Don't be afraid to go for it!

Here at Winning Scotland Foundation we encourage young people to develop themselves by taking up new challenges, being resilient, trying to be the best they can be, and not being afraid to make mistakes. 

Through this, you can change your attitude to life and increase personal development. I am a true believer in these attributes along with growth mindset theory.

However, how easy is to be the best you can be and develop yourself if you are not sure what your interests are and or what you want to do?

I think this is a difficult question for most people including myself. I have been asked ‘what do I want to do well in?’ on several occasions and found it difficult to answer. So I started wondering why is it so hard to find things you like and you want to develop your skills in.

Is it courage, pride and expectations that affect our choices? From our early years, we are influenced by our parents’ and society’s expectations of us and their view on what’s best. Consequently, we can enter adolescence and adulthood with a vision of ourselves which in many cases doesn’t correlate with who we really are.  However, we can follow those expectations because they feel like a safe option and the best thing to do. After a couple of years of doing something you are not sure about, the crisis may hit. Then you start thinking ‘Am I in the right place? Am I doing what I really want to do?’. To resolve this can take some self-reflection. It is a difficult art to discover who we are, not who we, and others, would like us to be. My solution for that would be to take the pressure off trying to be successful and give yourself space to try new things and have courage to let past expectations go. Then you will have a chance to uncover and develop new skills.

In my own life, I decided to be brave and try something different. At the moment I am tackling pole dancing. Even after a tough first experience where I wasn’t as good as other classmates, where I managed to get bruises, a swollen ankle, wrists and even aching fingers, I still want to give it a try. The worst case scenario is that I will discover I don’t enjoy it and I can take it off my list of new skills that I want to work on. But I will still learn something about myself which is the biggest prize I can gain – experience and a clear mind about I might achieve.

I think that everyone has a desire to discover and build a better self. Everyone wants that incredible feeling of surprise when you do something you thought you couldn’t. Give yourself a chance to discover and develop talents. Once you do it, work hard to not waste that opportunity. That is my growth mindset.


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