Anger and frustration came over me as I read that email again. Another rejection.‘ sorry on this occasion your application has not been successful’ Would I ever find a job in this economy? I had just graduated and for the first time in my life, I was out of education and been thrown headfirst into the real world.
I quickly realized that the real world was unforgiving, you would get push back after push back and I felt like my life was a constant uphill battle. What’s more with every rejection, every push back it just felt like another stab in the back.I took it hard, I self criticized everything I did, convinced myself that I was unworthy to get a job, that I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t lucky enough to get anywhere in this world.
What’s more, with every rejection it just drained any motivation to carry on. Eventually, I just stopped trying, I just drank and felt sorry for myself. After a few months of this, I realized I had not got anywhere but grabbed a minimum wage position and that was only part-time. What made matters worse was that my social media was blowing up with my school friends, my uni friends and they were crushing it. Getting high paying jobs, getting a mortgage and starting a family and there I was hoping to get more than 15 hours of work this week.
I started to compare myself to others. I was my own worst enemy, putting myself down, continuing to drain my motivation in my darkest days even getting out of bed seemed like a struggle.
What went wrong?
I got addicted to self-help books, and I came across a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. And it occurred to me how a simple shift in perception is the difference between failure and success, from the poor to the wealthy, to the unfulfilled and the fulfilled. I realized that the fixed mindset is where your beliefs and perception is fixed. You categorize yourself as X and then you perceive everything that goes wrong as down to X.
For example, I just thought I was a failure, so I anytime I saw anyone I knew be further than me I would label that, she is further than me because she is a success and I am a failure, I couldn’t get that job because I am a failure I can’t hold down a relationship because I am a failure.
This belief system filters the perception of the reality I was perceiving.Rather the growth mindset, You simply rise to the challenge, you have a goal, an objective and you overcome any obstacle or roadmap that comes your way, you think of ways to overcome it.
You evaluate and analyze your results and change your approach. Until you get there. So how do you develop a growth mindset?
Embrace the challenge
Don’t see setbacks, obstacles, and roadblocks as a failure. Don’t see it as a sign that you can’t do it. There is a saying that says there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. See those obstacles as a challenge. A challenge that has to be overcome so that you can grow, think of ways to overcome it. Connect with those who have overcome it, research how they did it. Success leaves clues, chances are someone has overcome what you are facing and have shared how they did it.
Be persistent and resilient.
Focus on victory, not defeat. Have a goal or desire and tell yourself that you will achieve it.
Belief is everything.
Once you believe, you will be persistent. Take action each day and analyze what is working and what isn’t and adjust your actions accordingly. It is with belief and persistent action that you will get there.
See effort as essential for success.
Those with a fixed mindset, make excuses they say it’s too hard, too complicated they don’t have the time they don’t think the effort is worth it. This is because they truly don’t believe they will reach it. If your goal is worth the effort, the time, money and resources and you believe you will accomplish your goal, you will make the effort that is required. Simply because you will see the effort and you will know that it will pay off.
Learn from mistakes
You’re going to make mistakes and face criticism. It’s how you handle it that matters, those with a fixed mindset they take it to heart, any criticism they face, any mistake they make is confirmation that they can’t achieve because of X.
But contrary to those with a growth mindset they look for any criticism and any mistakes and they figure out why it happened and figure what they could do next time to get a better result. To do this you could jot down what mistake or criticism you faced and list out the reasons why it happened and after that think of a new strategy that would have prevented that mistake.
Listen to feedback.
Those with a fixed mindset have a fragile ego. If someone gives them bad feedback they beat themselves up and think why they are so stupid to try in the first place. Those with a growth mindset take on the feedback, they look at the issues that were raised, analyze, and try again. Using a similar process jot down the feedback, think of the issues raised, figure why it happened, and think of a counter-strategy. It’s a sure way to improve and to get results.
Now there is a common thread that runs among these and that is belief.
To take on the challenge, to be resilient and persistent to take the effort that is required, to analyze results to take on the feedback you need to believe that you will make it so that you will reach your goal. Belief is what will keep you moving forward that will allow you to push through the roadblocks so that you keep trying again and again until you succeed. But building that belief in yourself can be hard especially if you really don’t believe in yourself deep down. It takes mental rehearsal and repetition to build belief.
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