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My Personal Journey: Balancing Work, Life, and Parenting with Mindfulness and Growth Mindset

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

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As an academic and a parent, I've faced my fair share of challenges in trying to balance my professional life, my son's tennis aspirations, and the numerous other work and life responsibilities that come my way. My 13-year-old son is passionate about tennis and has been working hard to become one of the best in our region, with hopes of obtaining a university scholarship. The world of professional tennis is incredibly competitive, so for now, we're focusing on helping him reach his immediate goals and enjoy the journey.

Through it all, I've discovered the transformative power of mindfulness and adopting a growth mindset. These two concepts are the foundations of how I'm living my life with greater ease and resilience.

How Mindfulness Has Helped Me

Incorporating mindfulness into my daily routine has made a significant impact on how I manage stress and maintain balance in my life. By practicing mindfulness, I've learned to be present and fully engaged in each moment, whether it's working on a research project, spending time with my family, or driving my son to his tennis practice.

This awareness and presence of mind have allowed me to manage my time more effectively and prioritize what truly matters. Mindfulness has also helped me develop greater emotional resilience, making it easier to handle the inevitable ups and downs of balancing work and family life.

How Adopting a Growth Mindset Has Benefited Me

Both my husband (who is also an academic) and I strongly believe in the power of hard work, which has made it easy for us to instil this value in our son. Adopting a growth mindset has been pivotal in redefining my approach to challenges and setbacks. This mindset promotes the idea that our abilities and intelligence can be nurtured through dedication and hard work, leading to meaningful changes in our lives. By embracing this perspective, I've come to see obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning, instead of insurmountable barriers.

As an academic, this mindset has helped me persevere through the rigorous demands of research and publishing. As a parent, it has taught me to model resilience and determination for my son, while also fostering a sense of curiosity and a love of learning in his own pursuits. In supporting his tennis aspirations, the growth mindset has allowed us both to celebrate his progress and view setbacks as stepping stones to future success.

The Synergy of Mindfulness and Growth Mindset

Together, mindfulness and a growth mindset have become the pillars of my work-life balance. They have enabled me to navigate the complexities of being an academic, a supportive parent to my aspiring tennis player, and managing all the other responsibilities in my life with greater ease and confidence.

By embracing these principles, I have found a sense of purpose and fulfilment in each aspect of my life, allowing me to be a more present and effective parent, partner, and academic. They have taught me the importance of continuous growth, adaptability, and maintaining a healthy perspective in the face of life's challenges.

So far, my personal journey…

Has shown me that mindfulness and a growth mindset are powerful tools for managing the delicate balance between work and family life. By sharing my experiences, I hope to inspire others who face similar challenges and remind them they are not alone in their journey. With a mindful approach and a growth-oriented mindset, we can all navigate the complexities of work and life with grace, resilience, and a sense of fulfilment.

Recommended Resources

Here is a short list of recommended books and other resources regarding growth mindset and mindfulness for parents and junior elite athletes.

Hi! I'm Dr. Marina Silva-Opps. If you're hungry for more insights on academic career success, career reinvention, time management, productivity, and personal development, visit my LinkedIn profile and website, where you can explore a wealth of additional content. And remember, I'm here to help!


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