My Damn Fixed Mindset

The first time I was introduced to the research and studies behind a fixed vs. growth mindset, I was absolutely fascinated. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of it before or wasn’t aware of it, it’s just that I never had the words to describe my emotions and reactions. I’d previously posted about how I want to foster a growth mindset in my children and in today’s post, I want to share with you a fairly recent experience where I was very aware of how my fixed mindset influenced my actions and emotions and how I moved into a growth mindset.

So here’s the context, I’ve been looking for work for a long time. I lost my job because of COVID-19 but I had been planning my exit about 6 months prior. I’m acutely aware of how not having work has triggered feelings of inadequacy and frustration and it’s been a journey changing my mindset. I haven’t been having success with my job search, partly I think because of the pandemic and partly because I’m switching careers and industries and it’s quite a leap! But then, I had some success. Long story short, I went through a rigorous interview process and made it to the top 4 candidates and was in the final stage of creating some sample work for the company to evaluate. You can probably guess what’s going to happen, they for the most part liked my word but I didn’t get it. They chose the candidate that had more experience.

Those words, “we decided to go with a candidate that had more direct experience” sent me on a downward spiral of negativity and my damn fixed mindset brain jumped into judgement and self-pity mode. Those words triggered me because it was the response I had received from countless interviews years before I got into teaching and was looking for a corporate HR job. Tears streamed down my eyes and I was absolutely devastated. Although I read the rest of the email, all I could hear in my head was, “Why do you even bother? Clearly, you’re not cut out to be in this field. You don’t have what it takes.”

Embarrassingly, I was stuck in this sad self-pity crying state for 2 days BUT after those 2 days, something in my brain switched gears. I realized I was seeing and feeling this experience through my fixed mindset when I should be seeing it from a growth mindset. Here’s some more context, this is the first instructional video I’ve made from beginning to end and with limited equipment. Also, to make it to the top 4 candidates despite my lack of direct experience means that I’m doing something right, right? And so I started shifting mindsets.

It wasn’t easy but I forced myself to turn all my thoughts that were originally fixed mindset to growth mindset. I was so tired of hearing that voice in my head saying that I wasn’t good enough and quite frankly, I was tired of crying. I went back and read the rejection email and really read through the feedback they’d given me. I’m actually really grateful they gave me specific and actionable feedback. So that’s what I’m doing now, looking for ways to learn and improve so that for my next interview, whenever it may be, can hopefully go better.

What I’ve also learned for next time, you know when I get another rejection or something awful happens, to still acknowledge my fixed mindset creeping in. I don’t like the feeling at all but I think it’s important to acknowledge that it’s there so that you can move on. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to my growth mindset a little quicker in the future.

Can you relate? Do you have any tips?

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A Heart To Heart

Be Kind Proverbs 4 23

“Rosy, remember this: you’re just lucky. You’re lucky that you were born with good genes. Remember that you never worked hard or earned your looks, you were just born with it so don’t be proud of that. Rather, be proud of what you’re achieving in school, be proud of your baking and dance abilities, and most importantly be proud of your work ethic. Be proud of those things because you’ve worked hard for. They weren’t just handed to you, but you practiced, studied, and applied self-discipline to acquire those attributes.”

This is the most important lesson my mom ever taught me. It was so incredibly important for my teenage self to hear that because I grew up being told I was pretty by aunties and uncles, and my mother did not want me to feel that I was defined by my physical appearance. My mother by no means wanted me to feel ugly, but she never wanted me to use my beauty as a crutch to get through life or put so much emphasis or importance on it. I am so blessed to have been taught this lesson young and my heart breaks when I encounter young girls that have been taught to use their beauty as a crutch or feel that it is the only thing going for them.

I’m not against loving yourself for who you are and being proud of your body and what it does for you because I’m all about having a healthy body image too! But I’m a firm believer in not allowing yourself to be defined based on physical appearance because it fades and is out of your control. I’d much rather be called the hustlin’ entrepreneur, creative baker, or encouraging youth counselor than the girl with the pretty face. Beauty is so temporary and up for interpretation, but no one can doubt your achievements and talents. Also, it’s your talents and achievements that are allowing you to do good in the world and community. It’s your actions that are allowing you to leave that lasting legacy that people can truly admire.

Think of how much you could achieve if you stopped worrying if you’d be pretty enough or looked right for the role. You may be surprised how these insecurities and internal thoughts play out in your daily life, whether it impacts the way you interact with others, the career you choose to chase, or the partner you end up with.

So I encourage you to take stock of yourself, and tell me what you’re proud of. Go ahead, fill in the blanks or create your own daily encouragement statements, and be proud of what you’ve worked hard to achieve!

I am so awesome at __________________________________
I do great work in ___________________________________
I contribute to my community through _____________________

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day!