The importance of encouraging a growth mindset in our young people today, an interview with Julie Delucca-Collins


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#025 In today’s podcast, we chat with Julie Delucca-Collins on the importance of mindset in young people and the three recommendations to help you improve it as parents or leaders.  

We discuss the importance of realising the mindset someone has and how it can impact their motivations and overall wellness. Realise that young people have to push themselves and not be afraid of failing.You need to recognise your beliefs and push through the fear and build confidence and try not to pass them on to your children or the young people you are leading. We empathise that the importance of following the mantra of outdoor learning is important “I do, we do, you do”. 

Julie DeLucca-Collins

The importance of encouraging a growth mindset in our young people today, an interview with Julie Delucca-Collins

Podcast Transcript

Julie Delucca-Collins 0:03
One of the things that I find is that when we have a fear or when we have a value system, whether it be good or bad or indifferent or neutral, we tend to pass on those same beliefs and systems and fears or, or excitement to the people around us. So for parents, typically if you have a belief system that the outdoors is not fun, or the outdoors can be challenging or whatever, you know, fill in the blank, then that typically is the same. A thought pattern that your children will have. Hello, and

John Campbell 0:37
welcome to the Inspired and Active podcast is John Campbell here, it’s great to be speaking to you. I’m outdoor enthusiasts, qualified mountain leader and coach. And I’m also passionate about getting more people outdoors. I’m a digital expert, and I work with businesses and coach them to really grow their business to encourage more people to be active outdoors. And this podcast is for businesses to look at growing the business but also to parents to look at how we can get more people and get their children and get their friends or enjoying the outdoors and be more active. Today, I wanted to bring a conversation I actually recorded during our lockdown during COVID When we were discussing mindset and the importance of mindset with Julie DeLuca Collins, a coach that I admire and appreciate and I thought was worth now we’re all opening up. And we’re getting out and about more and really trying to encourage our families and opening up our businesses to get more people outdoors that we would have this conversation. So without any more chat. Let’s get into the conversation. Hope you enjoy it. Hello, everybody. It’s great to be back for another edition of the podcast. And today I’m really pleased to invite Julie DeLuca Collins to the to the podcast. Julie is a life coach based in Connecticut in the States and has a real passion as a coach for all things mindset, all things about achieving goals and really helping people. So welcome Julie to the podcast. Great to see ya.

Julie Delucca-Collins 2:16
Hi, great to see you. John, thank you so much for having me. It is a pleasure and honor to be here.

John Campbell 2:22
No, that’s that’s that’s great. It’s like nice to hear the American tones for an over and then a British I’m based in Scotland and you are based. Maybe you can tell us where you’re based and a bit about yourself. Julie, that’d be great. Just absolutely.

Julie Delucca-Collins 2:34
Absolutely. So thank you ever again, for having me. I am based in Connecticut. I live in the Hartford Connecticut area, which is right in between Boston and New York. I moved here from New York City. I am a city girl through and through. But I moved here for love eight years ago when I got married. And this is home now. So this is what we call New England. And it is a fun place to be because I can well, when we used to be able to go out to cities, right? I could either go to Boston for the day or New York. But there’s a lot of really great areas and towns and the place where I live now. I have been in this journey as a life coach full time now. A little bit under a year I have been doing that. In my in my spare time as well. Prior to leaving a 20 year career in the corporate environment as Chief Innovation Officer for an educational company. I have been in the education industry for a long time.

John Campbell 3:37
No, no, that’s great. And yet no that’s an area of United States that I haven’t been to and we’d love to and it’s it’s great really to have you on board because we’re really looking today we’re looking at a mindset that’s that’s what we really talk about and and mindfulness and and the importance of mindset now. I deal with older older children and specifically teenagers but the really the family we want to look at the importance of mindset to the family is really key. And I’ve done a couple of podcasts where we’ve looked at some of the technical aspects of this earlier on but today we just wanted to have a general chat about the importance of mindset and really what it is and really how, how nature plays a big part on mindset. So you’ve been involved with mindset kind of thinking and coaching for quite a while I think Julie

Julie Delucca-Collins 4:32
Yeah, absolutely. I am certified in his as a holistic coach and cognitive behavioral technique coach. I am also a certified mindfulness teacher, and yoga teacher instructor. So mindfulness and mindset are definitely write in my playground are things that not only do I work with when working with clients, but I also practice in my life and throughout my personal and professional I’ve had a great impact.

John Campbell 5:01
Yeah, no, that’s an holistic coach, maybe what what is that? Right away? Can you? Can you expand on? on that?

