Grit, Growth and Perseverance
Grit, a growth mindset, and perseverance are mental ‘muscles’ that develop a repeated practice of failing, learning, and improving. Goal directed perseverance is the ongoing effort of moving towards a desired goal, falling and getting back up, failing and learning, struggling and growing, while still progressing. Goal directed perseverance starts with setting clear intentions and then aligning them with a plan of action to achieve that desired outcome. Through the EEC Coaching Process, clients begin with developing a clear vision of who they want to be. They then construct a roadmap aligned with their strengths, interests, responsibilities, and priorities. Perseverance and grit are developed when it starts to get hard, and the excuses and inattentiveness want to change directions and do something newer and easier, and more enjoyable. Goal directed perseverance starts when the ADHD tendencies take over and want to change directions, or when things start to feel too boring and mundane or too hard.
Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck studies human motivation - why some people succeed and others don’t - and the factors within our control to foster success. Her research regarding a fixed versus a growth mindset, and their difference in outcomes is incredibly powerful. She found that a fixed mindset can keep us from learning and growing. Someone with a fixed mindset views their traits as inherently stable and unchangeable over time. Parents and teachers reward bright children by showering praise and acknowledging their smartness, which leads to a fixed mindset. In contrast, someone with a growth mindset views intelligence, abilities and talents as learnable and capable of improvement through effort. When you develop a growth mindset, you believe you can increase the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed, which makes every challenge a learning opportunity.
A fixed mindset statement like “I can’t learn math” can be changed into a growth mindset statement like “I can learn to get better at math.” Given the numerous obstacles presented in school and life, a growth mindset can be a powerful tool as students with executive function deficits strive to become the best version of themselves.
Assess your Growth Mindset
Developing a growth mindset about school and life starts by understanding that school and life are inherently difficult and complex. The goal is to make school and life easier by bringing purpose and meaning to life and school. This helps shift perspective and mentality to be more prepared to face the obstacles in their life. Unfortunately, too many students and young adults see adversity as problematic and strive to avoid adversity. In striving for the easy path, clients unintentionally discover that their course of least resistance does not match their inherent strengths, goals, and desires. Fear and doubt can arise when life gets too hard, and failure is not perceived as an opportunity for learning and feedback.
Dr. Murphy’s Pro-parenting tip: Embracing Failure and Taking Risks
At EEC, the application of Effective Effort is built on a few core principles:
- Life is hard! But we can learn to make it easier and more enjoyable
- We will also help you develop grit and a growth mindset
- Harness your strengths - Developing life-based strengths and interests can lead to greater success and happiness
- Failure is feedback - It is an important learning tool
- Using a calendar promotes effective decision-making and anchors goals and intentions within time and space
- ADHD is a gift!
- A disability is NOT a limitation
- Writing things down is a powerful first step in getting things done
- Goal-directed perseverance is a muscle that grows with time and attention
Eat the Frog! - train yourself against procrastinating
The definition of Effective Effort is the process of forming clear intentions, developing a personalized roadmap and action plan, and cultivating goal-directed perseverance toward becoming the best version of yourself.
Overcoming (Dis)abilities - Growth Mindset & Goal-Directed Perseverance
It can be overwhelmingly difficult for so many students and adults to live with complex mental, medical or emotional conditions such as ADHD, NVLD, autism, depression, Executive Function Disorder, or a twice exceptional (2e) profile. Every day can feel chaotic. There are constant unmet expectations, both in school and in the greater management of life. With the right mindset and consistent attention to the desired outcomes, students and adults rise above their disabilities and become the best version of themselves. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Meet Nick Vujicic to witness an excellent example of what happens when we utilize a growth mindset and goal-directed perseverance to follow our innate strengths.
“The challenges in our lives are there to STRENGTHEN our CONVICTIONS. They are NOT there to run us over.” ― Nick Vujicic.
Hard Choices, Easy Life. Easy Choices, Hard Life.
Doing what feels good or easy at the moment is not always aligned with desired outcomes. A student who is unmotivated to study may find out the hard way they should have studied anyway. The college student who procrastinates on long-term projects then becomes overwhelmed when all the work piles up. Through the dynamic EEC Coaching Process, students and adults learn to apply strategies of GRIT and PERSEVERANCE to make better decisions and move towards desired goals. This mental fortitude is not easy to develop - it may feel impossible to break old habits like procrastination or to develop new habits like active study skills or completing homework. But for most teenagers and young adults, the outcome of this effort is worth it. Through the consistent application of goal-directed perseverance, clients learn to consistently follow their roadmap. They learn to apply deliberate attention to their priorities and anchor their planning and decision-making within the framework of their personal goals and intentions. This process is not easy and takes time and practice. As clients engage in the EEC Coaching Process, they realize how much more manageable life is - better grades, less stress, and greater confidence. Our coaches hear clients attest that they are “working smarter, not harder” for the first time in their lives.
Goal-Directed Perseverance: Focus on Strategies to “Work Smarter, not Harder” in School and in Life
Clients come to us feeling overwhelmed and stressed about school and life. They are working hard to catch up, trying their best to meet expectations but chronically falling short due to constant procrastination, poor planning, time management, and emotional dysregulation. Through the Academic Coaching Process, students learn strategies to manage learning and other challenges in life. Through the ADHD Coaching Process, students and young adults with ADHD develop their executive function skills to treat their ADHD and bring balance to life.
- Consistent homework habits build study skills. It’s hard to develop active study habits without a constant process of managing the daily homework.
- Zero Zeros: A mindset to help keep up with homework every day. No Excuses.
- Active engagement in the learning process is a smart way to increase attention and grades.
- Self-advocacy: School is difficult, but you can learn to make it easier by asking for help.
- Library time is a scheduled commitment to keeping up with the learning in college.
- Define your priorities in life - personal, family, and professional
- Develop a consistent roadmap
- Manage the medical needs of ADHD
- Use consistent tools and strategies to improve my attention, mood, and productivity.
- Exercise and sleep promote attention, mood, and decision making
- Cultivate your strengths and interests