The idea of writing a blog wasn’t even on my radar screen until last November when I started to use Twitter for professional development. I am fascinated by all of the great thoughts and ideas that people share on Twitter, and by reading the many blogs that are posted daily I’ve been able to deepen my knowledge and understanding of countless topics through the reflections of other educators and learners in my PLN. Over the months since I’ve been on Twitter, I’ve often thought that I should start a blog. Sharing my ideas in 140 characters is great, but I often feel that I want to write more—share my ideas with more depth, more detail.
Despite my best intentions, and the strong encouragement of the bloggers in my PLN, I’m still not sure if I really am ready to write a blog—posting my innermost thoughts for all the world to see is frankly a little intimidating. And even though I know that it won’t really be “all the world” (in fact I’ll probably be lucky if even one or two people actually read this at all) I’m still intimidated.
I’ve been reflecting on this feeling for several days, and think that part of what’s holding me back is a matter of trust. When I’m engaging in a verbal conversation with others, I know who the people are who are hearing my message, and can judge the impact my words may or may not have on them. If I know them well and trust them, I might be more forthcoming with my thoughts, but if I’m speaking with someone I don’t know as well, I am naturally more guarded with what I share. A blog is meant to be reflective, but for me, my reflections are very personal—not something I choose to share with a wide audience, at least not with people I don’t know or trust. To put my words out into the world is for me a huge leap of faith. I don’t want to be guarded with what I write, but I’m not yet comfortable just spilling my guts for all the world to read.
Another thing that’s holding me back is a fixed mindset. I’ve had the good fortune this summer to be part of a book study about Carol Dweck’s book Mindset (#Mindset13), and I’m learning a lot about myself as a person and as a leader through that experience. Even though I think I have a growth mindset about my students and staff, and even myself as a leader, I am discovering that I have a fixed mindset when it comes to who I am as a person. In my reluctance to blog, I haven’t been able to give myself permission to be less than perfect—or to show my less-than-perfect self to the world. Instead of taking the opportunity to improve by trying something new, I’ve been afraid to be judged as less than smart. As Dweck says in Chapter 2: “The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to already be.” I’m afraid that by blogging people will see that I don’t know everything about everything (which sounds silly even to me!), or that I won’t have a well-enough-developed opinion about something to be able to share it. My challenge: to move past this fixed mindset, and try something new and difficult in order to grow.
So. Here I am, ready to take a leap of faith—to trust that my words in the world will be well-received, and when they aren’t, to be prepared to learn and grow from the experience. I am determined to blog—to take my learning to the next step, and to join the 21st century as a leader and a learner. Wish me luck on my journey!