Wow, can you believe 2023 is halfway over already?!
We invite you to take a moment and reflect on how much has changed for you since you kicked off 2023. No matter where you are today or what you’re doing, we’re willing to bet you’ve navigated some significant changes this year.
If so, congratulations! You’ve done some hard things already…because change is hard! Even when you choose it.
Change is hard because it requires new ways of thinking, being and doing. It requires extra energy and commitment because human beings are designed to resist change. We tend to operate in the same ways we always have. We are comfortable with the known.
Yet, the very nature of change is messy. It’s uncertain. It’s ambiguous. We don’t always know what’s on the other side of change, or how long it will take to get there. Change requires us to make mistakes and admit that we don’t know what we’re doing.
This can feel extra hard when you’re a high achiever. Don’t you like to get things right? Don’t you like to know what you’re doing and feel in control? Yet, these things are virtually impossible when you’re in the midst of significant change.
Although we can’t change the nature of change, we can change our mindset when it comes to change.
Carol Dweck is a social and developmental psychologist, researcher and author who focuses on why people succeed and how it is possible to foster their success. She’s linked the power of someone’s mindset regarding their intelligence and ability to their levels of motivation and achievement. Dweck has identified two primary mindsets:
- The fixed mindset is the belief that your intelligence and abilities are fixed. You succeed or don’t because of your innate talents.
- The growth mindset is the belief that your talents can be developed through learning and hard work.
When you embrace the growth mindset, it changes everything.
When you have a fixed mindset, change feels even harder. You resist change because you’re reluctant to try something new. If you make a mistake, then it will prove you never had the talent or ability in the first place. Change feels like an inevitable loss.
When you embrace a growth mindset, change becomes an opportunity to learn and get better! Instead of resisting change, you lean into it. You see it as a gain, instead of a loss – the gain of who you will become and what you’ll be able to do on the other side of change. You’ll learn things you never could if things stayed the same.
Here are three ideas to practice embracing the growth mindset when you navigate change:
- Be mindful of the thoughts you think around change. Are you thinking thoughts that resist the change? Do you wish things could stay the same? Are you afraid to make mistakes? Are you afraid of the unknown? Yes, these thoughts are natural. Allow them, but don’t let them drive you. Consider how you can upgrade your thoughts to embrace the growth mindset. Consider affirmations such as, “I am always learning and growing. Mistakes help me learn. Challenges make me better.”
- Reframe setbacks and failures as opportunities for learning. Reflect on a mistake, and ask yourself questions such as, “What did I learn? How am I better because this happened? What did I gain?” Consider sharing these stories with the people you lead, so they can learn, too. Not only will you model the growth mindset for others, you’ll create psychological safety and deepen connection within your team.
- Ask yourself growth-oriented questions on a daily basis. At the beginning of each day, ask yourself questions such as “What do I want to learn today? How will I challenge myself today?” At the end of each day, ask yourself, “What did I learn today? What am I proud of in terms of my effort today? Where did I struggle today, and what can I learn from this?”
We encourage you to embrace a growth mindset right now by reading further about it in Brian’s blog here. The growth mindset is a direct path to new possibilities!
See you in the DOP,