Who else has learned a thing or two this year about adversity and resilience? Some of us haven’t seen friends or loved ones in months. Maybe your travel plans have been torpedoed for the foreseeable future. Perhaps your “office” is now a tiny, cramped corner of your bedroom, while your kids learn remotely at the dining table. Maybe you’ve even lost your job thanks to the pandemic or the downturn in the economy. And, if you’re like me, the presidential election probably had you gnashing your teeth for months…
It’s easy to become discouraged and dispirited when it seems like you’re constantly facing adversity and nothing’s going right. In these dark times, resilience is what empowers you to bounce back from adversity and keep powering on.
Resilience is your superpower.
It gives you the ability to withstand, recover, adapt and grow. It’s what you’ll need to call upon when you face a major, life-changing event that hits you out of nowhere. It’s the single most important trait you need when everything blows up in your face.
So, how do we cultivate resilience so we have it when we need it most? How do we keep our chin up when the deck is stacked against us and we just…can’t…anymore?
You can accomplish this, and more, by developing a growth mindset.
What is a Growth Mindset?
Our mindset is powerful — it influences our abilities, talents, potential and intelligence. However, there are two distinct types of mindsets, and which one you employ can have significant repercussions on your attitude — and your outcomes.
With a fixed mindset, we believe our qualities are unchangeable. It can keep us from taking risks or improving because we’re convinced we’re only good at certain things and we’ll never get any better. A fixed mindset sets us up for failure because we don’t have the courage to try at all.
On the other side of the spectrum is the growth mindset, which is belief in the ability to develop and strengthen your qualities and talents through constant effort, learning and improving.
How Does a Growth Mindset Improve Your Resilience?
A fixed mindset is stuck, while a growth mindset helps you remain agile and resilient. With a growth mindset, failure is never final — it’s only a stepping stone to growth and success.
A fixed mindset says, “I tried and failed, therefore I am a failure.”
While a growth mindset might say, “Maybe I tried and failed this time, but I learned something to help me succeed next time!”
When met with a growth mindset, challenges can be a catalyst for growth. What seems like a big disappointment or stumbling block today can actually launch you to something greater. This is a powerful way to view the world that will improve your resilience and set you up for success in the long run.
Harness the Power of a Growth Mindset
The first step in shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is simply choosing to make the change. That’s right. We actually get to choose how we perceive setbacks and react accordingly. (Isn’t that awesome??) Instead of throwing up our hands at the first signs of defeat, we can make the decision to determine our own success.
But it’s not always as easy as that. If a growth mindset doesn’t exactly come naturally to you, it will take some time and effort to train your brain to adapt. The next time you’re faced with a negative situation, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can any positive outcomes result from this situation?
- Have I learned anything from the situation?
- How can I grow and develop as a result of this situation?
Here’s the thing: we can’t always control events or outcomes in life, but we can control our attitude and how we react to our circumstances. It’s all about choosing to learn lessons from our setbacks, discover ways to grow from the experience and then transform ourselves. THAT’S resilience.
It really is in your hands.It’s under your Span of Control. And once you make the decision to support growth instead of giving up, it will free you up to achieve amazing things.