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At this point, you've probably heard that people benefit from living in a "growth mindset," but what does that really mean in practice?
This concept - which was popularized in the business world, thanks capitalism - basically articulates that in a growth mindset people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This releases an old school belief (aka fixed mindset) that held that talent alone drives success.
Letting go of that fixed mindset is like letting go of the belief that you can't learn new things and growth. It underpins the idea of resilience and supports love of learning - and failure.
Why does it matter, anyway?
Well, first off, on a personal level, people with a growth mindset often feel more confident in their abilities, because they have a sense that even if things go sideways they'll still be learning and progressing.
Beyond that, research is demonstrating that people with a "growth mindset" are viewed as equal parts innovative and trustworthy, and many companies are starting to consider an individual's potential more than their current knowledge or ability as a valuable asset for their teams.
When something can help both personally and professionally, you might wonder where the barriers hide.
Maintaining a growth mindset - and the inevitable failure that often comes with taking on opportunities for growth - is exhausting.
And we can't forget that even if some companies are pushing for more of a growth mindset, not all failure from all people is treated equally. Folx who experience privilege from their wealth, race, gender, or other factors may be at an advantage when it comes to accessing continued opportunities despite failures along the way.
BUT I DON'T WANNA
If there is one thing that we don't want to do, it would be to treat the last two years and all the difficulty they have wrought as a personal growth opportunity. There was too much very real trauma to trivialize this experience as if it were just pushing us to the next level.
But at the same time, the reality seems to be that in certain circumstances we simply have no choice but to fail (and fail hard) and pick ourselves up again because we literally have no other option available.
It's grow or die.
Okay, maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but as any new parent would share, sometimes even the most desired life change causes us to grow in ways that we never knew we could.
In these moments, where we're forced into the inevitable discomfort, stress, and pain that is growth, sometimes all you want to do is just run in the opposite direction.
So what happens when you don't want to grow?
This is a moment to breathe and take a break. Life is exhausting. Stress is exhausting. And when the world is constantly changing and you are constantly changing it can feel as though you're caught on an endless wheel of evolution and growth.
In those moments - and we're using moments loosely here - it's important to remember this...
Personal growth is all about doing the work to clear a path for yourself. It does not mean taking the hardest trail possible.
So take a minute today to remind yourself how far you've come, and allow yourself space to take a shortcut or the easier path.
Growth mindset has an actual definition , you know. (podcast)
Not sure why you're on this self-help bandwagon? Take stock of the signs you might need to take a break . (article)
Daring to fail feels old-hat by now, but that is still a very real challenge for most people. (video)
Speaking of personal growth... here's our reminder that anti-racism is not a self-improvement exercise for white people. (social post)
Maybe it's okay if you don't grow. Maybe there's nothing wrong with you at all. (article)