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Advantage – Growth Mindset

A lot has gone wrong lately, and it can all feel overwhelming if we let it. The economy is uncertain with high interest rates and inflation, a down labor market, layoffs becoming more frequent, and now this latest with the Israel-Hamas conflict. It seems each day brings more uncertainty, making it harder to navigate through our personal lives and goals, let alone to improve. I’ve always believed that no matter what the circumstances, I need to grow and improve. We all do! 😊  Continued growth is intentional; it’s a mindset, but it’s not easy to maintain. We have to work at it continuously, regardless of the events surrounding us.

The concept of a growth mindset was developed by psychologist Carol S. Dweck. It revolves around the idea that abilities and intelligence can be developed with time, effort, and dedication. We all know that the more we learn, the harder we work or practice, the better we are. Take for example, Michael Jordan. As a young high school student, Jordan did not make the basketball team. He wasn’t born with that slam dunk move we all know and love. He was rejected, which is an experience that can easily discourage an aspiring athlete, or any of us for that matter.  Why put yourself out there if you are only going to be turned away?  But Jordan saw it differently; the setback was an opportunity to improve.  He felt his skills and talent could be cultivated and worked towards that. He had a growth mindset.

Every rejection (and there were many), missed shot and lost game, was not a testament to his limitations but a catalyst for learning and improvement. He was driven by an insatiable appetite for growth, an unyielding belief in the power of effort, and the conviction that learning is infinite. This mindset bred resilience, innovation, excellence and eventually, a champion. So, if you ever feel like you’re just not cut out for something, remember Jordan’s story. We’re not stuck with what we’ve got at this moment unless we want to be.

What if we viewed challenges as exciting opportunities rather than scary events? If we worked on our growth mindset, every obstacle is exercise for your brain, making it stronger and building resiliency. Mistakes, setbacks, and criticisms are steppingstones to a stronger, smarter, and more skilled version of yourself.  Armed with a growth mindset, we have the toolbox to build our futures.

With life as unpredictable as it is, knowing that we can grow and improve our secret weapon and reminding ourselves that we each have endless potential if we use it is critical. Next time there is setback, why not view it as an opportunity to grow and become a better version of ourselves? Isn’t that better than giving up or giving in? Who knows what incredible version of you is waiting to emerge?

So, with the fourth quarter, our busiest, most challenging season starting, let’s all engage our growth mindsets to close out this year strong. In doing so, I bet you will find you are a better, stronger version of yourself going into the new year!

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

Have a great weekend.