Conquer Obstacles Through Growth Mindset

By Tarik Asan | Professional Development & Student Leadership Manager | Office of Career & Life Design 

Here’s an honest opinion: this year has been… quite exceptional to say the least. As a society, we were thrown into this global constant of adapting to new norms amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some mornings I wake up feeling like a true warrior–ready to tackle any ridiculous obstacle that will come my way. Other mornings I want to jump out of window when I’m asked about how I plan to get out of the sticky situation the world put me into:  

Relatable? Great! Because, my second honest opinion may be a bit less popular: ranging in different levels of severity, there’s no denying that life is full of challenges. While it’s easy–and fun–to keep scrolling through Me vs. Year 2020 jokes on the internet and raise a white flag to this new constant to wait for 2020 to come to an end, I also see this time as a great opportunity for us to leverage.  

Ever heard of the constant battle between the fixed and growth mindsets? 

If you’ve never heard, there is a good amount of literature you can easily access today, but I recommend you check out this 10-minute talk by Carol Dweck, who’s the leader of this particular subset of behavioral study. I feel that this model of thinking can aid many of us in re-framing our perspectives and see the glass half-full to take gradual steps towards our goals. To keep watering the pot even if you feel like the flowers will grow at a pace slower than usual.  

Think of the amount of times you said “it’s just not going to work out right now” in the last month. Now think of a time where you felt proud of yourself because of a recent accomplishment you’ve had… what was missing in the first scenario that prevented you from reaching your goal?  

The next time you find yourself getting into the zone of “fixed mindset,” try taking a moment to embrace this change of behavior, because it all starts by this acknowledgement. Then challenge yourself by asking: “what is one thing that I can do today that will get me closer to the goal?” If there’s no risk associated with this small step, then take the leap and see how you feel the next day… is the glass half-empty or half-full?

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