our shift in thinking.
So let’s also ask ourselves, where are we, Ayeka?
- What is one area of your own life where you have a fixed mindset and you want to adopt a becoming one?
What is getting in your way from making the shift?
What is one small step you can take in the days or weeks ahead to shift that perspective?
Adopting a becoming mindset is always an option. Try it for yourself and for your kids this summer. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
In the meantime wishing you blessings for the journey,