Julie Delucca-Collins 5:09
Sure, absolutely. So a holistic coach is someone who understands some of the brain science, but is also looking as a person as a whole. We’re not just focusing on the physicality, there are some coaches that maybe are working specifically, with helping you lose weight, be healthy, or adopt exercise habits into your life. There are some coaches that may be are working with someone, when it comes to career or personal goals. And as a holistic coach, we sort of integrate everything, everything is interconnected. And you cannot separate the brain from the body. And I am a firm believer that the healthier you are in one or the other, you are a more fulfilled in the different areas and it helps you achieve your goals and it helps you move forward into the direction that you want for yourself. So holistic coach takes into account a lot of different things.

John Campbell 6:11
No, no, brilliant. That’s a thanks. Thanks for that. And you mentioned mindset, because mindset and my experience, I’m a sports coach with athletics and rugby and mountain leading, and I’ve taken children’s groups, I’ve taken adult groups, and the difference in just individuals isn’t so much their physical ability. It’s just their whole mindset. They’re really where they are and what they want to do, how can they achieve and the difference between someone who’s a real high achiever and someone who is happy with where they are, but not really progressing? A lot of that we look at mindset, but what do you think mindset? And what’s your, your kind of view and kind of description on what mindset is, if we start maybe kind of rewinding back a bit to what is mindset? And

Julie Delucca-Collins 7:00
yeah, so So most commonly, one of the two areas of mindset that people refer to, are a growth mindset, and also a fixed mindset. And if it’s something that you’ve explored in your show before, you will know that many people tend to fall into one of the two categories when it comes to mindset. As a former educator, as a former teacher, I know that I have seen firsthand how the importance of having a growth mindset, right can actually help people and individual or students or children really be able to achieve, I think the brain is most active. When we’re we win, we are in a growth mindset when we are looking to how we can improve. And we’re asking our brain the right question, right is, oh, I can’t do this, I can’t do this is an example of having a fixed mindset, when you’re already telling yourself that you’re not capable. But asking the question of how can I, then your brain works like a computer, then your brain starts to kind of solve for that, and begin to look at the different possibilities and things that you can do. But a mindset is also key because it takes being mindful and being present and being in the moment also to be able to achieve in growing into having the right type of mindset.

John Campbell 8:24
And then you in your experience of education. And can you look at somebody or work with somebody and very quickly identify where they are between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset is obvious to you.

Julie Delucca-Collins 8:39
Absolutely. So someone who’s going to have a fixed mindset, it’s going to be and I saw this and students right away, right? I’m fixed mindset is going to be someone who is going to be the very discouraged by their setbacks, because they, the setbacks creates a dent in their belief and their ability. And they tend to give up or they tend to become disinterested in what they’re doing. Where someone with a growth mindset. When they encounter some of the challenges and they encounter setbacks. They actually look at them as an opportunity to learn, they tend to try harder, because they want to overcome the problem. And they’re not defeated by a roadblock. They’re actually start to sit back and say, Who How can I do this? And I saw this a lot when I worked with middle school students, that there’s a lot of students that come in, and they’re faced with a challenge and they decide, right, oh, no, it’s too hard or I can’t do that. And I think that the more that we tell ourselves, these negative stories, the more that we believe them and as adults, that continues to be something that hinders us from moving ahead and achieving goals and being the person that we would like to be that we envision that we can be with a growth mindset, asking the right kind of questions and really being able to then go in and believe, you know, for instance, I failed, right? I set out a goal. I didn’t make the deadline, or maybe I fell short. Then you begin to figure out like, Okay, well, what did I learn from that experience? And how can this experience actually help me? Move into the next step?

John Campbell 10:24
Yeah. That’s great. And do you think there’s an age? You see, you can definitely identify them when you’re working with them? And is there a tipping point you think in somebody in a young person’s development? So when they before we before 10? Before 14, they’re quite open, and then they seem to contract their mindset? So it turns from being Alex war, everything to being a bit more cautious? Is there a tipping point, you’re thinking?

Julie Delucca-Collins 10:54
Well, so I have good news. And I also have some bad news? Oh, no, no, I don’t think it’s a bad news. But it’s it’s a fact right? Now, 80% of everything that we will learn in a lifetime typically happens when you are before the age of eight, seven, we typically early childhood, for instance, and the lessons that we begin to have as we’re developing are very important. However, our brain is so amazing, there’s something in that is called neuroplasticity. And basically what it means is that your brain can change, and you have the ability, and neuroscience has shown us that our brains continue to develop and change, even as adults, the old saying Old Dogs can’t learn new tricks is not true, we really can. But we really have to practice this. There’s a lot of pathways that form in our brain at an early age. And we cannot delete those. But what we can do is we can actually create new pathways, and this is habits and creating very intentional new ways of doing things. It’s not going to erase that old pathway of a mindset, but it’s going to create new, new ways of doing things. And we can definitely grow.

