4 Tips for a Growth Mindset
April 5, 2023
4 minute read – Imagine you have begun climbing Mount Everest, you reach 24,000 feet and realize you didn’t bring enough oxygen. Without oxygen, it is nearly impossible to complete the climb. Do you take it as a failure? Or do you acknowledge your disappointment and take it as an opportunity to reflect and assess how you can come better prepared next time? Growing in your personal life and career might not be quite as dangerous as climbing Mount Everest, but we can only achieve our goals when we have the necessary tools. So, what stops us from being the most successful version of ourselves? Many of us haven’t taken the time for the introspection required in the process of continual optimization of self to even know what we need.
Here are 4 steps to help you cultivate your toolbox for achievement:
- Have some honest conversations with yourself. Dig into the root of your situation. It can be uncomfortable to hold ourselves accountable in moments of disappointment or frustration. Placing blame externally or identifying surface level fixes might be easier but ultimately leave you worse off because deeper needs are at play. Make a habit of performing self-assessment: What are your strengths? How are you utilizing those strengths in your role? What are the gaps between your strengths and the demands of your role? Setting goals around self-accountability or developing a routine check-in process with yourself can help you focus your energies more effectively.
- Pinpoint your motivations and articulate your goals. What are your absolutes and where can you be flexible or compromise in achieving your end goals? How do you want to show up in your brand? Clarifying goals and your metrics of success creates opportunity to hold yourself accountable. Similar to having those sometimes difficult conversations with yourself, this needs to be a continual process, regularly revisiting and adjusting your goals and measures of success as you grow.
- Be present and be direct. A key element to climbing Mount Everest is being ready for the unexpected, and while you might not face a snowstorm inside the office, being open to uncertainty can keep you better prepared to be flexible in situations. Practice being present. As humans, we are often thinking about our response to others or the next task on our to-do list rather than being present in the moment, leaving us unable to adapt in moments of the unexpected. Additionally, practice being direct. Cutting out filler words, extraneous information, and over explanation when making requests of others can promote more succinct, clearer communication, making sure you get what you need in an effective, timely manner.
- Fuel your tank. Whether it is a quick walk outside between meetings or a week-long vacation to the Maldives, making time to step away from your duties can give you renewed clarity, increased concentration, and revived energy, leaving you feeling ready for the next leg of your climb. Like the climb itself, creating opportunities for refueling may require some planning – delegating tasks and knowing when to negotiate requests outside your capacity can help you find balance. In the fast-paced, connected world we live in, it can be tempting to push yourself to physical and mental limits, but growth requires respite from the grind.
Many of us have gotten to this point in our careers because we get things done, grinding through situations and potentially wearing ourselves out; some of us even fall into that dangerous mentality of “I’ll just do it myself” rather than pause, reflect, and ask for help. Pushing through can only get you so far; even the most experienced climbers can only get so far without oxygen – 26,000 feet to be exact. Eventually, we must be willing to let our guard down and ask for our needs to be met, embracing each small step in the longer effort toward becoming our best selves.