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True Grit: Building Resiliency and a Growth Mindset
Grit is one of those terms that we don’t hear enough about in the workplace. Maybe that’s because you picture “grit,” as something very intense – like CrossFit athletes competing at The Games in 100-degree heat or of SEAL Team Six mid-mission in a foreign and dangerous country. But what about using grit in our daily lives? Do you find yourself rising to a challenge or crumbling when you fail?
When you hit roadblocks, your reaction can set up you up for your future – in both your personal and professional lives. So, how can you build the resiliency you need to overcome even the toughest obstacles? That’s where the idea of the Growth Mindset comes in – let’s explore it!
What Is a “Growth Mindset?”
Carol Dweck, psychology professor at Stanford University and author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” coined the term in 2007 and it can be defined as,
“the belief that one can learn more or become smarter if one works hard and perseveres.”
That seems so simple – so what’s stopping some of us from achieving a growth mindset? Something called the “fixed mindset” and, “in a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”
How Do You Build Your Growth Mindset?
Don’t Fear Failure
Unfortunately, many of us have been conditioned to fear failure. From elementary school grades to sports team tryouts, we’ve learned that if “we’re not good at something right away,” we should stop trying – or even worse, we should never try at all. Instead of worrying about failing, you should embrace it:
- View failure as learning
- Try different approaches and try, try again (check out the TED Radio Hour podcast episode, “Failure Is An Option”)
- Learn how to Bounce Back from Failure
Use Purpose as a Motivator to Learn
You may have noticed that it is much harder to put in the effort to learn something if you’re uninterested in a topic or you simply don’t care about it. Try thinking about what you’re trying to learn in a new light – put a purpose behind your learning and turn plain-old “boring” into, “boring yet meaningful.” To help you find purpose, check out these tips.
Reward Effort, Not Talent
You probably realize that you find it easier to complete tasks you have an existing flair for. But, next time you’re stuck and feel like giving up, use your new sense of purpose to push yourself. Then, take a moment to acknowledge the progress you’ve made in your grit and growth mindset! Your hard work should always be rewarded before your inherent skill.
Understand That Learning Takes Time & Effort
In today’s society, we’re taught that we should learn quickly and effortlessly. Let’s be real: the cultivation of new skills takes practice, repetition, lots of time, and can feel tedious and dull. You can’t become a master of everything in one sitting, so stop expecting results too early. Instead, you should:
- Use the word “yet” – you just haven’t mastered it…yet
- Recognize and reflect on what you’ve learned so far
- Value the process instead of the end result
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