How do you face up to challenges or difficult situations at work? Do you avoid them because you worry that if you fail others will think you don’t have the ability, intelligence or talent to do your job? That you don’t have the strength, power or determination to see a challenge or tough ride through? Or do you enthusiastically take on these tasks or challenges, hoping that any mistakes or failures will be an opportunity to learn and improve, to get stronger and more resilient?
Carol Dweck from Stanford University suggests in her renowned TED talk, that when it comes to achieving success in any area, more important than believing in your abilities is the belief that you can improve upon your abilities. By developing a growth mindset you are creating a shift in your way of thinking, making failures and setbacks become a part of a learning process instead of a reason to stop growing. Giving you motivation and persistence to master new skills and challenges.
If we are all honest with ourselves, it is easier said then done. Embracing failure often doesn’t come naturally to us in our professional and personal lives. Carol talks about how two simple words “yet” and “not yet” shifted mindsets in children and how they might also work for you.
PRACTICE “NOT YET”
Next time a challenge comes your way on the bike, at work or personally and you find yourself in the middle of failure, try to pause for a moment and notice what the voice inside your head is saying. Is it telling you that you are not strong enough, not good enough? If yes, acknowledge that you are still learning, still progressing just like everyone else. Instead of “I can’t” or “I’m not fit enough” or “I’m not smart enough” try telling the story of “I’m not there yet”.
Don’t immediately see criticism as negative; look at it as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to become stronger. If you feel someone is doing better than you, ask for tips. If someone points out where you could do better, remember it’s because they can see you can do better. They believe in you. Remember this inside the cave and outside.
SET GROWTH MINDSET GOALS
Do one thing a day that takes you outside your comfort zone simply for the joy of learning. Don’t make it about the result, make it about the chance to give something your very best effort. Be willing to own any failures and learn from what unfolds.