John Campbell 12:18
Yeah, that’s good news. For how about breaking bad habits, then, because because what we’re seeing, especially with a young person, when they get into early teens, they’re on they’re on the X boxes, their game stations, the screen time is now a big concern for parents or the amount of screen time and and habits are being formed. And, and that is then stopping them engaging. And we’ll talk about that door shortly. But that is the real one of the real barriers about getting young people out is they’re getting these habits, they’re going on to the station and the and it gets to be maybe there’s a maybe there’s something you can think about addiction is a is an addiction and habit type forming, what’s your view on can be reckless easily?

Julie Delucca-Collins 13:08
Well, I think that with any habits that doesn’t serve as one of the biggest things that is going to happen is that we need to really be able to one, acknowledge what is happening and really be able to recognize that recognition of what the habit is that is not serving us. So for instance, in and here’s the thing in working with, with families, and in my experience with teenagers, a parent can tell a child, right? No, you can’t play video games for eight hours, you can’t do this. But it’s not until the child starts to sort of replace the behavior and has a buy in, in a motivation. And that motivation could be either intrinsic or extrinsic motivation that helps them start to make some of the changes. The other thing is you cannot go from doing one thing to flipping a switch and doing something else. Habits are something that you have you you begin to habit stack that you begin to change in a 1% Because again, our brain doesn’t work like that we have to just be consistent. So for instance, for me, I wanted to increase a habit of water drinking, I knew that I wasn’t getting enough water. I couldn’t go from drinking maybe a few ounces to all the sudden, you know, a gallon of water, right? I had to really be able to create small simple habits and simple changes, and also creating the physical environment where I could make that change. And I think that when we are working with students, children and young people, again, creating the environment that allows them right to to be able to make some of these shifts can help them

John Campbell 14:59
Yeah, no, I think that the point you made about the environment, I think is the key one, because what what wise, I see with the young people I work with, as soon as you get them out of their traditional, or their common environment into something that’s less, they’re less kind of confident in, they have to explore more, they have to connect more they have to, they’re all self consciousness begins to kick in. And I think it’s their self consciousness, and they’re just having to can explore and be more creative, I begin then to see a change in their personality or change in their focus. And I think when we talk about screen time, the, the area that we are concerned with, with inspired and active is the lack of outdoor time. So people are spending longer indoors and and we’re a real advocate for getting people out. outside in nature. And I know you’ve done quite a lot of outdoor work and you’re quite a keen outdoor person where you live as well. sounds really interesting. Are you getting in their door where you live?

Julie Delucca-Collins 16:06
Apps? Absolutely. So I would say, this has been something that I’ve evolved, as I mentioned to you, I’m a city girl. So certainly the outdoors. Growing up was not necessarily something that my mom, I grew up in a single parent home. So my mom was not very keen to the outdoors. But it’s something that I began to learn and appreciation for. And the more that I began to explore it, like you said, change my environment, they began to change my mind and my view and perspective. One of the things that for instance, for me, I am very fortunate where I live, I live in a suburb area of the Hartford, Connecticut area, which is the capital of Connecticut. But within walking distance less than five minutes away, I have two trails that I can actually go out to. And I will say that when I first moved here, although I have enjoyed some hiking and have done some outdoor backpacking and different trips like that, I didn’t necessarily take advantage of the trails right away, right, because in our mind, we create the story like Oh, it’s too hard, or, oh, I need to make the time I’m not going to have enough time to go out. But the importance of being able to be outside and just saying, You know what, I may not have time for an hour hike. But I can go for a few minutes and create an end just giving yourself that 1% change and improvement can help you to level up to make your walks a little longer. But and really setting again, some targets like I would like to be outside for maybe half an hour for this week. What does that mean, if you’re going from not spending any time to all of a sudden, including half an hour, it’s a small change. And that means that you can break down that goal into smaller, more manageable steps. What does that mean? Maybe one day, you go for 15 minutes, and our brain is going to tell us is not enough, oh my gosh, you want to be an outdoor person, half an hour doesn’t cut it? Well, you can’t be an outdoor person if you’re not outdoor at all. So half an hour is better than not right. So those are the small things. And I enjoy the outdoors in the sense that it gives me the clarity at times, the vitamin D sometimes that we all need, especially in the winter months, is very important. Reading, able to reconnect to our senses, when we are inside, we are not necessarily allowing all of our senses to really be in the moment and be present. And that’s something that we can really avail ourselves to sometimes taken a walk and also helped to clear your mind. Yeah,

