A little better than yesterday

The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.                   -Unknown

Being of a growth mindset, I am always looking for new ways to improve myself and my practice. I scour social media, blog posts, and scholarly articles among other things not only to fuel my fire as a learner but also to make sure I don’t fall into the abyss of stagnation. The drive to grow and better myself is very strong. I am lucky to be surrounded with people of a similar mindset that push and challenge my thinking.

This being said, it is easy to fall into a trap. The trap that makes you feel not quite good enough. The trap that makes you second guess yourself and sometimes question whether you are doing the very best for the kids you see everyday. As I have mentioned before, I am a recovering perfectionist. I have a hard time remembering that as long as I am moving forward and continuously learning, it is enough. As long as I model the behavior I seek from students and colleagues, it is enough. As long as I am willing to move out of my comfort zone and take a risk, it is enough. Because at the end of the day I need maintain my composure. I need to be a wife and mom. I need to drive to soccer practice and read a book for pleasure (How long has it been?). I need to be content with the hard work I put in and the learning students are demonstrating.

This struggle to be happy with what we are doing as educators compounded with the desire to keep moving forward is a difficult balance for me. I manage it the best that I can, but there are moments when I feel inadequate. Deep down I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. When I look at those around me, I want to use every wonderful idea that crosses my path.

The quote that appears above has helped me when I have felt I could be giving more. As long as I am working to be better than yesterday, how could I expect anything else? When put so simply, the answer is plain. But we all know that it is not black and white, not so easy to quiet the brain for a bit and feel satisfied. Being realistic yet growth minded about accomplishments and future goals is a skill we teach to our students, but do we practice it ourselves? Or do we set the bar so high that ‘good enough’ is unattainable?

I know my growth mindset is essential to my career, but I can’t allow it to get out of hand because…

The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.                   -Unknown

And it’s good enough.

 

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