Are you ready to explore the transformative power of a growth mindset? As high-achieving women, we often find ourselves on a rollercoaster of success and setbacks. Sometimes, we’re crushing it, and other times, we feel like we’re barely surviving. But here’s the game-changer: shifting your mindset to see every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. In my journey as a leader, I’ve adopted a mantra: “I’m either winning or learning.” I have reframed how I perceive my victories and challenges by embracing a growth mindset. When things are going well, I’m winning. But when faced with obstacles, I’m learning valuable lessons.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m making headway. I’m making progress, I’m doing great things, and I’m moving forward. Sometimes, I win as a parent, and sometimes, I win and thrive in my business. I’m innovative, and I’m successful, and I’m making progress towards my goals. Those are times when I feel like I’m really “winning” at whatever role I find myself in at that moment.
Other times, it doesn’t feel like winning at all. I’m constantly encountering obstacles, being challenged, feeling frustrated, and finding that things just don’t go as planned. I feel like I keep getting knocked back, or I’m just not progressing towards my goals. It wasn’t that long ago that I would look at those setbacks and ask myself, “Why is this happening to me?” I would feel like a failure and a loser.
When you’re having those high spikes of winning and low valleys of losing, you can feel like you never know what will come at you in each circumstance. And you never really feel successful. You feel like you’re bouncing around from win to lose, which can be very exhausting. It wasn’t until I shifted from that rigid and fixed mindset that saw things as wins and losses to a learner’s mindset or a growth mindset that when I experienced those setbacks or losses, I could look at them and ask myself, “What am I learning in this situation? What is this challenge teaching me? What do I need to learn about myself? How can I adjust?” Instead of judging myself, I saw those “losses” as learning opportunities.
Let’s take a quick look at how a fixed mindset differs from a growth mindset:
- Fixed Mindset: Doubt, blame, win-lose mentality.
- Growth Mindset: Belief in learning, seeking solutions, win-win perspective.
So, just how can you make the shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset? The first step is to become aware of that negative self-talk that tells you things like “I’m no good at this” or “I can’t handle this.” Pay attention to when it creeps in. Then, remember that you have a choice in how you respond to those setbacks. Challenge those negative fixed mindset thoughts. When doubt creeps in, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” or “How can I adapt to overcome this challenge?”
Taking Action with a Growth Mindset
Once you’ve challenged the fixed mindset, it’s time to take action with a growth mindset. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
- Make a Plan: Make a plan to move through the challenge with the intention to learn and grow. What strengths can you tap into? What resources do you need?
- Avoid Labels: Avoid labeling yourself or others negatively. Replace judgment with compassion and empathy. Focus on the lessons and learning opportunities that setbacks offer.
- Follow the Learner’s Path: Imagine your leadership journey as a path with two forks: the Judger’s Path and the Learner’s Path. When challenges arise, choose the Learner’s Path. Ask questions like “What can I learn from this?” and “What’s possible?”
- Turn Setbacks into Success: Setbacks don’t mean starting over; they mean starting over with experience.
So, my fellow Leading Ladies, remember this: You’re either winning or learning. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. With a growth mindset, you’ll lead confidently and inspire others to do the same. Until next time, take the lead and keep thriving!