John Campbell 18:44
no, I think the outdoors and it’s great to hear that because I think that’s what we we really try and develop in young people is an interest in the doors, because they’re their doors in itself. That is it’s an environment that a young person has to explore as an environment, they have to take risks and is the environment they have to maybe go out of their comfort zone. And within reason, we would always try and encourage young people to push themselves. You mentioned earlier that with a growth mindset, trying and not being afraid of feeling is is an important aspect. And outdoors really, really allows that to happen because even tree climbing I’m not sure you have an opportunity to experience tree tree climbing but we’ve woods just behind us in our community. And you used to see loads of kids just mucking about on the trees claiming and exploring. You don’t see that nearly so much. No. And and when you’re out on the hill. I take groups out on the hill just don’t see as many young people out it seems to be something people are coming back to in their older age because I think people are beginning to understand that It’s a real improvement in mindset, it really helps you feel good. It’s, it’s has so many advantages. But that’s not being passed down to the young person. No, I think that’s an important one. I don’t know if you see that in the area that the community you’re living in, but we need to do something to really encourage their own person, because how do you feel that mindset and the younger person getting out? What would your consideration be on that?

Julie Delucca-Collins 20:26
Well, here’s the thing. And I think that, I also see that I don’t see as many children right out and about playing. And I think that there’s so many different reasons, obviously, in our modern environment. But I also think that you we create these stories for our society and for our brains. And that goes back to a little bit of that, that set mindset that, you know, it’s going to be hard to get out to the outdoors, but it’s going to be difficult, and that it requires things, it really doesn’t require anything, and really just requires making the decision to be outside and just enjoying the possibility. I think that also, the other thing that that happens is that we have become so accustomed, and it has become a habit to be indoors, and to maybe just participate in organized sports or be informed in front of video games, that we being on the outdoors, truck claim tree climbing or going for a hike, or anything in that respect, puts people out of their comfort zone. And what happens is that when we are into our comfort, when we are questioned our comfort zone is question our brain immediately goes into the fight or flight state in which the brain is saying danger or danger. This is not something you’re used to. And I think that again, for parents, right as well. Being able to say, Hey, let’s go for a hike. If we haven’t been doing that, if that’s not something that’s part of your routine, then it’s going to, then your brain is going to make up a story that it’s it’s too difficult or too hard to do or, or to whatever, right name, the story name, the belief. And it’s a matter of just saying, Well, why do I believe that? Why do I believe that? It’s going to be hard? Why do I believe that it’s gonna take effort or, or, and being okay, with going back to what I talked about earlier, with the growth mindset, being okay that even if it’s a challenge, even if it’s something hard, there’s something to be learned from the experience. And then once you experience it, you can become better.

John Campbell 22:41
No, I think that’s, that’s not being afraid to take on something hard is and difficult as it is that I believe for a parent especially is quite a challenge. Because my concern really is if parents today are not confident going out there, their children will not be confident and when those children’s are appearance, they won’t be confident either. And there’s there’s also an education and outdoors to enjoy their doors, you really need to kind of understand outdoors. So understand what nature is the environment. And there is a big concern about with an environmental aspect that if we don’t have respect for what’s happening, as an adult, our children are not going to have any respect for the environment, and nature. So it’s Have you got any ideas or suggestions about how what can parents do then to step over this? I don’t have the confidence. I don’t want to do it. So therefore their children aren’t doing it. What would your advice be there?

Julie Delucca-Collins 23:49
Absolutely. So one of the things that I find is that when we have a fear, or when we have a value system, whether it be good or bad, or indifferent or neutral, we tend to pass on those same beliefs and systems and fears or, or excitement to the people around us. So for parents, typically, if you have a belief system that the outdoors is not fun, or the outdoors can be challenging, or whatever, you know, fill in the blank, then that typically is the same thought pattern that your children will have. So I think that if you want to expose children to the outdoors, you need to first begin to question what your thoughts are, what are your beliefs, what are your perspective is on it, and then look at the different benefits of outdoor education because there’s so many benefits that you can take advantage of. So for instance, John, one of the things that I learned at an early age, I actually my mom was on an outdoors person, but I belong to a church group and we took a a trip to the Appalachian Trail in which we went hiking, and the outdoors built come Unity. And that’s one of the great benefits then when you are outside, whether you know someone that you’re hiking in the same path that you, you can build a community and you can have a sense of belonging, and all of us need to have that sense of belonging filled. I think that the other thing too, is that being outdoors, we, we have to understand that the we, we have expectations and standards for kids. And sometimes the kids don’t feel like they’re measuring up. But outdoor education and being outside helps to improve the confidence of students and children, when they see that they can maybe walk a little farther, or if they’re doing some adventure experiences outside, right, they can push a little bit of their limitations and see what they’re capable of doing. And parents can themselves also, if they have some of these fears that we talked about, that they may pass on to their children, if they maybe didn’t test some of these boundaries for themselves, they can show by example, how pushing some of these limitations and gain a little confidence and add a new skill, like maybe a rock climbing for instance, or or you’re going for leisure, water kayaking, or whatnot, then this is a shared experience that you can have together and show your child that you’re never too old to learn new skills and have fun.

