What does a positive mindset look like and how do we go about achieving it? | Portsmouth High School

What does a positive mindset look like and how do we go about achieving it?

As we approach our Positivity Week at the junior school I have been asking myself some questions about the meaning of what we are trying to achieve. What does a positive mindset look like and how do we go about achieving it? The project is trying to promote resilience and grit, but what does this actually mean?

In his presentation earlier this term Brian Marian talked about the difference between being positive and happy. Happiness is something that is transient and feeling that we should always be in this state can put us under undue pressure. It is easy to feel stressed because we are unhappy and then this leads to further ill feeling because we believe we should be. Nobody can be happy all of the time and it is how we deal with it that allows us to bounce back from adversity quickly or slowly. A positive person can pick out the rays of light that will lead back to a situation where we are thriving rather than surviving.

I asked myself some searching questions about how this can apply to young people. How often have we said to them I just want you to be happy? Or simply are you happy? This

can be reframed into questions about the positive things happening in their lives and some strategies on how to deal with adversity. This brings us onto resilience and the realisation that it ties in directly to positivity.

It is a well-documented phenomenon that we all learn faster through having to struggle. Carol Dweck’s growth mindset suggests that we need to descend into a pit where we struggle to understand before climbing out of it through grit and determination. This leads us to gain much stronger comprehension of the problem than if something comes to us easily. Appreciating this is happening and using it to inspire us gives a positive approach, completing the connection between my original questions.

There is an old saying that everyone will have heard before. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. By following this mantra not only will all of us learn and develop, we will be more positive as a result. Perhaps my father did know what he was talking about when I was fourteen after all.

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