stuck in a fixed mindsetDo you ever feel stuck? Like the more you work the more overwhelmed you feel? You may, very well, be stuck in a fixed mindset.

Years ago my friend, James, taught me the power of taking time when it feels as though you don’t have time. James didn’t listen to the nagging words, “you don’t have time” for ______. Instead he actually scheduled “thinking” time into his work week.

That might sound like a luxury to many of us. My experience is when I’m rushing or always in reacting mode my work is unfulfilling and I make more mistakes.

Last week, in a conversation with a client, I quietly gave “Annie” permission to make mistakes and not do things perfectly. I could tell she felt stuck. Annie was focused on doing a bunch of admin tasks. She kept having “just one more thing” to finish before picking up the phone to call volunteers and donors.

Annie was limiting her completion of the “real” work by only focusing on what she knew how to do well. She told me she didn’t have time to make mistakes or learn new ways to move past her fears.

Annie was stuck in a fixed mindset.

My invitation to Annie was to fail faster. Quickly, learn from her mistakes. OR do things less than perfectly. But to get into action.

In the article, How to Develop a Growth Mindset and Accelerate Your Career it says:

“fixed mindset might quietly be telling you that you’re not capable of changing, growing, or becoming more skilled. Or it might be the reason you’re convinced, in almost all cases, that you already know the best (and the only right) way to do something. This can be understood as being stubborn, unwilling to budge, unwilling to debate, deliberate, change, or even compromise.”

Annie spent 45 minutes in conversation with me talking through what appeared to be barriers. She took time she felt she didn’t have, to view her situation from a different perspective.

By the time we finished our conversation, Annie had two key goals that got her into action. Before she left town the next day she secured three new fundraising committee members and inspired the rest of her team into action.

don't get stuck in a fixed mindset

The #1 way to compete in today’s workforce is to have a growth mindset — a term coined by Stanford University Professor of Psychology, Carol Dweck.

Here’s a recap from the Growth Mindset article on three ways to stay open and receptive to growing and learning new skills:

1. Develop humility.

2. Develop active and empathetic listening skills.

3. Get out of your comfort zone intentionally and often.

Number 3 is why I will deliver a one-day intensive Imagine What’s Possible workshop here in Minneapolis on March 31st.

You’ll be asked: What’s feeling impossible this year? And then we’ll take time, together, to work a plan to not only accomplish the impossible, but exceed it.

It just may be time for YOU to give yourself the gift of time. Don’t think about it. Just do it.

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