I am about to embark on a four week career development program which is suppose to help me decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. Do I want to switch careers or do I want to rediscover the one I have been involved in for the past 40 years? Hmmm quite a life changing decision.
In reading some of the information sent I was introduced to two mindsets to navigating your career. One was fixed mindset which is the belief that your ability is ingrained. We are born with a level of ability and there is little we can do to changed it. The other is growth mindset which is the belief that your ability can be developed by hard work. We may be born with certain abilities but we are determined to find different ways to expand our world.
I took a test to see which mindset I was and not surprising to me I was overwhelmingly categorized as having a growth mindset. I have to admit I have a tendency to think that I can’t do certain things. I try to talk myself into being satisfied with what is but the voice in my head keeps reminding me that I can do better if I just push a bit harder.
I was in Paris and had an appointment with a photographer to show him my book. I was new to the city and was having a hard time getting my bearings. I couldn’t seem to find the location of the studio and kept walking in the wrong direction. Of course I didn’t speak French and the Plan de Paris was no help what so ever. My fixed mindset told me to give up and go home. But my growth mindset kept telling me that if I went home I would not go back out again. My determination to find the studio pushed me to achieve that goal. It took me another hour but I finally succeeded. The outcome wasn’t earth shattering but knowing that I had achieved even that small goal was everything. I would not let my mind dictate my outcome. I was determined to find my way.
I have taken that determination through my life and I know that is one of the reasons why I have had a good deal of success in my career. Not always wildly successful but enough to know that in facing the setbacks I have gotten better with effort. I have taken risks to step out of my comfort zone and because of it I have seen places and had experiences that have made my life richer.
So why now am I having such a hard time deciding what direction to go in for the rest of my journey? Part of me says to relax and rest on my laurels but that person that was determined to find my way in the vast city of Paris so many years ago is still inside me. It’s maddening at times to have a growth mindset but to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way.