Years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the State Capitol for an exhibit that featured drawings of kindergarten students. These pictures were their aspirations for their future.
These babies illustrated dreams of becoming nurses, doctors, stay home moms, firefighters and so many other admirable career options. These babies aspired only to do great things. Yet, something happens between their childhood and adulthood that changes their trajectory.
No one starts out with bad intentions in mind but due to their environments, decisions, family, and other influences, some of these children don’t reach their dreams as adults.
If we go back in time to think about our dreams and aspirations, for many of us, we are not doing what we wanted. Life’s challenges and obstacles became a reality. We got discouraged and gave up.
For some of us, others told us that we couldn’t do it and we believed it. It’s so easy to become stuck. For many of us, we are in relationships, jobs/careers, and situationships that are keeping us from moving forward to reach the dreams that we had or even have now.
It’s not those folks or our past that’s the problem. It’s our thinking that contributes to our inability to move forward. Our minds and our thinking are so powerful that no matter how many possibilities may exist, we can convince ourselves to see the worst. We can even experience analysis paralysis.
It is really about the way we see our ability to move forward. Author Carol Dweck in her work discusses the concepts of a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
A fixed mindset is believing that you are born with intelligence and talents. This mindset spends a lot of time proving their intelligence to others. In a growth mindset, it is recognizing that intelligence and talents are a result of work and development.
It is understanding that being good at something is temporary and isn’t a fixed state. Some of us are stuck focusing on what others think and believe about us. Some of us are resting on our laurels and accomplishments. Others of us are allowing the problems of the past to dictate our present possibilities.
Moving forward is understanding who you are and whose you are. Your mindset must be rooted in who God says you are and not your obstacles, problems or even people. A growth mindset helps us to understand that God has purpose for our lives, that with God we can change, we can develop and grow into being who we are called and created to be.
- It’s not based on what others say or think. You must believe: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to them that believe’” (Mark 9:23).
- Watch what you are thinking because your doubt can impact your outcome: “For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:7-8)
- It is understanding that purpose for your life began from the day you were formed. Psalms 139:13-16 states, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
- I must understand that my purpose for my life may not be God’s purpose and I must seek God for it. Psalm 138:8 (ESV) says: “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;” Trust God’s will for your life and know that what God has for you is better than anything you could imagine or wish for your life.
- Don’t get stuck in the past: “Do not call to mind the former things or ponder things of the past. (Isaiah 43:18)
No matter what we’ve gone through, we can’t get stuck. Know that God is using all of those experiences I’ve endured to work it out for my good, but I must believe that. There is too much for us to be, to do, to see, to experience.
Be committed to you, what God has for you and remember, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry Podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit drfroswa.com.