As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. It’s important to you that your child develops healthy friendships, has a memorable school experience, and achieves their goals and dreams. Providing meaningful opportunities for your child and celebrating their accomplishments goes a long way towards raising their self-esteem and confidence. There is, however, another vital element that can literally make or break whether your child moves forward in life or not: the “success mindset.”
What is a success mindset? A success mindset means that the brain is wired for and prepared to succeed. Success always happens in our minds first before it takes place in our outer lives. Our thoughts can be empowering, motivating us to take action; or they can be disempowering, keeping us stuck. But, no matter how much we may want to give our children a success mindset, we cannot. We can, however, teach them how to develop it within themselves.
Many adults become attuned to their own personal growth and transformation “work” once they have experienced a negative event in their lives: losing a job or a loved one, or gaining an awareness of what they no longer want to settle for in their lives. There’s almost always a trigger that sets off the commitment to improve one’s life. In most cases, this trigger happens in adulthood.
Beginning a journey of personal growth often means that there will be many questions to start reflecting upon, negative beliefs from the past to untangle, and coming face-to-face with the fears that have gotten in the way for so long. Personal growth is not always easy. In many cases, adults learn new tools and strategies—that they never would have discovered before—which help them move forward. Personal growth can be a long (sometimes lonely) journey as an adult, as it can involve looking back a number of years to make sense of a current life situation. It can all be worth it, however, to come out as a better human being, full of promise and possibility.
Now, imagine if children could be taught personal growth and development skills before they reached adulthood. Imagine if children could be taught how to make sense of their current experiences while loving themselves deeply. Imagine if children could learn how to tap into their own inner wisdom for support with the confidence that they can, in fact, be successful. Imagine how empowered children would become as adults if they already had the tools and strategies in place to shift their beliefs, ask for what they want, and believe in their own dreams. And, imagine if these children could spend their adulthood making a powerful difference in the world instead of struggling with negative beliefs, blaming themselves, and shrugging responsibility. What an awesome life experience this would be!
I believe that this is possible. I believe that parents can help develop a success mindset in their children so that their children can have the powerful self-esteem they deserve to have. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher, and this is a role that can never be taken lightly. Achievement in life begins with a mind wired for success. Here are three ways you can nourish a success mindset in your child:
1. Believe in your child’s potential. It’s important that your child knows that you believe in her, no matter what. Your child’s belief in herself will greatly stem from your level of belief in her. Highlight your child’s strengths, and always encourage her to do her best at whatever she puts her attention to.
2. Celebrate your child’s successes. Small successes are just as deserving of celebration as the big ones. When your child experiences success, even on a small level, he sees the possibility of enjoying even more success. Recognize the ways in which your child is doing well and is accomplishing what is important to him.
3. Support your child in moving past mistakes. Mistakes, mistakes…we all make them. We can either dwell on our mistakes and beat ourselves up, or we can find the gifts and the learning in the mistakes and move forward. Teaching your child to not only see mistakes as inevitable, but also as helpful information to learn and grow from, can help them more effectively deal with the ups and downs that life may offer.
Creating opportunities for your child to develop a healthy mindset is probably the greatest gift you can give him or her. It really can be the gift that keeps on giving throughout your child’s entire lifetime. The commitment that you demonstrate as a parent now will reap dividends later for your child in the form of strong belief in their abilities, a “no excuses” approach for reaching goals, and powerful self-esteem that isn’t rattled by the challenges that life may bring.