It’s week 2 of Challenge Yourself, where you’re stepping into Growth mode by taking on the world! Well, maybe not the world just yet, but at least taking on Challenges that you know serve you and the vision that you have for yourself. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, and trying out new things. Whether you succeed or ultimately learn how not to do things (because remember, every failure is a lesson), the end result is the same. You gain knowledge and new experiences, and through these, you grow.
If you’ve done last week’s exercise, you’ll have set yourself a Challenge for this month to get you started on your Growth journey. I had proposed a few Challenges for you, but by all means, feel free to make your own. Take on something that speaks to you personally. It’s important for you to design your Challenges around what you want to achieve for yourself.
Now, your Challenge is your opportunity to learn how to Grow. You see, here’s the thing about Growth.
Growth isn’t a constant, linear process. Yes, we have small teachable moments here and there, and just by living and breathing, we do learn, we adapt, we shift slightly this way and that. As we progress through life, so do our habits, our ways of thinking, our ways of approaching and tackling problems. These are slight shifts, and could even seem imperceptible.
But true, major Growth happens through the larger events – the bigger trials we face – and a willingness to have these events teach us valuable lessons about who we are and what we can be. These two elements need to exist to achieve true, sustainable Growth. A trigger event, and a Growth mindset.
Growth doesn’t happen organically as a result of these events. One can definitely go through something potentially life-altering and come out of it exactly the same way they entered it. I know you’ve met someone like that, someone that’s unshakably, stubbornly the same. Someone that won’t learn lessons that repeatedly smack them upside the face.
The factor that separates those who do achieve Growth through their experiences from those who do not is the mindset with which they tackle those experiences.
This month, you’re the engineers of your trigger events. By setting a Challenge and taking it on, you are creating a trigger event that can potentially shake up your view of yourself, of the world around you, that will challenge you, and will teach you more about who you are and what you can achieve. It’s important that you walk into your personal Challenge with a Growth mindset.
All right, so your question is… what is a Growth mindset? Put simply, it’s the belief that you can grow from both trying and succeeding and not having things work out (aka failure). Ok, ok, before you click off this post, hear me out, because it’s not as simple as it sounds. You see, there’s a staggering number of people who view setbacks as monstrous, crippling events. The way we personally view setbacks is conditioned, usually in childhood. A lot of us are taught that failing is catastrophic. Think back. If you had brought back a report card full of low grades, would your parents have said something along the lines of “Ah, well there’s a problem, you’re not receiving the information your teachers are trying to teach you in a way that’s allowing you to get good grades. How can we fix that?” It would probably more along the lines of “You’re grounded until you show me you’re studying harder and getting better grades. No more TV or fun activities until you’ve turned it around”. You’ll probably guess which one of those two teaches a Growth mindset…
When we view failure as catastrophic, we don’t tend to focus on what the failure can teach us. We focus instead on AVOIDING failure. We adapt the course of our lives accordingly. We go for easier things, we drop our expectations, we adopt a sixth sense to help us anticipate potential possible failure looming in the distance in order to make sure we steer clear.
A Growth mindset is pretty much the opposite of all of that. It’s approaching experiences with the view that yeah, things can turn out this way or that, but that essentially, whatever happens, we can grow from the experience itself, no matter what. It’s knowing that through our work, our efforts, our trial and error, we can become better than, more than we were previously, and that we can continue to build on what we already have.
As you go through this month, and any other Challenges you face later on, I want you to embrace the Growth mindset. Remind yourself that any failure you may face is not a failure, it’s simply an opportunity to learn in order to do better on your next attempt.
Now… there’s one last thing about Growth. It requires a resting period. That resting period is where the Growth actually happens. You see, when you’re going through your trigger event, you’re busy doing, trying, experimenting, learning. It’s in that phase after everything is done, or when you’ve decided to stop and regroup because things aren’t working, that you start to Grow. That’s the time where you can think back on everything that’s happened, assess your experiences, process your emotions, and truly draw out the lessons that serve your journey.
A quick word of advice if you find yourself having difficulty sticking to your Challenge. You might begin to feel like you’re being deprived, perhaps of down or “fun” time, or of something you love. If that happens, take a minute to acknowledge the feelings. What are you feeling deprived of? What significance does the thing have for you? What’s the underlying cause for you feeling deprived at this moment? Make a plan to remedy the feeling of deprivation. If you’re missing a sense of comfort, block in some time in your diary for some comforting activities that you can look forward to. Give yourself some small rewards along the way as well because hey… why the heck not! You’ve earned it, and even if you haven’t, you still deserve it!
All right, it’s over to you Queen. Don’t forget, there’s an entire hub of material for this month here, so make sure you’re doing the courses. For my Queens having trouble dealing with fears that are stopping them from taking on the Challenge they really want to take on, check out the Courage Catalyst course, which will help you overcome your fears, one small step at a time.
And with that being said…
Fix your crown.