How to Lead With a Growth Mindset

The Prepped Team

June 17, 2020

6 minutes

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Sometimes it’s easier to take things how they are without challenging the way you interpret it. We actually have far more control over how we perceive the things that are happening in our lives than we think. Like right now, you can take your own job hunt situation and look at it in two different ways. You can feel defeated that the current situation has made things more difficult, or you can feel excited at the opportunity to find ways to make yourself even more employable. Same situation, different mindsets. And it’s often the mindset that eventually leads to your desired outcome.In this mindfulness webinar, presented in partnership with The WiseMind Co., Liz Berholz leads participants through a series of actions that can help you develop what they term a “growth mindset.” A growth mindset ensures that you’re always in a place of “learning and progress,” as Berholz describes. This kind of mindset is beneficial because it also allows you to deal with uncomfortable situations. What’s been happening over the past few months with quarantine qualifies as an uncomfortable situation, and it’s your mindset that will help get you through.

How to test where your mind is at right now

Begin by asking the question, “what are you more likely to say to yourself first after getting turned down for a job?” Although your initial reaction may be negative, you can quickly find a way to control that reaction and put yourself in a more positive frame of mind. It’s important to note that there is a  difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Berholz outlines several points of distinction that really separate the concept of a fixed mindset from the potential of a growth mindset. For instance, where a fixed mindset reinforces thoughts like “I’m not good at this” or “this is too hard,” a growth mindset says “let me try something different” or “I don’t know how to do this yet.”  

3 tools to change your mindset

What’s beautiful about your mindset is that you have the ability to change it. Here are three tools Berholz provides for instigating that shift to a growth mindset.

1. Mental Awareness

There is absolutely nothing you can do about your mindset if you’re not aware of its current disposition. Awareness is not something to be done on a surface level. When Berholz speaks about the importance of being aware, she means having a heightened sensibility about your “thoughts, feelings and sensations.” So you need to ask yourself, and be really honest, about what kind of mindset you have right now. Is it fixed? Think about how you would answer the question about getting turned down for another job. That’s a good indicator of your true mindset. After you’ve done an honest assessment of your current mindset, think about how those thoughts feel in your body. Berholz says it’s important to identify those emotions so you can later replace them with thoughts that activate more positive ones.

2. Asking curious questions

Curiosity is such a useful characteristic. When applied in the context of cultivating a growth mindset, it helps transition you out of your fixed state to one that is full of opportunities. When you’re in a closed mindset, it means you’re comfortable. You resist challenging your current thoughts, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to change your behaviour. Curiosity is the opposite of this kind of thinking. It means you’re open to learning new ways of approaching a problem, which is why Berholz says curiosity is truly a solution-based approach to thinking. You’re asking yourself what you can do differently to solve this problem. In job-hunting, for example, a curiosity question would be, “what can I do differently to show the next employer that I’m right for the job?”

3. Focus on effort, not the outcome

The quote that really helps shape this point comes from Albert Einstein. He says, “It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Thought of in another way, Einstein is really just saying that he was so comfortable with failing, that he didn’t mind doing it over and over again until he finally arrived at the right answer. Einstein understood the point that Berholz was trying to get across; that through continued effort, there are so many lessons to be learned that it will eventually bring you to your destination. And even if it’s not quite where you want to be, you would’ve learned so much that you can now create different paths and different opportunities if you implement step two of keeping a curious mind. The fear of failure is stronger than many of us would like to admit. If you can recognize that prolonged effort will drive your desired outcome, then you’re on your way to a growth mindset. Looking for more mindfulness tips? Check out our webinar on 4 ways to unwind your anxious mind.

Sign up for future webinars

If you want a full recap of this webinar, you can watch the full mindfulness webinar recording at any time. Or Sign up for Prepped to gain access to recordings of all our webinars, and to our tools and templates that can help improve your chances of getting a job by up to 6X*.

*Songqi Liu, Jason L. Huang, & Mo Wang (2014). Effectiveness of Job Search Interventions: A Meta-Analytic Review. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1009-1041.