This post is inspired by Day 7: Focus On Priorities of my book, Confidently You. I want to start by acknowledging that there are several types of mindsets. Psychologist, Stanford University Professor, and the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck, describes a growth mindset as people believing that their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others). As a result, they tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). In addition, growth mindset professionals put more energy into learning. However, I perceive that practicing a growth mindset is helpful while working on keeping your skills recharged.
Our careers often challenge us to choose a growth mindset over a fixed mindset for many of us. A growth mindset requires us to shake up our comfort zone. Challenges our perspectives, and we may choose to process information. As a result, we are pushing past the demands, nuances, and expectations of navigating work and our personal life daily. A growth mindset sometimes prompts us to restrategize our plans. A growth mindset requires you and me to be active listeners from the stance to understand, often listening to what is said and not said. Then, uncovering solutions, gaining clarity, defining a plan, and taking action to position ourselves to manifest our goals, professionally and personally.
As a professional development strategist, I remain inspired by the aha moments I have witnessed when working with professionals who commit to the ongoing process to shift their thoughts and intentions to cultivating a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. I find myself coaching talented professionals seeking to change their career trajectory, identify a fulfilling role in sync with their current life choices, or receive a promotion within their current company or industry. Unfortunately, some may encounter the imposter syndrome that causes them to dismiss the multiple career successes and wins that confirm their abilities to conquer the career goals that they have set for themselves. Instead, their doubts and fears get fueled by negative thoughts that can potentially slow down the pace of their completion timeline.
Practicing a growth mindset empowers you to give the imposter syndrome a pink slip from your thoughts. For many of us, manifesting our goals roll out in phases with different timelines and milestones. Practicing a growth mindset strengthens by taking risks, seeking help, and collaborating with colleagues, mentors, and experts. Trying new strategies helps to zone in on the bottom line to generate learned lessons, regardless of unmet objectives. So please let this video remind you to return to the basics of what keeps you motivated and confident in your ability to experience the success you are planning and preparing for short or long term.
Since the pandemic, the workforce has changed for many. Some have experienced some excellent career opportunities, and others have encountered career challenges after career challenges to what some economists call occupational segregation. The foundational psychology for many navigating the new employment landscape has been grit. Psychologist Angela Duckworth is the sought-after expert on grit which is the need to preserve and be resilient.
According to Duckworth, there are five characteristics to grit.
1. Courage: being ready to face adversity, difficulty, and challenges
2. Conscientiousness: Achievement Oriented vs. Dependable where you are looking at the bigger picture and being ready for challenges both anticipated or not
3. Long-Term Goals and Endurance: perseverance is about the end game. In this game, you are running a marathon and not a sprint.
4. Resilience: is often identified as the capacity to stay positive while enduring difficulty. That is one side, but even the longest marathon runners require downtime to recover. Being able to bounce back is at the core of resilience.
5. Excellence vs. Perfection: If you’re seeking perfection, you may be setting yourself to fail or abandon. Excellence in this sense is more favorable as you will be giving the best you can at that given moment in time. Seek excellence to allow you room for growth.
I view the practice of grit and the growth mindset as best friends. When you see one at play, the other is nearby plotting and planning their next successful move. Sooner than later, the opportunities that you’re preparing and seeking will present themselves. Because you have put in the sweat equity to prepare for the moment, you will be ready, confidently.
Remember that your belief in your skills and abilities will help you stay committed to practicing a growth mindset at the end of the day. You will keep developing yourself because you know you are worthy of experiencing the success you dream of for your career.
Written by: Michele Badie