Perfectionism and Embracing Struggles

The Struggle is Real – So Let’s Celebrate It! 

Carol Dweck says that a constructive topic to bring up at the dinner table is “what did you struggle with today? what will you struggle with tomorrow?” Make it normal, understandable and common to struggle. Research shows that praising struggles and mistakes is what helps people create a growth mindset.  She also mentions that athletes who ended up becoming stars were not the best athlete growing up.  The people who were #1s as a child coasted on their natural ability.  Athletes who started off as #1 who did not learn about the power of struggling or how to work through struggles were more likely to give up before succeeding – they did not know how to continuously work hard to achieve goals.


Place Value on Effort

Although I want to believe I have a growth mindset, I can’t help but realize there were times in my life when I had a fixed mindset.   For example,  I chose Sociology as a major during my undergraduate studies instead of psychology because I was too afraid that I would struggle through anatomy and physiology. Crazy that a class could scare someone so much. I remember my first gymnastics meet – at 5 years old, I begggggged mom to tell my teacher I was sick so I didn’t have to do it. I don’t know if it was due to my shyness, or due to the fact that I was afraid that I wasn’t as good as the other kids, but I hope that if that ever happens to my kids I’ll be able to guide her to take the chance and do your best because that’s what’s most important and we can be praised for that.

Dweck goes on to say that even though we don’t realize it – we might come from a fixed mindset as many of us grow up thinking if you’re really good at something, you shouldn’t have to work hard at it.  “Everything important in life requires huge amounts of effort over long periods of time.  If effort makes you feel inadequate you’re at a huge disadvantage.”

The Duck Metaphor

Everything is a process and people (adults and kids) need to be reminded of that.  Many times it might seem like people are not even trying but Dweck says that there are people who look like they’re not “paddling” but actually underneath are actually paddling feverishly.  They do this so that it seems like everything is coming naturally to them because in their eyes goals are attained effortlessly and aren’t something that people work towards.  More and more people are doing this and it’s having a harmful effect on the people who are doing it because they have to live up to this “expectation” that they think people have of them that they don’t aren’t working hard when they actually are – and it’s also damaging to others who don’t understand that this is taking place and thinking that everyone else is effortlessly “perfect.”

All the research shows that in order to live a peaceful life what we think, say, and do should all be in sync.  If we are all honest and not afraid to admit that it’s ok to struggle,  it would even out the playing field a bit and also let those who are trying to keep up this image feel a bit of relief.


Life in Riverdale – the nice part of the Bronx!

I’m finally somewhat settled into my Riverdale apartment.  I am LOVING Riverdale.  When I first moved into my apartment I was thinking, wow – if I had to put down everything I wanted in an apartment that would really matter to me I would’ve described this studio exactly.  It’s big enough for me to have a separate section for my queen-sized bed.  It’s got a really cute kitchen, not just an area for stove and sink – it’s sectioned off and has an bar-like area where I put stools – so that’s my eating area and I don’t need to waste room with a table.  I always dreaded buying couches – but my landlord left him – which was a bonus!  The only part of it I would change if I had to pick something would be the bathroom – it is very blue.  It most likely hasn’t been updated since the 70s.

When I saw the ad for this apartment, it was also for sale.  I’ve been seriously thinking about buying it when the lease is up.  Just this morning I was thinking about that – how cool is it that I got to test out the property I want to buy?  Not many people can do that.  I have a chance to test out the neighbors, the building, the parking situation, the neighborhood situation.  So far everything passes my test with flying colors.  When you come from a small town there is a certain respect that you expect from people and Riverdale lives up to that.  Additionally, I’m walking distance from Van Cortlandt Park.  That is awesome because I missed having my Nomahegan Park so close.  It’s almost like that was also on my list of requirements – must be walking distance to a good park.  I’ve actually said that in the past – so it really is a requirement.

Unlike most other places in New York – there is NO alternate side parking.  This is SO great!  And not only that, there’s actually spots!  There have been plenty of times when I quickly found a spot right in front of the building.  I’m so thankful to my parents for letting me borrow their car while they aren’t using it and I get settled.  There are plenty of places that are walking distance or accessible by bus or train – but having a car just helps make things quicker and easier – especially when I have to carry stuff.

So far I have a few favorites:

  • sushi spot – Aoyu Sushi (sushi melts in my mouth) – I actually have to tell a story about this place.  When I came to see the apartment with the realtor – I decided to make a pitstop to visit a “friend” who lives in the area.  This “friend” makes me completely lose my appetite but knows I love sushi so he ordered a ton from this place.  I could barely eat it and he was so confused because I said I was hungry – and it’s the best sushi ever so wtf?  Well, I finally got to try the other day and now I’m kinda mad at myself for wasting that sushi on that rainy evening.
  • bar to watch a game or grab a quick drink – Jake’s  Bianca and I have come here a few times and it’s a cute small spot.  We’ve gotten the Reuben a couple times which was delicious.  The last time we went we had the French Dip with mozzarella and it was amazing.
  • grocery store (when unable to get to Trader Joe’s) – Garden Gourmet (lots of delicious, unique, organic goodies)  The other day it was a freakish 60 degrees in the early morning – so I decided that I needed bread and would wake up early to get a workout in and walk to the grocery store.  I’ve been meaning to check this place out, but almost forgot about it.  Instead I originally planned on going to the Stop & Shop across the street.  Change of plans when I realized how close I was to Garden Gourmet.  They have a ton of great things, one unique item I bought was some sorta chia pudding cup.  I haven’t tried it yet, it better be good – it was $3.
  • church – St. Margaret’s – I love this little church mainly because it’s so much like the church I grew up going to – St. Theresa’s in Kenilworth.  They use the same books so I think that helps.  I actually used to travel all the way to the UES because a colleague told me about a church she went to up there and highly recommended it.  I liked it – but being that it was so far I didn’t make it there as often as I wanted to.

Still would like to find a really good nail salon.  The reason why I’ve slacked in that department is because I LOVE the nail salon I go to on West 72nd Street, Nail by Young.  (Yes, singular Nail – that’s how it’s spelled at the location.)  Young is one of the sweetest NYC people I’ve met – especially for a business owner.  She is so down to earth and you can tell she really cares about her staff and customers.  So many times you go to a nail salon and there are always new people working – not at this place.  There are some technicians that have been there for 10 years.  That says a lot!

This is the perfect little quaint neighborhood for me.  I wonder how long I’ll live here for…

Here’s a video of me sledding for the first time down a hill on 231st street https://goo.gl/photos/KATsnEd5QNs5Hjy76