John Campbell 26:33
Now, I love that one a shared experience because that that that to me as a family, man, I’ve got four children age range of 14 to 30. And, and it’s all about sharing the experience and going out with my friends family and letting the kids share experiences together. So children learn from children, children, see other children do things, but as families older, so I think that that is a very strong point that sharing experiences is the key one. But as we come to wrapping up, either, I’ll put you on the spot here from what we’ve been discussing. If I were to ask you to give three pieces of advice from what we’ve been discussing for the last half hour, in terms of how do we then get or encourage inspire parents to work specifically with younger people? What should they be doing? What should they be thinking about to make and help our younger people be more focused on growth mindset? And outdoors? What would what would your three pieces of advice be?

Julie Delucca-Collins 27:41
So first, I would encourage parents to be open to the idea that it’s okay to fail. If you are not an outdoors person, but maybe you want to create more connection, and create more of an experience with your family with your children, be okay to say hey, I’ve never gone for a hike. But let’s try it. And it could be a great experience, or it could be a massive failure. But again, you’re not going for the success of actually having this great trip, but you’re going for the actual experience and the memories that you’re building together. If your child sees that you are confident and trying new things, that is going to help them be open to the idea of creating that growth mindset of being okay, right? With learning from whatever experience it might be. So that would be the first thing that I would, I would encourage parents to really be able to do that. The next thing is really don’t say or think you’re going to do it, plan it, do it. Be specific. If you have a goal of spending more time in the outdoors, then your goal is not going to happen unless you actually create a SMART goal. And that means set a date, okay, next weekend, or we’re going to go name that name or adventure rate or we’re going to go for a nature walk, we’re going to go and see something and create a date time and be very clear and say this may be a fun adventure, the whole family’s disconnecting for the day, children will learn from what you do not from what you say. And once you specifically set a time to do something, you may get some grumblings, especially from those teenagers that are going to be disconnected. But again, be present. The present in the moment is so important. I think that sometimes we get into this habit of we want our kids to disconnect, but we ourselves are connected. So we are modeling for for our children, the behavior that maybe we don’t necessarily want them to have. The biggest concept in learning and teaching is I do we do And then you do, and you’re only going to do what we did together and what you saw me doing alone. So that’s going to be something very, very important. And lastly, celebrate your successes, and celebrate how far you know even if you took a cup of kilometer walk, celebrate that and say wasn’t that great? And what did we learn from that experience? And what’s our next goal in be consistent at it? Just because you do it one time doesn’t mean that you’ve learned the skill, and it doesn’t mean that you’ve mastered the outdoors and you’re an outdoor person, it means that you keep showing up, and you keep showing up, and you keep getting better at it.

John Campbell 30:41
No, that’s wonderful, Julie. So good. Three, three great points and a great way to finish this chat. But if if other if people want to connect with you, where would you like them to find more information about yourself and the work you do?

Julie Delucca-Collins 30:56
Sure, absolutely. They can connect on my website, which is Go confidently coaching.com. Or they can find me on the socials Julie DeLuca. Collins and I also have a podcast, which is Casa de conference in which I bring you stories of people who have gone confidently in the direction of their dreams. I

John Campbell 31:14
really hope some people catch up with you and connect with you. And thanks for your time. It was it was really great. And yeah, we wish you all the best in your hiking and your work.

Julie Delucca-Collins 31:24
John, thank you so much for the work that you’re doing. I so appreciate you I think that it’s so needed to be able to provide these opportunities and educational spaces where parents have the support system to go out and not only incorporate better habits for themselves, but also create our better space for humans to grow. And Lauren, so thank you for what you’re doing.

John Campbell 31:51
Thanks, Julie. Thank you for listening to the podcast. I hope you would hit subscribe to this podcast channel that helps us in in gaining more more following and and follow us on Instagram inspired and active and follow me personally on Twitter at John Campbell ie so I look forward to speaking to you in the weeks to come and thanks again.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai