I'm not really, well, technically.
I am however a little addicted to the gym and that's where I had my champion moment. A fellow regular gym user, who is a ripped and muscular personal trainer, helped me squeeze out the last few reps of the lat pulldown and as he let go said "You're a Champ".
Then something odd happened. I heard my automatic inner response immediately counter with "not with my back, my knees". That's the odd thing. I heard my automated response. And I didn't like it.
What's wrong with considering myself a champ? Do you know what, I'm going to train as if I am. I know I'm not technically a champ and I know it's extremely unlikely I'll ever be a champion bodybuilder, but why should I automatically generate barriers or excuses? I go on about Growth Mindset at school and expect children to use 'yet' on the end of almost every sentence and yet my seemingly innate response is one of reasons why I can't do it. My unconscious inner self is a hypocrite. Well, my hypocritical, excuse generating inner friend, you're not welcome any more. Pass those dumbells.
I wonder how many children already have an inner voice that limits them. How do we, as teachers, ensure that the genuine positive feedback we give them is heard over their inner voice? How do we develop their ability to monitor and control the volume of their inner selves? At what point do children genuinely, internally believe the growth mindset message, rather than just putting a crowd pleasing 'yet' on the end of every sentence?
I don't know the answers (I'm not a champion at this either) but my increased awareness will make sure I consider the internal barriers that both I and others may put up and how we create a genuine Growth Mindset culture within our children.