The lessons I need to learn always show up for me when other people share their stories. Usually I hear an idea a few times in a short span and realize that I’m supposed to pay attention to it. After confiding to a friend that I felt stuck and didn’t know why, the message started coming. I had a conversation with a trusted coach, was recommended a book that I will share here, and as I was sitting in a class at church, the instructor referred to the cartoon Santa Claus is Coming to Town in which the Winter Warlock felt stuck and the characters decided to just “put one foot in front of the other”.
Ever feel that way? You feel either unsure of your footing, or fear grips you and you become afraid of the outcome. In her book about Mindset, author Carol Dweck talks about the difference between fixed vs. growth mindset. In a growth mindset you are willing to try because you know that even if you are not successful in achieving the goal you’ve set, that the effort will be worth it because you learned something along the way. A fixed mindset assumes you already have all the skill you could ever need and if you put the effort in and fail, you will look foolish, so why try? In the long run, who has the greater potential for success?
I love learning, but that doesn’t prevent me from having a fixed mindset in some areas of my life. I can learn to do many things, but if I don’t apply what I learn in order to further myself, I won’t have gained a thing. I have a few relevant examples. One of the ways I share experience and support other people is to conduct speaking engagements. I’ve joined Toastmasters to help me sharpen my skills but if I never take the risk and get in front of an audience, I’ll never learn to be a great speaker. Many people dislike selling and marketing, and it's not what I love to do, but if I don’t market, I’ll never learn how to improve my personal sales approach. I’ve found that the following key points help me to shift to a growth mindset.
Listen to You. What are you hearing yourself say about your goals? Do you feel like a victim of your circumstance? Do you see an opportunity in going forward but are fearful to take the step? This can feel heavy, like a block. Talk it through with someone you trust to get clear on what you’re feeling and why. Give yourself three cheers for being aware of being stuck. You can’t move if you don’t know where you’re coming from.
Ask You. If you feel like you don’t have enough skill, or are fearful of the outcome, ask yourself two questions.
What’s the worst thing that could happen? (Hint; if death and dismemberment aren’t on the list you’re probably going to be okay!)
When did you do something in your past that was similar, and were successful? What strategies did you use to be successful?
In my case, I sold new technology to people who had no familiarity with it and was a top salesperson in my region. This from the self-admitted sales-phobic! What I loved about that time was not selling, it was interaction with the people and learning what was important to them. Be willing to think about it differently.
Keep You in Mind. “Billie Jean King says it’s all about what you want to look back and say… You can look back and say, “I could have been…,” polishing your unused endowments like trophies. Or you can look back and say, “I gave my all for the things I valued.” Think about what you want to look back and say. Then choose your mindset.” (Dweck, 2006, 2016)
In becoming aware, reminding yourself of what you’re made of, and choosing to pursue the things that you value… your dreams, you slowly but surely learn and grow. Your dreams may not happen overnight, but they will happen! It just takes one step… and then another. Keep going my friend, keep going!
If you’re interested in how you can better align goals to your purpose and intent follow me on my website; www.tjocoaching.com and on Facebook www.facebook.com/taraondusky/ to watch for my upcoming workshops. In the meantime, here’s to taking the steps you need to keep pursing your goals with intent and purpose!