Just over a year ago I fulfilled a life-long dream of becoming a picture book author when Cardinal Rule Press published THIS COULD BE YOU. I, of course, wrote this book with young children in mind, but quickly learned how impactful a picture book can be, even beyond its intended audience.
The main focus of THIS COULD BE YOU is the power of a Growth Mindset, or the belief that we are not limited by our natural talents and skills - we can learn and improve through experience and that failure is not the end of the story. In an attempt to ‘walk the walk’, I carefully tweaked my vocabulary to include important Growth Mindset adages like “Not yet, but I’m still trying” and “What can I learn from that mistake.” I wanted to spread the word in an authentic manner. Before long, though, the wisdom of this philosophy took hold and these phrases became part of my internal dialogue. Embracing a Growth Mindset was affecting my view of the world. I soon found myself discovering new possibilities and believing in my ability to achieve new heights. It wasn’t just talk.
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I began to accept and even seek out opportunities that I hadn’t believed myself capable of in the past. I have spoken on conference panels, given key-note speeches, and participated in numerous television and podcast interviews. I have quieted the inner dialogue that once said, “Who are you kidding?” or “You’ll fail” and instead remind myself that others are not there to judge me and ‘practice doesn’t make perfect’, but ‘leads to improvement.’ I now enjoy these experiences and revel in the fact that I might be helping others do the same.
Now, I frequently hear comments from adults like, “My workplace could use a little more Growth Mindset” and “I wish more adults would listen to this.” Not only do we need adults to embrace this philosophy in order to empower children, but to enhance their own lives as well. This realization has and will continue to affect my messaging. Everyone - kids and adults alike - faces failure and struggles to persevere at times. Approaching life with a Growth Mindset is an effective way to keep pushing.
My audience has grown to include not only educators, parents, mental health professionals, and other care-givers but anyone who will listen, including fellow authors. We all need to tweak our inner dialogue - after all, we talk to ourselves more than anyone - so be kind.
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Cindy Williams Schrauben writes books for kids ranging from truly serious to seriously silly. As a former teacher, administrator, and children’s museum developer, empowering kids has always been her thing.
When not writing, working with other authors, or honing my craft, Cindy is probably dissecting her grandsons’ shenanigans for story ideas, reading on the floor in the bookstore, or eating ice cream… ideally all at once.
Cindy loves sharing the message, “It’s never too late to realize a dream.” What’s next for Cindy? Illustrating her own picture book… so, come along and dream with her!