How a change of mindset can help to fulfil your potential
Executive and business coach, Tony Shafar CA, looks at how a change of mindset can help you to fulfil your potential, from coping with uncertainty to overcoming a fear of failure.
Mindset – how do you respond when things don’t go your way?
Your abilities or talent can help determine if you are successful, however, what you believe about yourself can have a far bigger impact.
Your mindset plays a key role in determining the difference between success and failure.
According to Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, there are two different types of mindset, fixed and growth. Which of these mindsets we adopt will determine our approach when faced with challenges, obstacles and criticism.
What is your mindset? How do you react when things aren’t as easy as you may have hoped?
- Challenges – do you avoid or embrace them?
- Obstacles – do you give up easily or push through?
- Effort – do you see effort as a pathway to success or feel that it’s not worth it?
- Rejection – do you learn from it or ignore it and blame it on someone else?
By understanding, challenging and changing your mindset, you will be in a better position to nurture your talent and abilities, helping you to fulfil your potential.
Uncertainty – do you embrace or fight it?
Do you struggle with uncertainty and find it tough when things are unpredictable?
My first role as a Finance Director was during the previous economic crisis. The business was dependent upon discretionary spend, but clients were nervous and spend was contracting. We had to make redundancies but didn’t have an HR department or legal team. I was new in the role, still proving myself and immediately under pressure, having to make sensitive staffing decisions, leading redundancy meetings and drafting relevant agreements – most of which was completely new to me.
I had been thrown in at the deep end and faced much uncertainty. Change had to be made and I had to drive it through. While the experience was tough, stressful and took me out of my comfort zone, I learnt a lot more during that six months of uncertainty than in the two years that followed.
Change and uncertainty are inevitable. They will happen. They are part of business, they are part of life. So, the next time you are faced with uncertainty and things don’t go as expected, what can you do to best manage the change?
- Rather than fight, you can embrace change.
- Ask yourself, what can I learn from it?
- Be open to it. It may give you a different perspective and offer a better way to achieve the required solution.
Fear of failure – are you holding back from what you really want?
Have you ever been given a great opportunity to progress your career and take the next step up, but felt something was holding you back?
Have you have ever seen a job advertised that you have always wanted but felt nervous and anxious about applying?
If any of that resonates with you, have you asked yourself why? What is it that’s stopping you from pursuing what you really want?
The likelihood is that, although you wanted the new job and the career progression it offered, you were afraid of failure. You asked yourself:
- Am I going to be able to perform well in this new job?
- Am I going to be able to successfully carry out unfamiliar tasks?
- Am I 100% sure I will be able to do what is asked of me?
Fears such as those, although understandable, are not particularly helpful. They can hold you back from pursuing what you really want, from progressing in your career and maximising your potential.
So, the next time you want to progress your career and are beginning to feel any such fears, try and adopt a different mindset. View the challenging situation as an opportunity to learn, grow and expand your comfort zone.
By reframing it as an opportunity to learn, as opposed to feeling you have to get everything right, you will reduce your anxiety, making you more likely to be able to push through and pursue what you really want to achieve.