FIXED MINDSET people are those who think that talents are fixed, they are scared to take risks and challenges because they are afraid to FAIL. I've always been a FIXED MINDSET when it comes to speaking up and presenting. I've always labeled myself as quiet and shy person. Ever since I was little, during parent teacher conferences, my teachers would say that I have to participate more and speak up. I've recognized this weakness, I've tried to work on it, but I have never completely been successful. Since then I've given up. However, when I joined the IA and begun to gain confidence within my peers I started to speak up more and more. I feel comfortable with them and in some of my other classes, nonetheless, I still struggle with this problem outside of the IA. Like I mentioned in a previous blog, at first when I went to the different colleges it was hard for me to open up and have an ongoing conversation. I'm introverted, that's for sure, and in my mindset I've always let pass my weakness excusing it as a characteristic of INTROVERTS.
As I arrived to school for my last first day I was EXCITED to start with IA. I wanted to meet the new innovators, work with them, and continue building wonderful memories in the IA like last semester. We had a quick introduction and then started to brainstorm in groups. While brainstorming at first about the problems I held myself back. Just like the new innovators I sat down in a chair as Daniela wrote down ideas in the board. The environment was D E A D. No motivation, energy and nearly anyone speaking up. As I watched this happen something hit me, I can't explain what it exactly was, but I felt that I needed to speak up, I had great ideas and I wasn't sharing them. I had to keep the energy I felt in the beginning ongoing. So I stood up and begun to share ideas. I stood in front of the class next to Giss and DD, I encouraged the new people to give ideas and I also wrote them in the glass. I have to admit, at the beginning it felt weird, this was something new for me, nothing the traditional Drew would really do. Probably it was the fact that they were younger that gave me the guts to do this, anyway it helped me come out of my shell and prove to myself that I can do it and it's very cool. I was growing my MINDSET.
I've always been a silent leader, when in small groups I love to lead and share my thoughts. However, I've never thought on expanding this in larger groups. Once I got comfortable I was doing it very well. I realized that a leader doesn't only guide by talking and sharing thoughts with others (loud way), but at times they also setback and listen. I'm a very good listener, in class I might no participate as much, but I am always listening and processing this information. I had the listening skill I just have to work on the speaking up skill. I felt tremendously proud of myself for taking on this challenge the first day of school.
Everything was going well after brainstorming the first PROBLEMS. We had a better direction and everyone had a role. However, while researching DD, Gis and I felt that we weren't beign as PRODUCTIVE as we could. So we had A TALK with the group. I felt dragged, the motivation was still not at its HIGHEST. We got everyone together and told them that IA is not the same as any of their previous school years. We understood that it was their first day in the IA, but they had to know that no one is ever gonna tell you to do something or to work. You have to find work to do, you have to participate, you have to speak up if you don't like something, and you have to take INITIATIVE. It was hard, for me at least. It was my first time taking leadership and now I had was having a VERY important talk with the new members. I felt empowered, I loved the idea that I was inspiring them. Also, I felt that we needed to talk to them because they weren't getting an accurate taste of what the IA is like. The IA is motivation, is having fun, learning while doing and collaborating. I felt that after this TALK the environment totally fliped AROUND. The most quiet people in the class were taking initiative, they were participating and offering to take on rolls.
The end of the day was extremely productive, we fill any came up with three solid problems and solutions. Then on wednesday even though it was a short day we advanced even more. People were very into their roles and everyone was collaborating, not a single person felt unmotivated or left out. I was so excited I got to meet with people in different grades, get to know their talents and even become friends. I spend the entire day working on the presentation with Valentina, at first she was shy, but when she sat with me and I listen to her ideas I got inspired. She had amazing input and had great problem solving skills. I encouraged her to present and share all those ideas she mentioned to me with everyone.
It has been an amazing first week. I learned a lot about myself and I begun on growing my MINDSET as I took on new CHALLENGES. If you are the kind of person who has a fixed mindset I encourage you to take you weakness and challenge yourself, I promise that it will make a difference once you work on it and you realize it that you can DO BETTER.