Johnson Law Group - March 2020

FAMILY FORUM

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720.452.2540

MARCH 2020

How Our Mindsets Shape Our Lives

S pring is finally here again! I don’t know about you, but all winter long, Genet and I have been looking forward to resuscitating our vegetable garden. Last spring, my good friend, Jason Pacheco, invested weeks of time and labor with me to custom-build an enclosed raised garden bed in my backyard, and I’ve been hooked on gardening ever since. (Thank you, Jason!) Over these last few years, I’ve picked up completely new hobbies that have significantly enriched my life and given me new appreciation for things that I previously knew very little about. I’ve come to understand that our beliefs (the stories we tell ourselves about

Genet has said she has a fixed mindset. She knows exactly what she’s good at and takes pride in staying in those lanes. If you need something organized or written well, or if you need specific tasks accomplished, she will put significant effort into completing them effectively. At the same time, she hesitates to take on certain tasks she feels are outside the scope of the strengths she recognizes in herself. Until very recently, I also would have said I have a fixed mindset. I would have told you that there are certain things I’m good at, and those are the things I prefer to do when given the choice. But recently, I’ve experienced a shift toward having more of a growth mindset.

This all started two years ago, when Genet and I stayed at a hotel with nice art hanging on the walls. I looked at the

ourselves, such as who we are, what we can do, and how we want to live our lives) matter a great deal to our personal growth. Much of the research on personal growth mindsets comes from Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, who wrote the 2006 bestseller, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” According to Dweck, each of us manifests one of two mindsets from an early age: fixed or growth.

paintings and thought, “I want to do that.” So, on the drive back home, we stopped and bought some painting supplies, and I began watching dozens of YouTube videos teaching me how to paint. At that time, my

only hobbies were working out and playing basketball.

Before that day, I’d never even picked up a paintbrush before, and here I was spending hours painting landscapes in the garage. (Genet was really shocked!) Somehow,

Someone with a fixed mindset views their character, intelligence, and creative ability as fixed traits that do not change, and thus, this person steers away from cultivating new facets in those categories. Meanwhile, someone with a growth mindset believes that with effort and patience, they can cultivate new facets of their character, intelligence, and creative ability, and they attempt this without fear of failure. I love this quote from Dweck’s book: “When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world — the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.”

what fueled me more than how I thought the painting looked was the fact that I was getting to experience myself in a new light. Developing a growth mindset has given me a new perspective on who I am and who I can be. A few months ago, I wrote a book for the first time. My book is called, “Overboard: How to Avoid Sinking in Your Colorado Family Law Case,” and it provides the reader with helpful strategies to maximize the outcome in their Colorado family law case. Writing “Overboard” was a big undertaking and sacrifice. I’m hopeful it will be a valuable resource for many family law litigants in our community.

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